In March 2014, my wife and I attended an adoption event, that profiled kiddos in foster care throughout Ontario. When we came to the booth that had Nollan’s photo displayed, we both stopped and looked at each other. The photo was of a sweet little boy with little wire-framed glasses. We knew he was our son. When we met Nollan for the first time, we were prepared that he may be slow to warm to us. We walked into the kitchen and there was this little boy sitting on the floor, by himself, watching his IPad. He climbed into my wife’s arms and she rocked and sang to him. He wrapped himself in my sweater and we knew he was ours.
We started the adoption process and 3 months later, our sweet little boy came into our home and hearts forever. We love the saying, we did not grow Nollan in our body, we grew him in our heart.
Nollan was in foster care for the first four years of his life
Nollan was born with aniridia, a rare genetic disorder that affects the formation of the Iris. Due to the absence of the Irises, Nollan’s pupils are large and do not change size. He does not have depth perception or peripheral vision, has low vision, and wears prescription sunglasses to compensate for the large pupils.
Aside from autistic mannerisms, he is non-verbal and has epilepsy. Nollan is on nutritional supplements 3-5 times per day, due to his lean body type. At the time of adoption, he was still on a bottle and eating puréed food because he had not mastered the skill of chewing yet. Nollan is not toilet trained. Over the past 6 years, Nollan has mastered using his mobility cane in school and around the community, knows his alphabet, colours, shapes and numbers, and can recognize the alphabet in Braille. He is able to drink from a straw and can chew his food. Nollan’s favourite foods are hot dogs, popcorn, soup and Pringles. He has high receptive language, understanding what is being said/asked and he uses his words or his IPad to express his needs. Nollan, now 10 years old, is living proof that size is not an indicator of strength and determination.
Our son has a beautiful smile and a contagious laugh, that can brighten anyone’s day. Nollan is very observant and has an incredible memory. He loves to ride the elevator and knows where every elevator is in the mall, doctor’s office etc. Nollan loves water, playing at the park and jumping on his trampoline,
He loves music and loves to dance! Music is in his soul. On his first birthday with us, Nollan received a ukulele from his Uncle. Where words fail, music speak was written on that ukulele. This is absolutely true for Nollan. He loves visiting Grandma in Ottawa. The bond that Grandma and he have is unwavering and unconditional. Nollan loves travelling, especially if it’s by train or airplane.
Two years ago, we were able to take Nollan to Disneyland during Halloween. He absolutely loves Mickey Mouse and Hallowe’en is his favourite holiday. Through the generosity of the Guelph Wish Fund, and the amazing people who provide support to GWF, Nollan had an amazing trip. He went to Mickey’s not so scary Hallowe’en party and went trick or treating while at Disneyland. This trip was beyond anything we could have imagined.
Last year, Nollan and I went to visit my family in New Brunswick, it was his first time meeting his extended family. This trip was also possible due to support from the Guelph Wish Fund. We are hoping to be able to take Nollan to Newcastle England to visit my wife’s family very soon.
Thank you, Guelph Wish Fund, for making our sweet boy feel so special!