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Shine! An Opportunity for Ioana to do Just That!

Next Friday, March 1st will be a big day for Ioana.  Flatirons Church, where Ioana has been attending each week is holding a special event.  This is the third year for Shinean event that is just hard to describe, but below is the description from the Flatirons website.

What is Shine?

A formal evening of dinner, dancing, games and friends. Get out your formal wear and get ready to SHINE!

Who is invited?

Our friends (ages 16 and up) in the community who have developmental, physical or mental disabilities.

But to get a better picture of what Shine is really all about you have to click on the video below.

We first tried to explain to Ioana what Shine was about a few months ago.  Over time she began to understand and she will be attending next week with our son, Ben, who will go along as Ioana’s caregiver.  

The church receives donations of formal wear so the participants can be dressed to the nines.  Last week over three nights they had try-ons for those that wanted to be fitted for a dress or tux.  We took Ioana up on Monday night since this would be much better for us than going out to buy her a new dress.  

We were amazed by the scene that we were presented with.  Ioana signed in and was subsequently whisked back to a dressing room.  The church transforms a sunday school room into a huge fitting area.  Two women were assigned to Ioana while Pam and I sat on couches that they had moved into the space.  We saw one lady walk back to Ioana’s fitting area with two or three dresses.  Over the next half hour or so Ioana tried on about six or more different dresses.  She came out to a three way mirror and would go back to try on another.  Sitting there observing all the different women trying on dresses and being thrilled at this opportunity was incredible to see.  

Eventually Ioana settled on a dress.  (I can’t put that photo up until after shine!)  A seamstress made some adjustments and they told us to come back in an hour or two and they would have it all done.  There were a number of sewing machines so alterations could be done on the spot.  

This morning when I went in to wake Ioana up she rolled over sleepily and said to me.  “Tata Matt, last night I dreamt all about Shine.  It was wonderful.”  I asked her how it was in her dream.  “I was dancing, and playing games and had a beautiful time.  It was unreal.”  She shared with me that in her dream she was able to dance without her walker.  I’ve always wondered whether in her dreams she has a disability or not.  I think it is pretty cool that when she dreams she doesn’t have to use her walker.  

Often, when I am in the house and Ioana is on the computer I can here the background music to the above video.  She sits and looks at the video and thinks about how special next Friday will be.  Pam and I are fortunate enough to volunteer that evening so I look forward to seeing how it all plays out for Ioana.  I know we all have an idea of what it will be like, but I know that it will be beyond our wildest dreams.  

This was NOT the dress she chose. But it was beautiful on her none the less.


Sewing machines in a line and seamstresses making alterations