Mason’s Story

Dear Friend, on behalf of my husband Jeff and myself:

Thank you for your help in getting our son Mason where he is today.

Mason is just shy of celebrating his third birthday. He came into the custody of the state just three days after being born addicted to methamphetamine and fentanyl. He spent the majority of the first six months of his life in a hospital due to his underdeveloped immune system, correcting clubbed feet and a crossed eye. The doctors had strong concerns about leg weakness, vision and hearing impairment, and cognitive delays.

This little trooper was born into the world in the worst possible way, yet there’s not a picture of him not smiling. He’s the happiest baby on the planet, always smiling, always laughing.

Mason joined our family when he was 13 months old. We posted in a local Facebook group for foster and adoptive families asking for childcare recommendations. Most responses said to prepare for a waitlist, but one said, “Cornerstone saves spots for foster kids.” We called and Cornerstone said, “Come on in!”

After working out an immunization plan, Mason was able to start at Cornerstone. While we went to work, Ms. Marian and Ms. Christina cared for Mason, and we started noticing changes in him. On Mason’s first day, he was barely sitting up without assistance. Soon enough, he was pulling himself up! The first big thing I remember was the butt scoot. He would stick one leg out and scoot around like he had places to go!

Doctors had predicted Mason wouldn’t walk unassisted until age three. However, no one told Mason that. One evening at 20 months old, Mason decided he was ready to run. He saw me walk into the nursery, and suddenly, I heard, “Daddy!” I turned to see him run toward me, arms out as fast as he could. From that moment, he has been our unstoppable race car.

Finding Cornerstone was a gift in every sense of the word. We talk about it frequently, how Mason was meant to be there, and the proof is how well he has thrived. After being in the Penguins classroom for almost a year, Mason progressed to the Puffins, then the Teddy Bears. With each classroom change, his development accelerated. Now, he is a Blue Jay with kids his age, thanks to his teachers recognizing his potential and providing the stimulation and challenges to promote his growth.

Through all the doctor visits, suddenly, one of his doctors said, “He’s fine.” The next doctor said, “He’s doing great, call if you need us.” One by one, Mason said goodbye to them. Now, he’s down from twelve doctors to two; his orthopedist and his pediatrician. I love taking him for appointments because as soon as we walk in the room, the pediatrician is like, “Wow! He looks so good!”

If there is something that separates Cornerstone, it’s the focus on cognitive and motor development. Mason, now from where Mason was…well, he’s come a long way. Mason has overcome his leg weakness and only wears ankle braces. He has no vision or hearing impairment, and his cognitive development gap from the past has been erased. Mason has defied every odd, and thanks to a loving home and the incredible support of Cornerstone, there’s no stopping him now.

The way Mason exudes positivity to meet every obstacle put in his path, his self-determination and motivation, empathy and compassion for others, and his inexhaustible sense of exploration and adventure… This boy is going to change the world. The expectation is that children should always be able to look up to their parents, but when it comes to Mason, the truth is he’s not just my son; he’s my hero.

Every superhero has an origin story, and Mason’s is still being written. Thank you for being a part of it.

~ Joe

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Your generosity and compassion make stories like Mason’s possible. THANK YOU!

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