My name is Hattie Dale Ackerman. I live in Columbus, Ohio (go, Buckeyes!!), with my husband, Hal, and our four children: Jennifer Clarice (10), Ryder Cole (8), Tarah Michelle (7), and our youngest, Zachariah (Zacky) Dale, who is four. We also have two dogs: a golden Labrador retriever named "Scoots" and a solid-black Pomeranian named "Queen Bark-a-Lot".
I am a homemker and home-school instructor. As for my husband, he works for a law firm. He has worked there over ten years. We've been married for thirteen.
Our children are our world, and Hal and I would do anything for them. We try to be as involved in their lives as we can; we want to spend as much quality time with them as possible. We think that this would be beneficial for their upbringing, especially for our youngest child's sake.
Zachariah was born with brain damage. When he was a year and a half old, doctors diagnosed him with cerebral palsy. At the age of four, he cannot walk or talk, but he can see and hear perfectly. He will probably never walk, but he still has a good life. He loves to play with his brother and sisters, and he loves to be held, cuddled, and read to. He loves being out in the warm sunshine, and he loves watching quality children's programming on tv ("Sesame Street" is his absolute favorite).
At first, it was devastating to know that our youngest child was born handicapped, but then we learned that he could still have a good life. We also realized just how blessed we really were because he could see, hear, and even eat (with help; we feed him, since he cannot do it by himself; if he does, he makes a godawful mess!). He is capable of learning; he just has to do it in his own way, and he is a lot smarter than what people give him credit for.
Having a child in a wheelchair does have its benefits, though: we get the choicest parking spots, and we don't have to wait long in line. It also allows us to meet famous singers (we've met people like Loretta Lynn, Reba McEntire, George Jones, Kiss, Lady Gaga, The Jonas Brothers, David Militello, Kaitlyn Ashley Maher, and Josh Groban, to name a few). We've had our pictures made with them, and we even got their autographs. All were very nice.
When Zacky was born, doctors didn't hold out much in the way of hope. He weighed only 12 ounces (less than a pound), and he wasn't much bigger than a minute. He spent the first five months of his life in the hospital, four of those months in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). Oh, if he could only see some of those doctors now: they would be surprised at the amazing progress our boy has made!
Well, Zacky is cooing (his way of communicating); he is hungry for his breakfast. I will write in here again, with more tales about not only Zachariah, but our other children as well. I hope you enjoyed reading about our little family! Until next time, this is Hattie Ackerman saying so long and God bless!
~Love, your new friend in Ohio, Hattie Dale. :)