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Adam had been slowly gaining upper body strength since August. We worked with him every day, doing exercises to help him recover. He was also going to St. John Hospital twice a week for an hour of combined physical and occupational therapy.

We were still very busy every week with many trips to doctors, therapists, and other specialists. Dealing with medical bureaucracy can be frustrating to say the least.

After a blood test one day we finally had a time with no further appointments that morning. So I drove to the fire station. Adam did not know where I was going. I wanted to surprise him. I just had to hope Chief Ahonen would be there. As we came in the front door he was standing right there talking with one of his captains. He said they were just talking about Adam. They were very glad we could stop in and he gave us a complete tour of the fire station. At the end Adam received a badge from the captain that proclaimed him "Member, Macomb Township Fire Department". Adam was thrilled. He wears it all the time and is quick to tell everyone he is on the Fire Department.

Every time we are driving somewhere and we see a fire, ambulance, accident, broken down car, or whatever, Adam says "don't worry, fireman Adam is here". I hope Chief Ahonen gets to read this story. I want him to know how much he helps Adam to forget all the bad things that have happened to him. It has been the highlight of the year for Adam to get to know Chief Ahonen, the firemen, and be involved with some of the fire station activities (see November and December). I can't think of any one person who has had so much positive effect on Adam, although he is starting to get just a little competition from Deputy Rojem of the Macomb County Sheriff's Department (see December).

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