Monday, August 4, 2008
It's to coincidental to be a coincidence. When I was nine, I worked in the church nursery at my parent's methodist church. I loved babies. ALL I wanted to do was hold them and play with them. It was a small church, so everyone knew me and trusted me even if there was no adult there to supervise. I babysat too. For anyone who would let me. My neighbor, had a special needs little boy who loved me ( and whom I adored as well), and she even trusted me at the ripe old age of 11 with her 9 week old baby. Now that I have kids of my own... I think she must have been half crazy. I babysat my way through high school and college, then decided to get a Masters degree in Developmental Psychology with a focus on ECD... Early Childhood Disorders. It was in grad school that I learned all about Autism. I even took a course titled "Autism." Then as part of my practicum work, I began working with kids on the Autism Spectrum. They were always my favorite and also the most challenging. So hard to reach, but with such great potential. Then working for the State funded agency I still contract through, I was often given the "quirky" kids as they were my "thing," my niche if you will.... then right before I got pregnant with Avery, I signed up to get certified in RDI, which is short for Relationship Development Intervention... also a therapy only for kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Little did I know how costly and long that process would be, but I am now one assignment (my final) away from being fully certified.
All the roads led me to be Avery's mom. I guess God was preparing me to be the best mother I could be for her. I think he knew I couldn't handle it otherwise. I am still not sure I can some days. It's hard not to think back to when I was pregnant and would pray for a "neurotypical" child. Really, I couldn't have been more specific. It's not that I think my prayers weren't answered, I guess they were just answered "NO." For whatever reason, this is my path, and I am certain I will end up better and more fulfilled because of it. It will make me stronger, right? A warrior. In my journey over the years, I have encountered countless warrior mothers and precious children who have always made great progress. Now it's my turn. It is drastically different being on this side of things, but I am as qualified as any I suppose. More so in many ways. I just hope and pray to make wise choices for my daughter, and start each day with hope in my heart and love in my soul.... oh, and a little more patience would be nice too.