Mother and Daughter On a Journey
When a child with special needs enters your life, toss out the “What to Expect” books and just dive in. My daughter, Shalea, was born with a rare genetic disorder along with a myriad of other issues. One by one, each issue was addressed in hopes that she would find a happy place in this universe where she is loved, supported, and cherished.
Thanks to early intervention and a caring team, Shalea is now a vibrant young adult and has exceeded all expectations from the medical community. I owe a debt of gratitude to the team around me who keeps her moving forward including teachers, specialists, friends, and family.
Shalea attended a K-8 school with a total of 350 students. When it came time for high school, our only choice was a large high school with over 3,000 students. The thought of Shalea attending a large high school was daunting. What a joy to watch Shalea successfully negotiating her high school campus and riding a bus independently for the first time. See the video below filmed her first week at school (with her permission to share here).
The girl they said would never walk, talk, or function in a meaningful way, turned eighteen, enjoyed the prom, and graduated from high school. She has made many friends and brings her sweet smile and fun sense of humor to our lives.
And so, our journey continues…
We keep movin’ forward!
Expecting a child perfect and whole
Not expecting a lesson in letting go
Letting go of everything
I was expecting
Letting go and embracing
Embracing the moment
The moment, I said, “Yes.”
“Yes, I expect nothing.”
Everything joyful, perfect, and whole
Just as she is
Accepting this moment joyful, perfect and whole,
Just as it is
—Debra Em Wilson
Photos taken by the Columbia River in Camas, Washington by a long time family friend, Linda Maveri. Visit her website www.lindamaveri.com for more information about her beautiful and creative photography.