Saturday, March 1, 2014

Forever a helper

I've always been the type of person to help people. Right now, it's my sister. She's really more like my best friend, but we have had a very special bond since very very early in life, and I see her, as well as a few others in my inner circle, as family as opposed to just being friends.

The point though, is that I'm known within my own circle to be the helper. I'm the one who people turn to when they need help. If I can help them, they know that I will.

Right now it's my sister. She came to me a few months ago, pregnant and in a bad housing situation. Even though I have been struggling myself, I couldn't turn her away. Currently she and her boyfriend live with me, as do my 11 year old nephew and the baby who is 3 weeks old.

A couple years ago it was another very close friend. She has two children who were living in another part of the country while she tried to get her life together, and she was having a hard time. Today her children are home with her and she moved into her own place just a few months ago. She tells me all the time that if it hadn't been for my constant barrage of inspirational texts, memes on Facebook, and conversations we had when she felt like giving up she might not have gotten this far.

My desire to help people is not something that has come with age. In elementary school I was best friends with a student with Spina-Bifida. I volunteered for a long time with a wheelchair sports team in my local area. I've had to use food pantries, and donate whatever food I don't use back so that others can eat too. I was the annoying kid who didn't ask for candy on Halloween but donations for charity. I have always looked for whatever little way I can help. Perhaps it is that desire to help others that led me into childcare. I love teaching people, and I love watching little minds grow. I love nurturing life; it's what I've done for as long as I can remember.

What I want to do is help people. It's been what has driven all of my career work in childcare, as well as the motivating force behind my surrogacy dreams. Helping others is what keeps my heart and my soul  happy and allows me to move forward with my own sometimes seemingly meaningless existence.

I have this huge vision.. a life's yearning that I can't pull myself away from. The details are so vast and scattered that at times it seems like an impossible dream.And yet every corner I take and every new situation that comes to me seems to be directing me towards at least trying to make this vision into a reality. I see creation in every step along the way; a path leading me towards everything that I"ve ever hoped for in my personal and professional life.

You may ask what is stopping me. I"m not entirely sure of the answer. I know that many of my feelings are controversial, and I also know that the path that I am currently headed down is not entirely the path that I am hoping to find myself on. Special needs children hold a special place in my heart, that's for sure. But they are not who I have yearned to help since the moment I realized how profoundly  my children had changed my life.

Young, fresh, vulnerable babies.
They are the ones who I feel need the most protection.

As they enter the world, they are so helpless, and yet they carry with them the future of our entire world. Special needs families go through an identical transition as their small charges enter the world. A new experience opens where a brand new life entrusts everything to their caregivers. The child cannot survive without the assistance of the parent, and the parent is biologically attuned to the needs of the child. However not all beginnings start well, and tragedy surrounding childbirth is far too common. Emotional neglect of children as a result of improper postpartum support is running rampant. You can see it in the eyes of children who grow up with emotionally distant parents and never learn empathy or compassion.  The world is lacking in these things these days, and they don't give our children a very good chance of growing up to be mentally stable and have the ability to sustain healthy relationships with each other. How is the world supposed to survive from the brink of destruction as we are seeing today without the solid framework of a good support system?

I want to be that support. I want to build that system for people who don't have it anywhere else. One day I will say to those people "come, let me help you to be the best parent that you can be and give your child the best chance of a successful life; regardless of their ability level."

My friends have become my family, and through my own personal development I have come to believe that the support of friends and family is the only thing that will help the postpartum family unit to survive. This is what my dream is all about. After all, our children are worth it.

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