You Are Here For A Reason

Vision: The faculty or state of being able to see. The ability to think about or plan the future within the imagination or wisdom.

Wisdom: The quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.

Purpose: The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.

I have defined three powerful words. Three words that we all need or should get familiar with. Three words that have changed my entire world: not for bad though, but for good. Because these three words have helped define my life, and helped me understand my being or as Sarah Jakes says, “My must be”.
Let me break it down for you.

Lets start with Wisdom. We all have heard it from the time we were little tiny boppers from our parents or grandparents. We all have associated that word “wisdom” with being old. But I am here to tell you that being old doesn’t make you wise or have wisdom. Just like the definition says, it is about having experience or knowledge and being of good judgment. It doesn’t say anything about being old. And I am not saying you per se are wise either.

Our experiences that we have in life from the time we come out until we die is what makes us wise, but only if we learn from them. For example, when we first learn to ride a bike, we are taught balance and if we don’t balance we will fall. This is a life lesson that will stay with us forever. You now have gained some knowledge and will make good judgment when it comes to riding a bike and staying balanced.

Life is a huge lesson that we are supposed to learn from and take those learned lessons as we get older and apply them to our life. Mistakes give us room for trial and error. But you can not make the same mistake over and over again by doing this apparently you are not learning that lesson and you are failing at having the proper knowledge therefore you are not gaining the wisdom you need to carry on in your life. I hope this is making sense. If so let’s move on.

In order to have a purpose you must have a vision. Visions usually come from God. But if you don’t quite have the knowledge or wisdom to grasp the vision God is giving you then you will never find or understand your purpose in life. Let’s use my life as an example. God blessed me with my beautiful baby boy at the ripe age of 15 years of age. Why so young? This is a question or conversation I have also had with God. Now at 39 that answer is becoming clearer, although I sometimes think but dang 15 LOL. But to be honest my son might have saved me from something that I could have never come back from if he would have never been conceived and born when he was. Ok let’s move on.

At 19 years of age I had a prophetic word spoken over my life, which then I didn’t understand but now it makes so much sense. Whether you believe it or not, our lives are already planned out from the day we are conceived. The life lessons and the knowledge that we gain is how we come to understanding those three words, Wisdom, Vision and purpose. My son gave me my purpose. To be able to be the voice he never had, which the lady who spoke the prophetic word told me that I would have a voice and when I speak people would stop and listen. Now when I share my story, people stop and listen along with chills and tears. But that word she spoke over my life was a vision that she had from God…my vision came that God gave me came from starting Qute Cosmetics along with Their voice of greater Cincinnati which both are platforms to raise awareness and funds for families affected by Cerebral Palsy. Which is my way that I am able to be the voice for my son and other families. When people inquire about my cosmetics or non-profit they listen genuinely. Why because I am passionate about it. Because it is my story, my testimony.

We all have a story, a purpose and we all are given a vision: throughout life we should gain knowledge, which gives us our wisdom. So stop going through life not learning. Start paying attention. Take 10-20 minutes and sit by yourself in total quiet, pray or meditate. But listen because I promise you will begin to hear, but don’t just hear, ACT on it. You are still here because YOU MUST Be____________!

All Things Do Not Deserve a Conversation!

When we have communication challenges, it's only because no one wants to fold and be the one to give in. We strive to be right instead of peaceful! We fight for the position instead of connection for elevation.

We are so uncontrolled mentally we don't know what honesty vs (in urban terms) Shade is. We mistake honesty (what we all ask for) as shade. We only want cheerleaders, we very seldom want to hear the toxic behaviors we exude, told to us in a factual way. We are accustomed to hearing things that make us feel good and feel like we were right when in all actuality, deep down we know we were out of order.

We've been conditioned to believe that titles and being right is the appropriate way to handle ALL situations. Yelling and screaming get you ignored and only raise the aggression in the situation. No one gets heard and now both of you are in a pissing match to establish Heirchie. And NOW, you've spent an entire day which will now control the remainder of your week fighting an unnecessary battle.

If we can learn to remove EGO and understand that everyone will experience situations completely different. Removing EGO will help you see clearly and spare some headache, heartache, and frustration! We get so easily pushed instead of having control over your emotions. When we feel, we feel without discretion. We allow anger to cause us to verbally and or physically assault others and the insane part is, WE BELIEVE THAT THIS TYPE OF BEHAVIOR IS JUSTIFIABLE.....

This is why your body holds on to tension and fat cells when your spirit is out of alignment, you are unable to accomplish the goal of weight loss. Your cravings increase, your desire for certain foods increases and from there not only did you give yourself high blood pressure from the yelling and screaming, but you've also added dumb shit to your diet to increase health risks.

Take time to think things through and restrain from being abusive. When you don't understand, stop and just ask, you will be surprised at what can happen when you stick to the facts and remove EGO.

 

 

Comfort Food

As I sit here digesting that my hot water tank has gone out and the home warranty company refuses to replace it, I can't help but laugh. YES LAUGH!!! (well, and facepalm) Before this moment, I would've been stressed, ready to blow a gasket and eat myself to a glutton. I would be in full blown tears ready to indulge in something tasty.

Do ya'll know how long it took me to get to this point!!!??? (I mean that both literally and figuratively...lolol) This was not an easy road to conquer. It was and still is one of the hardest things I have ever had to address constantly.

 

I grew up in a home where eating unhealthy was the norm. My dad would pick me up from school and before we get on the path to go home, he would stop at the gas station and buy a chocolate cupcake for me. He would then take the long route home that consisted of a hilly road that made me feel like I was on a rollercoaster (great times)! My mom would cook unhealthy foods that were budget friendly and stretched.

Imagine growing up in a house were everyone ate horrible, so my fate was inevitable. That's all I knew and what I learned. By the time I was 18yrs old I was 180lbs. NOW, I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE THINKING, HOWEVER, during those times, 180lbs was not considered thick, it was considered fat.

When you grow up in a home filled with sadness and toxicity, you adapt the same way your lifelines adapt, in my case, eating was what I used to cope.

My parents argued all the time. When they did, I would be dragged into the middle of it. My mother would make me pack my things and we would leave and go stay somewhere else. My dad would call and bribe me to tell him where we were in exchange for money. It would leave me to feel I had to play one against the other all the time just to gain peace.

Food was instant gratification for me. Any time I felt inadequate I would eat, the food had to be good and soothing. After all, I wasn't feeling so great about who I was. Constantly dealing with mommy and daddy issues didn't make the shit any better. I was carrying a weight that didn't belong to me.

Once I started to understand the ideology of why my parents moved as they do and TRULY forgive them, I was able to morph. I was able to start the true work of getting to a better place mentally, physically and spiritually!

The 1st step is understanding the root. Once you discover what that is, then the work can truly begin.

 

BUILDING MY LIFE

Caring for someone with special needs isn't easy, it's filled with constant referrals to specialist for everything down to the little pinky toe. We practically live in the doctors' office.

We bounce from pillar to post with the complicated task of balancing a full-time job in conjunction with all of the doctors' appointments. (this makes for a great setup for depression and anxiety).

We spend our time planning to make sure we don't forget anything on these excursions. We time medication and feedings to make life easier while out and about. Only to be hit with more of the "what your child isn't able to do" comments filled with "these therapists, orthotics, etc will make life better)

No wonder it's easy to forget about yourself. You have no time and no room for yourself in the midst of your loved one's appointments and the demands of your job.

The daily demands become much for difficult as the person you are caring for ages. The lifting gets complicated along with meeting the basic daily living needs. Let me add NO HELP from anyone to this equation.

Maintaining a job is nearly impossible! If jobs were more empathetic to those in our shoes, maybe the rate of public assistance will decrease. We fight daily to only have those we need turn their backs on us due to situations beyond our control. We need our jobs we need the benefits the jobs have to offer, the issue is, being able to work and care for our loved ones that require more than typical.

Every way you turn, you are faced with the challenges of assistance when it comes to caring for your loved one with special needs. We group help with monetary compensations which we understand is sometimes necessary, however, the rate of depression, anxiety is up because of the lack of community assistance. Lack of friends and family help, lack of support from jobs and school officials. Each direction leads to drama no matter what you do to survive.

Hope is lost because of the lack of assistance, love, support, generosity, and care. It's hard to restore what you don't see often. We are constantly faced with obstacles and pain to navigate while attempting to find the best parts of life.

I remember saying to myself, I know there is something better for me.  I am open and willing because where I am isn't ok. I knew I needed something different and by any cost, I was willing to get that. I fought long and hard, digging up things that I never resolved within my childhood, life, just my entire being. I was willing to risk everything I had (which wasn't much of anything) just to get myself out of hell.

The path to emerging into the being I was meant to be, has not been an easy one. It's been filled with tons of emotions I didn't even know I had. It brought me to a reality that I was scared of, only because I thought I what I had was of value when in all actuality it was garbage. There wasn't anything there that warrants for the life I see for myself.

I removed EVERYTHING and started sitting still more. Sitting in silence more and gifting myself tranquility and forgiveness for shit I couldn't change no matter how hard I tried. I started appreciating everything that makes up who I am as a person and mother. I started paying more attention to those I have in my space and those I allow to entertain my time. I started to really LIVE by what my standards were. I started to understand my worth and value myself and all I have to offer this world.

I came from a family that ridiculed me for the traits I was given by the universe.  It really made me feel inadequate and not apart of my family. I felt different in a bad way. I never felt good enough. So to bounce back from a place of defeat was a very hard and painful task.

I am truly grateful for crawling through the storm. I came out walking and much more confident. I set boundaries, I meditate, I think, I mind my business, I don't entertain anything that doesn't align with my standards.

Believe it or not, this was the beginning of my road to getting fit. Without doing this piece the fit piece wouldn't be in existence. This is what pushed me to start taking my health more seriously.

Wear your Cerebral Palsy Like a badge of Courage!

I recall my adopted father, Ronald Fino telling me in one of our deep conversations that took place in our living room, one night while a movie was playing in the background. My dad is the love of life, pushing me to the max, trying to be a better person than I once had been in 2016. I had a disagreement with my mother, that leads me homeless with nowhere to go but to a women’s shelter.

Other of my family members did not respond, and I reached out to him as my last hope before I became a ward of the state. When Ronald heard of my dilemma, he offered me a place in his home in Williamsburg, Virginia, with his wife, Alla, and their son, Daniil. I immediately flew out to them.

This family's love, interest, and understanding gave me a whole new outlook on life, and the encouragement to continue writing and to become involved in the Cerebral Palsy community. I am, in essence, their adopted daughter. Ronald's career was in the Intelligence community, and law enforcement and his family have a substantial commitment to fairness and justice for all. In Ronald, whom I consider my Dad, and Alla, whom I think my Mom, I discovered how fulfilling life with Cerebral Palsy could be with the right family, activities, and unconditional love. Had there been the proper advocacy, protective laws, and services from the beginning, I would not have suffered abuse and neglect in my youth.
I can tell you anything, and everything about the 1,000 tail’s with so many details due to my long-term memory. People always said that “I have a memory of an elephant.” I can recall an event and dates playing it in my head like it just happens the other week ago. Sometimes it a blessing and sometimes it's cured. I feel like there are tons of books on bookshelves, internet blog’s, and YouTube videos, stories that one read in a Facebook group, Hollywood movies on the subject on Cerebral Palsy.
I was born with CP, so it did not affect me like a war hero losing his legs or his eyesight, though in my formative years spaned in hatred and dysfunction in our home… I was isolated in my youth by homeschooling and the bitterness of a mother that I tried to love but as always rejected/ Was it my handicap? Another reason that I am not aware of. Putting it simply, I was a rejected child. Today, I hold no bitterness or animosity against her, but it still hurts. Fortunately, with my limited capability, I earned a high school diploma with honors.

Everyone pictures people with CP or with another disabled adult as being innocent and vulnerable. They treat us, disabled adults like children. I think my story could help open people’s eyes. Having a disability does not make someone less of an adult, innocent, or unaware. I have the sexual wants and desires of a woman desiring a companion. It’s hard, hurtful and has become a thick cloud of lust, of wanting but not having.

My biological mother turned from a loving mother to someone who hated me while I grew up. This feeling locked me up through my teen years. She manipulated my thinking, such as making me unfriend Jessica, my beloved life-long best friend, and family that she had brainwashed me to hate and such. I’ve survived three murder attempts by her hand. She made me feel like an animal/monster that needed to be locked up, and she tried to get me locked me up in a mental asylum or a group home for disabled people to forget about me — acting like I was never her daughter. Sadly, to say, I don’t believe our paths will cross again. I have my own life, and she has her own life that’s isn’t web together. There is so much worse than my mom had done to me after my dad passed on that I won’t write here. I recall that night when she admitted: “I have hated you since the day I found out that you have CP.” Since that night, I lost something dear to my heart. My undying-daughterly love for her, knowing that she’ll never come to love me as me.

My biological father had this golden heart, a warn huge great smile and such a pleasant personality. I hold no antagonism against my father. Now that I’m older, I see that my dad was under her thumb and gas lit when it comes right down to it by my mom. He tried hard to please my mom with shopping money, gifts, yard work, doing what she said or wanted, even if he had to turn away from his mom, brother, and his three sisters for good. At times I never understood, but now as I type, he was like myself, brainwashed by Mom. Everyone tells me that I am just like him, carrying on his happy-go-lucky attitude.

My little sister, Hanna, who was one year and a few months younger than myself, was the "golden child” in my parents’ eyes. Hanna was on the golf team and the town's leading acting group, she was always making headlines in the town's newspaper as a teen and went to high school, unlike me. She was a star, bring home golf state titles with her golf team. She had always got the starring roles in plays, yet when Hanna was home, she used me as her punching bag, sometimes I was at fault for the fight— being the mess-up daughter of my parents — having fits of anger out in public when someone treats me like a baby.

Hanna dropped out of high school because she never did her schoolwork and went and got a GED. My parents acted like that having a GED was even better than a high school diploma. I was so lonely, I had no friends at that age, and I always had dreamt about going to high school since I was little. I wanted to experience high school life and all its milestones.

All my life to this very day, I have a unique, rare bond with my grandma, who is my mom’s mother. I called her my Gragwa. She was more like a mother to me, my dear best friend, since my mother dropped me off at her house each day. Gragwa raised me to be the woman that I am today; she taught me everything. She was always there for me, helping and encouraging me never to give up and keep carrying on. Memories of her taking me for ice cream with the top down on her convertible as a little girl to our wonderful getaway, Cesare’s Palace. Gragwa always said this, “Amanda, you were meant to live an extra extraordinary life.” to me since I could remember. My mom hated the fact that I was closer to Gragwa than her. She tried to put us against each other with mind games. It never worked, I’ve always picked grandma over her.
Then the Nightmare of Scarlett had happened, My parent’s mom’s dear friend Nancy. She had a sister named Scarlett that was in her 70s. Scarlett has a grown and married daughter with a significant handicap; born with no arms or legs, making her wheelchair bound. My mom and Nancy thought that Scarlett and I would become good friends. My mom let Scarlett take me out to the movies, lunches, and such. I only had a “sleepover” once at her house. Turns out that night was the worst night of my life because she did some unspeakable things to me just after I turned 18. Did I tell my parents what she did to me? No, because they need Nancy at work, someone they must trust working for them. Yes, I hid it.

Years later, I went to see Scott, a counselor, who told me that Scarlett raped me when I told him about it in our first of many sessions. (I’ve changed his name to protect his privacy) Years later, Scott and I fell in love and started a love affair that was doomed from the start, because Scott was engaged, as well as being 32 years older than me. We had done sexual things, yet I never hold Scott until I fell him in my body.

We both wanted to make love to each other and had plans to. However, Scott got cold feet at the last minute and got married. I was so madly and deeply in love with him that I tried to take my own life. I am coping with the fact that Scott and I never had sex, and it’s painful. Having people yell at me that he raped me when they were not there in my shoes. “Did he?” I still have ambiguous about it.

My very first kiss was from a man that was well over 65, and it makes me disgusted at the very thought of it. Larry was my next-door neighbor back home. I was hanging out with Ray, fixing a computer when he asked me to make love with him, saying that he was the only man that would want to have sex with me. He eggs me on into kissing him. From then on, I was hell-bent on having sex. I even got a sex surrogate but backed out because I still not over Scott. I ended up having sex with a guy, and it was a very quickly one-night stand.

I've discovered my talent for writing at a young age. As a result, I've published six books by myself. Yet this year 2019, this past April they have picked up my first book, TIMELESS OMERTA that used to be called OMERTA AFFAIR. I’m finishing up writing my newest book telling my inner depth of emotion being a woman that has CP with a unique outlook on life. Cerebral Palsy Gal has been a work in progress; I haven't found the exact words until now. It shall be coming out sooner than later.

I'm beyond grateful and thrilled to say that I’m a member of the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities Partners in Policymaking. I'm hoping to spread Cerebral Palsy awareness and to provide a beacon of light for all disabled people, starting up this fall 2019. I’ve started an Official Newsletter of the author Amanda Fino; CPGal Reader Nest, that comes out on the 4th of each month, with book news, a Badge of Courage small article saluting Cerebral Palsy and other disability warriors.

I’m finishing up writing my newest book telling her inner depth of emotion being a woman that has CP with a unique outlook on life. Cerebral Palsy Gal has been a work in progress; I haven't found the exact words until now. It shall be coming out this year, with Deepest Elements a Novelette, that people are saying "It's worth your time."
My family encourages me to go to conventions and dinners with other professionals and well-connected people. I hope to spread Cerebral Palsy awareness and to provide a beacon of light for all disabled people. I'm wholly dedicated to making life better through proper advocacy, living environments, and medical research. Right now, I feel like there needs to be a book on adult matters of a full flesh woman that has Cerebral Palsy — expressing my deep inner emotions within myself. Having a unique person outlook on life, I am admitting that I made a lot of horrible mistakes on my behalf, and I own up to ALL of them. In hopes for other young women that has Cerebral Palsy not to make the same mistake as I did.

GREATEST POTENTIAL

We all define "Greatest Potential" in our own way. So please understand when reading this, it's from the perspective of my view on life.

Being with someone over 13 yrs is a major accomplishment these days.  We are in the days when people don't value life, love, and respect. We associate words with certain emotions just because we are told too. We never look beyond because we are too busy living in a fairytale world.

We put pressure on people to fulfill duties we can't even fulfill for ourselves. We expect other's to make us happy when we don't even feel happy with ourselves. No wonder there's a lot of depression and anxiety.  We are to busy working hard for 5 minutes of instant gratification.

We have forgotten that life can be easy if we let go and understand how humans operation. We also have to learn how to love ourselves. We often ask for someone to make us happy, however, are YOU MAKING YOU HAPPY?!

You should only desire additional happiness and peace. Someone that can elevate you higher. Which brings me to this, DIVORCE or BEING SINGLE. We are so scared to divorce or mention it because of fear of what someone will think and because of the stigma that the word holds.

These actions shouldn't be a sad sob story. It should be the knowledge of knowing that you have options to reach your happy. Why should that be sad?  I have always said, people would rather stay unhappy because of what other's will think vs. being happy and not caring what people think.

Once you realize that happiness is easy to get to as long as you are willing to do something different that may be uncomfortable for the moment.  However, the choice you make along with the action you put forth to make that choice a reality will determine the level of peace you receive.

Self Love = Self Care

We often tend to associate letting ourselves go as good parenting. Well, get ready to be upset with me, HOWEVER, you are not a good parent if you have let yourself go to take care of others!!! Now, I can hear some of you clinching your pearls with this statement.

Let me clarify! You know when you're on an airplane and they go over the safety plan in case of an emergency! Well, you know that part when they say secure your oxygen mask before you secure anyone else's?! There is a reason they ask you to do that. You are no good assisting other's if you are suffocating.  Do you know how many people you can save by simply stopping and thinking about you 1st???

This is a struggle for women.  We have been taught that motherhood means to take on EVERYTHING. You're weak if you need assistance.  I was also taught that motherhood was hard and not blissful. Heavy burden, not easy living. I was taught to mistreat your children was ok. That, talking bad about your children in front of other's while they are witnessing it was ok. I learned these behaviors from my parents.

I watched my mother dedicate herself to a man (my father) who didn't value her. He was a great provider, however, he was a horrible husband.  I watched my parents self destruct. They treated each other like pure shit while each fell into deep depression masked with material things.

I brought all of this to my adult life. I was unequipped to be a parent and wife. I was taught that stress and fighting was the answer. So, guess what I did, stress and fight. I wasn't taught healthy behaviors that would aid in not only my wellbeing, yet the wellbeing of my children.

What I wasn't taught is the woman MUST take care of herself 1st and foremost before anyone gets her attention. This is so that she can feel her best which will allow her space to give not only her best but her genuine desire to see to it that everyone is ok.  We can only do this if we energize ourselves.

As women, we give out what we feel. If we feel our best we give our best and then some. If we feel horrible, then what we give will be horrible. YOU CAN NOT BE A GREAT MOM IF YOU NEGLECT YOURSELF.

Self-care is so important for women who care for others. Now, when I say self-care I am not saying you have to go spend money. I mean, yes a massage, spa treatments etc are lovely, HOWEVER, sitting still, reading a book, listening to music, writing in your journal, cooking, baking, whatever helps you relax is self-care. Getting back to things you love that made you feel whole is self-care.

Stop thinking that self + care = money. It really means giving yourself permission to enjoy life doing things you love to do that remind you that life is meant to be happy. We tend to let go of things we love because we feel like we have to. For some odd reason, somewhere along the way, we thought that becoming a caregiver of whatever magnitude meant, stop your life.

We have allowed ourselves to be manipulated into thinking that everything we do that feels good costs money. Feeling good has nothing to do with money, yet everything to do with your internal being. Once the material things are gone it's just you left. Once those who said they were your friends are gone because your "wealth" ran out it's just you.

SELFCARE HELP:

I am no one special. I am often told how I am the model parent for the special needs community. I juggle everything, fight, work, help others etc. The truth is, I just stopped making excuses and started doing. EVERY SINGLE DAY I did something to get that much closer to my vision. I made a choice and I adhered to it no matter what.

Self-care didn't come overnight for me, I had to undo years of bullshit so that I could be where I am at this very moment. Deciding to break the cycle and give my self-permission to be selfish all the time was the hardest yet most rewarding thing I could've ever done to save my life.  Each day is a challenge and I work hard to stabilize my mind so that I can push forward towards my desires.

I spent years watching my mother neglect herself for others. It has driven her so far into depression and it's painful to watch. I have watched my dad be fearful of life which causes him to live as a hermit and not see anything outside of a 30-mile radius and that's being generous.  I knew I didn't want what my parents had become. I wanted more and I was determined to sort through my mess to reach the side of life I yearned for.

The answer to everything I battled was already known, it took uncomfortable experiences to convince me.

If I can't stress anything else, PLEASE GIVE BACK TO YOU BY ALLOTTING TIME FOR SELF-CARE.

The Diagnosis isn’t the End

Being a parent to a child with special needs sounds complicated. When someone on the outside looking in hears that, the 1st thing I get is "God Bless You". I laugh internally when I hear this because you are right GOD did bless me. He gave me a human that would challenge everything I thought I knew about myself.

Anthony Jr. was born December 15th, 2005 to Libra Smith and Anthony Hicks Sr. He had a very complicated birth which led to an emergency C-section which led to me being knocked out to repair my cervix which led to him being in the NICU for 3weeks.

When I brought my muffin home, I surely didn't know the rollercoaster I was getting on.  I brought him home to a house that was in the process of being foreclosed on and we had to move ASAP!

I went back to work 3 weeks after having Anthony because we needed money and I had to take care of my son.

During this process, we moved into an apartment I secured so we would have a roof.  Not the best area, however, it was home for my son and family.

When I found out Anthony who I affectionately call Moo, would have a difficult life I refused to believe it. I absolutely wouldn't accept that he wouldn't have typical functionality. You know you go to the hospital to have a baby thinking all would be well and that's not the case.

It was a very hard time to hear so many tell me something was wrong, I was struggling to process all of that. At the age of 25 years old I was still learning life and here I was being told shit wasn't right with my son, my 1st born. How is this even possible.

Fast forward to now, I am accepting and open to all diagnosis. I have learned that the diagnosis means nothing. It's what you make it, yes, there are challenges that come with the territory, HOWEVER, I would've never found myself had I not had my son. I wouldn't even know who Libra is. I went through the difficult periods just to get to the other side of pain.  It was grueling and sometimes I wanted to quit, however, when I looked at my son, who doesn't get to quit, I knew I had no right to insult him in that way. How dare I quit when he doesn't get to quit.

When we hear the diagnosis, we instantly have a funeral, mourning the fairytale we've created. We then implement the very things that come with the diagnosis. For instance, with my youngest son Lyric, he has Autism and because of the diagnosis, he will experience sensory challenges. This doesn't mean I need to handicap him by watching him like a hawk, what it means is be aware of it so you can help him through it. We stop the natural order of process, to protect our children. Let them fall and hurt themselves so they can learn.

Don't take away the human experience from your children with a special need. Treat them just like you would any other child as long as it's not causing harm or discomfort.

Allow your children the space to develop. When a baby learns to crawl they learn to stand then walk. Our special babies can do the same if you believe in them and allow them the space to do it. Otherwise, you are developing the diagnosis instead of correcting the symptoms of the diagnosis.

You Can Still Find Love

After separating from Jaylen and Jada’s birth father, I’ve always thought it would be just us. I felt as though no one would accept that one of my children has with special needs. I also kinda didn’t want anyone to feel the need to take on the burdens I was carrying. What’s that says?” Love will come when you least expect ?”

In 2004 I lost contact with my high school sweetheart before graduating high school. In 2005 we reconnected through an unfortunate way. I found out he was in a bad accident which resulted in him losing one of his legs. We talked a lot while he was in the hospital.  During that time he was in a relationship and so was I.

During this time I was on to having my 2nd child.  Once I had Jada our phone conversations became more frequent. I even started picking Terence up to ride with me to take Jaylen to the doctor. He would even go with me to the hospital for emergencies. Terence was just there.  Him being there made a big difference. One day while coming from the doctor he asked if I could see us being more than just friends? As bad as I wanted to say “Yeah” that day, I, instead said maybe! Well, I guess he had other plans, because, before he got out the car he kissed me! I never told Terence this,  but that whole ride home I smiled internally lol. It felt just like it did when we dated in high school. I had butterflies all over again!

So you know that thing I said at the beginning about it just being me and my kids?! Terence became apart of the equation lol. Somehow I knew he would one day be my husband, however, I was still unsure of how he would do with my kids. When we went on outings I would watch how he interact with them.  Terence was scared to interact with the kids, and I honestly didn’t want him too. Sounds crazy right?! After awhile he got use to the kids and they got use to him.  Things seemed to be going pretty well.  It wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen in a year, eventually started to bond.

In 2012 Terence and I got married  and in 2014 Terence adopted Jaylen and Jada. In 2016 his biological daughter came to live with us. We became a happy blended family. Just from looking at us, you wouldn’t be able to tell that we are a blended family. Terence and I laugh all the time when people say Jaylen looks like him. But they also say Terence look like my Daddy.

Love will definitely find you when you least expect it. I’m not saying to date every man you meet and introduce them to your child, however, what I am saying is let love find you. Terence is the best thing to happen to us even though I don’t tell him that lol. And I feel like when we lost touch in high school it was only to bring us back together to be even closer.

Love vs. Respect

 

We often look at a union (whether married or not) as just love when in fact it's about respect and then love.  You can love someone to the core, however, if you do not respect the person you are in a union with, you have nothing.

We confuse the 2, we say, "oh I just love him or her", however, what I don't ever hear anyone say is how much respect they have for their partner.  Respect is much better than love and here is why, knowing the person's boundaries, adhering and being transparently open is a hard thing to do. Something love just can't do. Love will distort your thoughts on how you should operate in your union.  You can love someone and steal dishonor them if you have a lack of respect.

Ever hear that saying, 1st comes love then comes marriage? Well, 1st comes respect and then comes love.  We have to learn to have talks with our partner about what our feelings and needs are. How to compromise so everyone is happy. We tend to treat relationships as a one-sided deal when it's not.