I Found the Beautiful

Last week was tough. I am learning what the ups and downs of any diagnosis are. Certainly I am blessed, this difference is more common today than ever and its not the end of the world or even a life. Its a new path we must navigate as a family. Even with the support of Serrie's immediate and extended family I forget that there are those not known to her that truly are angels in disguise.

This morning after therapy I packed the five kiddos into the car to visit and photograph a group of women who make Waldorf Dolls. Those who know me know that I have an obsession with Waldorf inspired toys. They are typically natural and allow children to enhance play with their imagination. Years ago, Santa brought three amazing Bamboletta dolls to my oldest three girls. I then gifted their cousin Clare with a Bamboletta while she was suffering with cancer. Clare passed and her Bamboletta returned to our care and she is truly a gift I will always keep.

When Seraphina was first diagnosed with ASD, I read that children on the spectrum like weighted blankets and stuffed animals. I headed to ETSY and found a store that made weighted dolls and fell in love. MimiDesign20 was exactly what I wanted in a baby for Serrie and instantly I began a conversation. As many autism parents do, I had already bought anything and everything any therapist, doctor or nurse had recommended and I was trying to find anything and everything to fix this diagnosis. Shortly before pulling the plug on ordering I got cold feet. I knew the time wasn't right but could not pin point it.

I believe EVERYTHING happens for a reason. This diagnosis is no exception. My holding off on the order was no exception either. Last week after what was a tiring week full of struggles and overwhelming messes I decided Seraphina would have one of these amazing dolls from Mimi. She had to. I ordered and then everything happened as it should. The owner of the shop realized one of her Doll Mom's lived in my town. She suggested I could pick it up from her in town AND save money. Just yesterday while chatting she mentioned needing photos of her team and since I enjoy taking photos, I offered. I always believe that good comes to those who offer good out. Today it truly did.

After driving a little over an hour, we stepped into this beautiful home with tile floors and wooden beams as I looked around it was obvious to me that Seraphina was not going to do well. Immediately she had her eye on a little girl and her doll. She asked the kind mama and she lovingly handed it to Serrie. I apologized and tried to get it back but her little grip was tight. She was not budging. Finally I got it away and though we moved on, Seraphina had not.

I tried to begin taking photos of these peaceful, kind mamas and Serrie screamed until I finally understood that she truly wanted the doll. I looked, embarrassed at these moms whose children were behaving impeccably. The mom who had initially given it to her jumped up and as I apologized profusely I simply said "I am sorry, she's autistic and she just doesn't always get it". She smiled, looked me in the eyes and knowingly gave Serrie the doll. She immediately stopped crying, began to nurture the baby and the mom let me know she had family that was also autistic.

At that moment the wind was nearly knocked out of me. All that I believed to be true about autism not being beautiful had a beauty to it. This mom whom I did not know, generously and kindly handed my child a doll right from her little ones hands and it went farther than that. In a moment of quiet, she took me aside and let me know Serrie could have it.

As I drove, Serrie snuggled the baby under her little arm. She covered her with a blanket and drifted off to sleep. In the past 4 months I have tried to find something to calm and soothe her. I tried to find something besides me that would give her comfort and in an instant, this mother, this stranger, this angel who knew not of Serrie nor I an hour earlier found that comfort and gave it not only to my sweet girl but to me as well.

Today I found the beauty. Its not in autism itself but in the truly loving people around the world and how they react to the children who have this disability.

So all you Mama's looking to find something that will help your wee ones, special needs or not, check out Mimi and her sewing mamas because they don't just create dolls they create beauty in life

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