Choosing A Path

Since I began writing my Messy Blessy Momma blog its included stories of success and failure. It has featured moments where I probably should have kept quiet and moments where perhaps I said something that made the day better for someone else. In the past eight months however much of this blog has had a focus on our journey with Autism. I call this journey, #serriesstory. Though Seraphina is just one person in our family of 7, she is a component that has truly changed our family in the past year in ways we never expected and I will say for the most part, its only been for the better.

The choice to fight for a diagnosis was difficult. Though I had understanding of autism, I feared hearing those actual words and when I did consult medical professionals, they quelled my fears explaining her behaviors away with the fact that she is child number five. Choosing to get her help was scary. Its was paperwork for days, and that is no exaggeration. I have spent countless hours with a phone to my ear explaining her story, sobbing through difficult moments and laughing when I get messages like the one I did today..."is something going on? Serrie refuses to wear socks, shoes or pants in school". This is my life and without humor it would be a downward spiral into depression. Depression. I think for a few months, I was in fact depressed. Friends left. Friends I trusted didn't know what to say or how to support our family and so they quietly stepped aside. I understand. I grew in friendship as well. People who were just acquaintances have become people I lean on in difficult times and what I thought I needed in life for friendship, I realize I don't. This journey has impacted us all. I have watched my son mature to quietly proclaim a moment today when his sister asked to take his hand as "a special moment". I have seen my oldest child blossom in ways I cannot put into words and I have seen my seven year old become a therapist almost overnight. Each child in this family has been impacted by this diagnosis as much as myself and my husband. This diagnosis isn't who Seraphina is, this diagnosis is simply a part of who she is.

That being said, this diagnosis has brought amazing gifts. I have finally learned what I want to do when I grow up. After having Seraphina and nearly dying we made the decision that we would not have more children (God willing). That being said, I wondered where my life would go and just what I would do? I had been pregnant or nursing since 2004. That was years where my only job, the only thing to do was grow babies and nurse them. Who would I be when our youngest went to school? Her diagnosis has shown me.

Today I am taking this diagnosis head on. I am choosing to educate myself and others. I am taking classes to become a better care provider for my child. We have had a few months to let it sink in. We have had a few months to face words that I never wanted to hear. We have had a few months to encounter people who don't understand this disability and how it impacts so many children today. We have been stared at, glared at, laughed at and we have been "blessed". We have had a few months to watch how each milestone means so much more with the knowledge that the milestones couldn't have even been considered a year ago.

And so today I am choosing to take this blog in a new direction. It will share stories of our family but it will also share stories of autism. It will focus on autism in our life and how it impacts us. It won't always be perfect but it will be real.

So please, join us, not just to hear our story but to learn how you can make a difference for children with autism and the families that love them.


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