One day someone shared a poem with me by Emily Pearl Kingsley called “Welcome to Holland”. If you have not read the poem, it talks about how you have this dream of having the perfect child and the perfect life but you end up having a child with developmental disabilities and have to learn a whole new way of life. I live by this motto every day now. I’ve learned that everything that comes into our lives is something to be grateful for. The hard times are often the greatest teacher. I heard a quote that “if you shield the mountain from the windstorms, you will never see the beauty of the carvings”. This is so true; you can really see that all the things that show up in your life are like a plan for you to move into higher and higher places.
So that is how I felt when Christopher came into my life and we received that autism diagnosis. It took me a while, but I discovered that he was sent to me for a reason. I rose up and said “I TAKE ON THE CALLENGE, BRING IT ON”. I know I am strong enough to do this. See, I came from a “yes” place in my life where I was always saying “yes” to people and never really valued myself, so I would get stepped on a lot. I was the kind of girl that would say “Oh, please don’t leave me, I’ll do anything, just don’t leave me” in my relationships. That kind of girl that was vulnerable had low self esteem and wanted to be liked by everyone.
Boy did that change after Christopher was born. I had no energy for that silly stuff anymore. This little child (which had so many issues since birth) was changing me. I had a no-nonsense kind of attitude from then on. If you weren’t on board with what my life was like now, then step aside because I had work to do.
When we got to the diagnosis of autism and sensory processing disorder, we were told he needed Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and maybe Sensory Processing Therapy. WHAT? I was supposed to be a stay-at-home-mom now. How can we afford that? So I went through all the channels of applying for any kind of financial assistance that I heard of. We didn’t qualify for anything. What were we going to do now? So I got myself a little part time job working nights and weekends in retail. It still didn’t cut it.
So as I thought about how I was going to come up with extra money to pay for these therapies that he needed, I decided to sell some of his baby stuff at Mom to Mom Sales. I got such a charge from making a lot of money so fast that I decided to do a couple more and then decided to hold a Benefit Garage Sale for Christopher to further my excitement of making fast cash. After some planning and work, I had a very successful garage sale among other fundraisers.
You have to be willing to take the opportunities that are going to pull you out of your comfort zone. When you do that you find out what you’re really made of and you discover that person you were born to be. I knew Christopher was given to me so that I would help him and pass on my experiences to help others through my words. In order to do this, I created a book called “Fundraising For a Personal Cause- A “How To” Workbook for Families which is available on Amazon.com. I figured that was the best way for me to be able to reach as many families as possible.
When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change! That is so important to remember. Find the strength within yourself because you have the potential to do extraordinary things. Take away your fear and doubt so you can move forward and achieve great things in your life. Get present to your commitment (your child, your family, your finances) instead of your circumstances (fear, doubt, money, time, failure) and miracles will happen. Let go of your “what if’s” and “maybe’s”. If I can accomplish something like raising money for my son, so can you.