You don't know who is truly behind you in this journey sometimes, sometimes you feel like you are all alone, embarking on a new adventure with just your flashlight and your knees shaking together. This is us.. Entering a new phase in our lives, and hearing from everyone we are here for you, just really, Ryan and I are taking this adventure alone with our little adventurer Owen. I feel this when we walk into a new assessment with some Doctor we have not met yet, or when we are on the phone numerous times with new workers and agencies, answering the same questions over and over again.. alone.
What helps me get through this, so I can be Owen's strength, and to reassure him that mommy and daddy are here, and we are not scared, we are your defenders.. its you guys. I think about what you write to me, when you call me at home just to see how everyone is doing, and when you ask my parents or my in-laws about us, that is what gets me through. Even though you can not be there with us, I am thinking about all your kind words and your prayers, and that is what gets us through that dark tunnel..
Speaking of people that understand to some degree of our struggle, are our co-workers. As you all know, Ryan and I both work for agenices that deal with adults/children with developmental disabilites and behavioural issues, some of these issues can be Autism. Our co-workers see the struggle sometimes, and see the struggle the parents go through, but also know the tools on managing these behaviours as well. I knew when we found out that Owen was Autistic, the people that would truly understand would be our co-workers, and both of us have confided in them very much lately, seeking advice, and just needing an understanding ear as well.
I think yesterday was one of the most over-whelming, loving, and supportive days so far during this new journey in our lives. My co-workers from Bethesda, came over to my home, and we had a shower in celebration of our new son Benjamin. We had tons of food, drinks, and a lot of laughs. It was time for me to open my gifts, and I could not even get through reading the card. Here is some of it -
"Vanessa.. remember last week when we were talking about Owen reaching his milestones? Here is something that will help you NEVER forget them! We love you so much and hope that this will help you catch all the memories and milestones for Owen, Maddie, and Ben!" oxox
I balled... and balled ... like a baby. Some of these friends I have worked with for 5 years, others, 4 months, and some worked just with Ryan.. these people, are amazing. They bought a Video Camera for our family, so we can document all the amazing little miracles in our childrens lives, especially right now, our Owen. Who thinks of this kind of gift? Loving and Supportive people, who I am lucky enough to call my friends, some of the most understanding people I have ever known.
For this, I could never thank them enough, but I will try and thank them for the rest of my life through Owen's progress. I love you all.
Oddly enough, Ryan also had a "different" kind of day at work yesterday evening, as I was celebrating my family, so was he. Ryan works part-time for a home for children with different degrees of Autism, and also has, very supportive co-workers. His one co-worker offered to help us organize a fundrasier for Owen, after hearing how much treatment costs.. amazing... just someone would put themselves out there like that, it just shows there are loving people out there.
Today, I am honestly just feeling very loved and very blessed.. and feeling so proud of Owen, that so many people have so much faith in his abilities and strengths.