Wednesday, June 22, 2011
A topic I can't discuss with regular folk.
If you are too optimistic for my liking, don't want to face reality, or living in total denial, stop reading.. I can't talk about this subject with too many people, but I can type it on my blog - because its my blog. :)
The topic that only a select few even understand, and will talk to us about it openly without complete denial because we do live in the real world, is what happens to our children with special needs is something were to happen to us? Where do they go? Can someone, relative or not, even have the ounce of strength and understanding that I have? For our little people with Autism, and doing so much better then when they started on their journey, there is no precedent for these kiddos, whats going to happen to them? Will they be able to function in our, "typical" society? Will group home be their future?
I have talked to a select few family members about this scenario, almost because I don't want them to be totally out of left field if Ryan and I have to make these kinds of major decisions for Owen..Its almost as if I am warming them up to the idea, that yes, Owen is doing wonderful right now, but who knows in years to come, right?
If you are reading this, and you are a parent to a child that requires special needs, you are probably thinking to yourself, yup - I have totally ran these questions through my mind..and if you are a parent in general to a typical child, you are wandering why is this chick jumping to crazy conclusions when her son is only 4 yrs old? Here is why.
As I have had the wonderful opportunity to work for Bethesda, this job gave me insight that not many parents get to see, the agencies involved, and the preparation involved. Did you know, that some group home wait lists are over a 10 years long? If your child is able to live in your home, and causes no harm to others or themselves, these wait lists are extraordinarily long. Then if you are not prepared, and you are getting up there in age, you will not have the pick of the house you feel most confident in, and your child could be just put somewhere that you didn't have a say in. Scary, isn't it?
No, I am not saying that Owen's future will be this, believe me, I pray daily that it is not, but Ryan and I both know if we are put in the position to make this choice, then we will. We should know by the time Owen hits puberty where he will be, what kind of life he will have. I always say to Ryan, even if Owen just needs someone checking up on him, we have bought the perfect home. Our home used to have an apartment in the basement that we rented out to help with Owens therapy costs, and now is back to our basement. It still has a bathroom, 2 rooms, and a kitchen, with its own entrance, perfect for Owen if he was too require some assistance.
I can not tell Owen or hope for Owen for the life I thought I always dreamed for all 3 of my children, that is not place.. it has taken me this past year growing with Owen through his journey to realize that. Who am I to determine what makes someone happy in their lives? For me, I wanted to be married to the love of my life, have a daughter and 2 sons, own our own home, have a great job, and be loved..I am living my own happiness. Maybe for Owen, he doesn't want to get married? Maybe he wants to date, live in an apartment, own his own business ( he is amazing with numbers)..maybe he wants to cut grass for the rest of his life, be a writer as he loves his ABC's.. whatever it is, seeing him be happy will always make me happy.
I am not fortune teller, I can not predict the future, and whether I like it or not, I am ready for it. I am ready to make those choices that people are scared to even think about, because I know regardless, Owen is going to have a wonderful life, because he is loved unconditionally, to the end of the world and back.