Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Shaya Hits A Homerun

This short film brought tears to my eyes. I hope it has an effect on you as well.

(Ben's story will continue...)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Back At Last!

I stared at the email for another minute, and then reached for the phone to call Ben's new foster mom. No, that's a lie sorry. First I did a little dance.

A very nice woman answered the phone. I could hear a lot of screaming children in the background, but there was something about the woman’s tone that put me at ease. I introduced myself as Mindy, one of the therapists who worked with Ben. We spoke for a few minutes, and then I set up a time to come over to the house.

Boy, did I count down the days. I was also extremely apprehensive, and when the day finally came, I was a strange mix of excitement and nerves. As I headed towards Ben’s new place, I was worried that he wouldn’t remember me. What if he didn’t want to see me at all? What if he showed no emotion? What if he was a changed child? I honestly had no idea what the poor child had encountered over the three months since I had last seen him… not knowing it would be the last time for three months. I suppose if I’d have known, I would have somehow said goodbye for now. I would have created a special signal between just us, so he would be reminded of me when we met again. The thoughts were flooding my mind, and I realized it was time to block them. The bottom line is, Ben was back, and I was on my way to see him after all this time. A miracle!

The real miracle, however, came a bit later.

I knocked on the door. A really friendly woman answered, introducing herself as Lisa. She was holding a three month old little baby boy. She walked me up the stairs and I saw two cribs, each containing toys, stuffed animals, and a twin girl. As I walked into the room, the girls grabbed onto the bars of their cribs and stared wide eyed. One of them had dirty blonde hair and big blue eyes. The other had curly black hair and striking brown eyes. I almost didn’t believe they were twins.

“Their names are Lynn and Danielle,” Lisa said.

I walked over to their cribs and started to talk and smile at them. I took one of their stuffed animals and playfully pretended to have it kiss them on the neck. They didn’t know if they should laugh or cry. I took a step back.

“They were abused children, Mindy,” Lisa told me. They were badly neglected. They just need time to warm up to you.

I felt my heart breaking for the girls. Lisa also told me that Jordan, the baby, was born to a mom on drugs. “That’s why his limbs are stiff,” she explained.

I couldn’t believe it. How could parents do this to children? I was angry, sad, shocked, and personally hurt all at the same time. I just wanted to take these kids home and give them everything they wanted. I felt a tear escape from my eye as I watched them, almost forgetting why I had come to the house in the first place.

But then, I heard the pitter patter of feet. Ben appeared at the top of the next level of stairs. I turned slightly to meet eyes with him, and gave him a huge smile. “Ben!!” I cried.

No response.

I put my bag of toys down and waited. He slowly walked over, his eyes cautiously on mine.

And then he ran. Into my arms. I held him tight and didn’t let go.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Plea and Promise

I'm a person forced to belong in a world I do not understand.
I respond to that world with behaviors, which you do not understand.
Here is my plea.

Approach me gently and quietly.
Present your world with compassion and kindness.
Be patient with my rejection, respect my world.
And at least initially, allow me to find solace in that world.

Never give up on me.
Never give into my autism.
But believe in me as a fellow human being.
Take time for me, be kind to me, entrust your compassion to me.
And we both shall gain.
You too, will find your world more joyous.
For together we will be challenged to confront life.

With strength of character and determination of spirit,
You will find new meaning to your world as I challenge you.
To teach me, it is worth entering.
Your mission will not be an easy one.
The rewards along the way will be small and few.
But together we shall walk hand in hand.
Facing your world with delight.

Your life will be enriched because you have touched mine.
I promise you.


Monday, October 1, 2007

A Very Exciting Email!

I was home from my vacation for about a week, when I woke up one morning and sat down to check my email. There was one message from my supervisor at work. The email was very short, sweet and to the point; thus, not very explanatory. However, I didn't care. Not one bit. Maybe that's because the email went something like this:

"Mindy, Ben can resume services. He is now at 1267 Carabou Blvd. His Foster mom is Lisa."

She proceeded to list her phone number at the end of the email.

I stared at the email, unable to blink.