I have a
planned out a list of 29 gifts but really, I am trying to be open to what comes up in a day or as I see a need arise, then I tackle that rather than something on my list.
This is one of those gifts that just came up in a moment of inspiration.
I donated 15 stuffed bumble bees and over 50 packages of stickers to CASA- Court Appointed Special Advocate.
A CASA volunteer helps children who have been removed from their family for whatever reason, typically due to abuse or neglect etc. I was hoping that they could cuddle this little Bee and know that someone was thinking of them. I attached a little note that said, "Bee Brave and Beelieve that angels are watching over you."
The beginning of December, I ran into an old friend of mine. I haven't seen her in probably 12 years. She use to be a PAT- Parent as teacher advocate. I enrolled in that program when Spencer was just three years old. She would come to the house once a month and do development testing and activities with him. I really enjoyed it. Once Sam was born, she started working with him. He really needed the extra help since he had missed many developmental milestones.
I'm not sure it was the parenting tips I enjoyed as much as the friendship I got from her. She was there at a very hard time; the kids had been really sick and diagnosed with SDS, I was separated, then divorced. Eventually, Sam outgrew the program and she wasn't able to come back.
When I saw her last month, she told me that since retiring from the college, she decided to start training to be a CASA volunteer. She is the perfect person for that. She has an older daughter with some major disabilities so she has a very soft heart. Her adventure got me thinking about some things we went through last summer.
Sam and I had to be involved in some really hard things that involved a potential lawsuit. Both of us were being prepped to take the stand as key witnesses and to testify against someone. I was nervous but Sam was terrified! I remember the day of court, we sat on the bench outside of the courtroom and I prayed so hard that somehow, Sam would be able to avoid testifying.
As it turned out, the attorney's were able to reach some agreements before the appointed time of court. I can't even describe how relieved and grateful I was.
Another court date rolled around this week, again and I thought of my CASA friend and how miserable it would be to be a child, torn away from your family! I knew I needed to do something for a gift.
It was awesome delivering that package this morning to my friend! We spent a lot of time catching up. I told her the kids were finally, officially diagnosed with Dyskertosis Congenita.
Tears welled up in her eyes! "Kathy, you were right all along! Something was wrong with your kids! I will never forget those early years when you were accused of not feeding them, having Munchhausen, people thought you were crazy, lying, they wanted to put cameras in your house and even went so far as to think you were possessed!"
Honestly, I try not to think about that period of time but she was right. It was horrible. We talked about how things have changed...or haven't changed. In a lot of ways, they haven't. I am still discounted even with a genetic confirmation. The raw emotion of this disease is ever fresh and new to me but boring to everyone else so you become isolated and lonely. She could relate since she has had similar feelings of isolation with her daughter. It wasn't fun remembering those days, but I did enjoy the connection we made again.
I pray those sweet kids find peace and a loving family to care for them! I really do. It was just a small thing but I'm so glad I was inspired to do it.