Thursday, March 28, 2013

Worries and Blessings

Someone very special has a birthday tomorrow! My 'baby' will be 18 years old, and I am having the toughest time wrapping my brain around that. It was just yesterday that she crawled into my arms after having her second brain tumor surgery at age 18 months. Although it would take another year for her adoption to be finalized, that day our hearts joined as one.

The stages of her growth have always been interesting, to say the least. The move from babyhood to toddler, with all its developmental milestones, both those missed and those achieved. The transition to school and her lifelong love of big yellow busses. Those hormone rich years of teenagery, so many tears, so many new experiences, so! And now, the path to adulthood begins. And while Ashley is embracing it with all the gusto she can muster, I am having a tough time.

The school years, whether easy or rough or somewhere in-between, do offer a bit of comfort. You know where your child will be every day. You know they will be surrounded by similar aged children. You know there are protections in place to ensure your child's well-being (most of the time). But what will adult services bring? What I have explored so far is not bringing me much comfort.

Ashley needs a new aide at home. The current aide is moving on, much to our sadness. Finding aides is such a difficult process, especially finding someone who is reliable and respectful of your family member. We've been very lucky so far, but now I feel my luck is running out.

I've decided to look at other options - things like day support programs. Their hours are not good, and won't allow me to work a full day. Ashley's peers at day support become adults, people from her age on up to much older. I'm not thrilled with that. I've toured the day support programs in my area, and none appeal to me.

I've considered using an agency to provide an in-home aide. Unfortunately, when I tried that with Ronnie, the results were not good. The quality of the staff available left a lot to be desired.

I just don't know what to do but I am running out of time.

And then what happens when Ashley graduates from school? We've got a while yet, but the future as it looks right now is quite frightening. If only I were a little closer to retirement. I've got 6 more years, but Ashley only has at most 4 more years she can stay in school.

But for tomorrow, I am going to set aside all those worries. I'm going to celebrate my beautiful daughter and the special woman she is becoming. My life is so, so blessed...


Lucy said...

This is when I wish you lived here. We have at least two outstanding, well established programs here: The Enrichment Center. I could so easily see Ashley thriving at either one.

I'm so hopeful something amazing exists in your home city and that you just haven't found it yet.

Ashley's Mom said...

Lucy, I'm not opposed to moving sometime in the future!

I noticed that the Enrichment Center is affiliated with ARC. I am going to visit our ARC organization on Monday to check it out. My oldest daughter attended there many years ago, and I didn't care for it at all. I'm hoping I will find positive changes in both their programs and facilities. I'll keep you posted!

Lucy said...

It deleted my other link, gah!

Winston Salem Industries for the Blind: