Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Scrapbook - Photo 7

Here is the last part. By the way, I have some more to add to the parts that I already completed (a couple of things I just remembered), and I will be editing the entire story. Once I do this, I will put the entire scrapbook story together as a posting(hopefully this week). In the meantime, if you want to see the other parts, here they are - photo 1, photo 2, photo 3, photo 4, photo 5, and photo 6.

The last section of the scrapbook involves my adult life prior to Quinn’s arrival. We see a photo of a wedding day. The photo shows the wide smiles of a newly married couple, but I now know that the smiles would be far wider had we really known the three beautiful children that we would someday have – including the one that we would chose to have despite the scare of a prenatal diagnosis. We see photos of the birth of our two sons, who are blessed to have the beautiful sister that they now have. They will become better men because of her. I now realize that during pregnancy and childbirth I was na├»ve and took having a healthy baby for granted. Another lesson that I learned from Quinn, for it wasn’t until my third child that I truly realized that having a child is truly a miracle – especially when you have one that has 47 chromosomes. In this section of the scrapbook we see photos of my work with adolescents, some of whom had mild cognitive disabilities or learning disabilities. We can see the passion I have for my career in these photos, but I sometimes missed important things that I now clearly see today – especially the hurtful use of the r-word. There is no more ignoring it for me. In addition, at this time depicted in the scrapbook, I would talk with these young people about what their experiences mean to them, including the experience of having a disability. However, I now know that I was not as fully connected to these discussions as I could have been in my heart and soul, like I am today. For example, recently I spoke with a young man who called himself the r-word and with tears in his eyes, he asked for my opinion of him. This was one of the most significant moments of my career. I felt Quinn’s presence with me and guiding me.

Having Quinn in my life has brought more insight and reflection than I ever imagined. Some people have told me that it is their belief that I was selected to be a mother of a child with special needs given my experiences and personality. I really don’t think this is the case. I am just like everyone else and it was the roll of the dice that Quinn became my daughter. 47 chromosomes just came with the roll. However, I do think there were significant moments in my life that led me to this point and how I would cope once Quinn entered my life. I think everyone has these moments, whether they want to see them or not. If you ask anyone to reflect upon their life after some significant event, I think they could come up with a similar tale as I have. To me, it is truly remarkable how throughout my life Quinn was with me even though I did not know it. She was there, guiding me through good moments and bad. This scrapbook of sorts – even if it is just my memories – really demonstrates my little girl’s presence throughout my life. I love you, Quinn; thank you for going on this journey with me. Thank you for this beautiful scrapbook that you have given me. I will treasure it always. I am honored to be your mommy.

-Karyn

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