Every Child has a dream to live in their own place like a house or a apartment. Sometimes with their supportive family members and Supportive Staff Members too will help guide them through. A child that has with Down syndrome and a child not with Down syndrome too might need help.
My dream is to live on my own in an apartment Someday. I don’t know how long it will be. I been talking about it for a long time. As long as I can remember.
I am very super excited and super happy too to think about to live on my own. I want to be like my sisters Megan and Lindsay to live on their own.
When I move in an apartment Someday I want to have all different rooms that I want to decorate. I love my office area and into my kitchen and also in the Living room area too. I want to watch my movies and some TV shows and I really like and also really love to watch music concerts and videos too. And I love to listen to music a lot of times in my own apartment. And I also doing really good to cook my own breakfast and lunch and dinner on my own.
My Mom and Dad will think about me a lot probably and text me or call me when they want to come over to visit to my own apartment and to bring our dog Libby with them. They will check on things before they leave to go back to their home to make sure everything is good and okay. And I can call them every time I need something or if I am scared or need help.
Sometimes it take a long time to get to your dream and that is Okay and I still want to make my dream happen to live in a apartment on my own and I know that I will get there Someday.
For as long as we can remember. That’s how long we have been saying “someday” to the dream of Leah living independently in her own apartment. Since 2004, our family has found creative solutions to this dream, establishing, “Leah’s apartment,” in the numerous places my parents have lived over the years, which from 2010-2016, has been 6 different homes. Talk about a lot of work.
Establishing a suitable, sustainable living situation is a very real, very difficult subject that guardians of children with special needs must face for their entire life. I commend all parents, guardians, and organizations out there for this lifelong commitment of love to the beautiful individuals with special needs who need you.
For my family, I never thought I’d see the day where my parents bounced around as much as I do. However, their flexibility has been amazing for our family; they have been able to experience different areas of town, varied styles of homes…even another state when they moved to Texas for a year. Along the way, they’ve simplified. They’ve become experts at moving. They’ve learned that it isn’t the house that makes a place feel like home, rather the people in it, along with some family staples (i.e. our grand piano, my favorite comfy rug that goes in the living room, and mom’s extensive collection of family photos to adorn the spaces between). My parents will most likely settle in a home to purchase in 2017, after our family finally meets “someday,” and Leah gets her own place.
Next year, Leah may get her dream. My parents have recently connected with the organization Sheltering Tree in Nebraska. The mission of Sheltering Tree is to build affordable housing communities for people who have developmental disabilities, with a focus on helping them pursue their goals and dreams. My parents caught wind of the organization a few years back and started really pursuing it once they felt Leah was ready. She is now on the waiting list, and it is looking very promising that she will be able to move into her own apartment in 2017. Even though this isn’t a for sure deal, it has definitely given my family hope and the push we needed to continue making steps towards realizing Leah’s dream of independence.
I think the significant lesson here is to never lose sight of something that matters to you. With this, you must be willing to be flexible along the way. You must be patient. That said, I genuinely believe that if you dedicate your mind to a goal, you will slowly take steps to make it happen, and you will succeed. It may take a few months; it may take 13 years, but keep going.
One of the most influential people who I have been lucky enough to cross paths with, Micala, has a motto that has kept me going over the years, “lift and repeat.” We will meet obstacles. We will be thrown curveballs. And Lord knows, we will make mistakes. But from all of those things, we learn…boy, do we learn. We continue lifting and repeating and moving forward, always keeping that goal in sight.
“Sometimes it take a long time to get to your dream and that is Okay and I still want to make my dream happen to live in a apartment on my own and I know that I will get there Someday.”
A common theme in Upside Down’s posts has been that life often won’t look or go as we had expected, but if we approach the opportunities that are presented to us with an open heart and mind…everything falls into place in an organic, beautiful way, painting a far better picture than we could have ever initially envisioned. Leah’s dream of living on her own is no exception, and my family will lift and repeat until they make it happen.
Here’s to turning our minds Upside Down.