When I first met Isaiah, it was through a glass wall. Not the traditional way to meet your child, but the right way for us.
He was minutes old and the nurse held him up for us to see. My heart burst and broke all at once. We had waited so long for our beautiful boy and he was right there. I ached for his tears as they poked and prodded him, and couldn’t wait until I could hold him in my arms.
And hold him I did. It was three days before we could leave the hospital, Texas adoption law, and I held him from 7am to 9pm every one of those days.
When Isaiah was born, in 2005, I was prepared for anything. Being born through the miracle of adoption I didn’t need to read all the versions of “What to Expect…” so instead I read every parenting book I could get my hands on.
I was ready for him, ready for the ups and downs, and fairly confident I could do it. I had 3 different slings, glass baby bottles, organic formula (back when you could only order it online) and a co-sleeper. I had pre-screened a pediatrician who was aware that we would be arriving from Texas when he was 2 weeks old. You name it, I had it covered.
Or so I thought.
What you are never prepared for are the things that only happen to other people.
By the time Isaiah was 6 weeks old we began to understand that things were not going to go as planned. From there began my path to becoming an advocate, and grew in to my passion for advocacy.
I learned very quickly that without pressure and perseverance my child would not get the best health care or the best services. I learned to put my foot down, demand answers and to walk away if that was the right thing to do.
I learned that even though I had no control over the chemicals that went into his body before he became mine, I needed to make it my priority to care about them now that he was.
12 years ago, if you had told me that people would be emailing me, calling me, seeking my help so they could get their child the help they needed; so that they could make the right decisions about nutrition and understand organics; well, I may have believed you, but I would have been surprised.
I am here because I have been there. I am there. Advocating for your child is a never-ending job, but it is the most important job you will ever have.