I'm back home. Kevin & the kids did great without the mama!
The Family Voices Conference was amazing! I met the most incredible moms with children with disabilities! The speakers were great, the food was yummy, AND I really clicked with my roomie! We learned leadership skills, navigating the system, and even had a fun "True Colors" personality test.
But the best part was being able to talk and connect with other moms who "know" and understand the challenges and joys of having a child with special needs. No matter the type of disability or "label" we found that we basically have struggles with the same issues.
I came away renewed, refreshed, and refueled. Besides really connecting with my roomie--I got to meet another amazing mom who adopted a little girl with special needs from Russia. We walked around the town of Edgley for over an hour sharing, talking, and crying. She was a huge encouragement to me and has an incredible story of her own!
At the end of the weekend, we paired up with buddies and committed to a personal goal. My goal, along with another Minot mom, is to use these skills we honed to ressurect our Down syndrome support group.
One presenter called this type of weekend, which is held all over the US, a "federally-funded respite". I went into this conference with skeptism and worry. But I left with hope, skills, and over 20 new friends from around our state! Thanks, Family Voices! (www.fvnd.org)