Marcia was just like all of us, excited to have her first child, until she received the news of complications. Her daughter in utero , was diagnosed with Down syndrome and hydrocephalus. She was told her daughter would most likely, not survive. Marcia didn’t care what doctors said, she was planning and looking forward to meeting her daughter. After a cesarean section and a NICU stay, Marcia and her husband welcomed Ali into the world. Fast forward 20 years, to a happy, thriving Ali.
Those years she was raising Ali brought on many questions. Marcia didn’t know anything about raising a child with Down syndrome. But she remembered back to a time when she drove a special needs bus and a sweet little girl with Down syndrome named Ashley stole her heart. She had gotten to know Ashley’s mom, so one day she gave her a call. Ashley’s mom was there for Marcia to answer any question she had. The relationship between one mom, who has already walked in another mom’s shoes was priceless and is still a thriving relationship today.
Every mom has a story to tell. Whether it be how your child took a year to potty train, or how your child has autism. We all have walked the road so many other moms have, are, and will walk. Your story can bring courage to a mom who has a premature baby. Your story can bring hope to a mom who has lost a child. Your story, whatever it may be, may be exactly what another mom needs to hear. What dentist is the best dentist for a child with sensory issues? How do you handle your daughter with Down syndrome starting her period? What resources are available in the public school for your child who has autism? These are all questions moms might need to ask and have no one to answer them.
Here in Oklahoma we have a nonprofit resource , The Oklahoma Family Network, that supports parents helping parents by sharing their experiences, knowledge and hope to others who have children with a disability, behavioral health or other chronic health condition. And they are in need of moms, just like you, who might be willing to connect with another mom and share your experience, as a supportive parent. Are you a mom who could share your story with another mom who faces the same issues and challenges you might have faced? Would you like to help?
Here’s how it works:
- You would meet with Marcia of OFN to share your story
- Complete a short 4 hour training
- You would then be available to be “matched” with another family who is going through the same thing you and your family has gone through
- You can connect with them via phone, email, or face to face
The gift of sharing your experience as a mom is needed, wanted, and appreciated by other Oklahoma moms. Marcia would love to talk with you more if you are interested in being a supportive parent. You can email her at [email protected] or call 405-632-9585. For more information visit www.oklahomafamilynetwork.org