We all have a personal definition of success; power?, money?, love?, peace?, it doesn’t matter what it looks like as long as it makes you happy. Suffice it to say my personal goals are of a more manageable proportion. In fact, I’m not so sure that most of the great things that have happened in my life ever were “goals”.
“Stuff” happened in my life that was not so much ‘planned’, more along the lines of fallen into. Becoming a cheerleader in highschool happened because a friend needed someone to try out with; getting elected Vice President of my residence hall in college happened because a friend needed a running mate, who knew they would split the ticket; living overseas happened without my help, travel in southeast asia the same; finding the love of my life happened when I opened a door not expecting to find love; and children happened because we decided to give Foster Parenting a “try”. None of these had been goals of mine, I guess I have just been incredibly lucky.
Perhaps the only goal that I have ever had was to start Indigo Wings Incorporated, www.indigowingsinc.com, a Gallery and Studio where people with disabilities can come together, create and sell beautiful works of art. I’m not sure when the idea began to form, except that it was during the time when our Foster kids needed services that were not available to them.
When a pregnant woman drinks, the alcohol stays in the amniotic fluid for roughly seven days, that means, if you have a drink once a week, your fetus is swimming in booze or drugs or whatever you consume, all the time! The results can vary greatly, the baby can have relatively minor complications or severe cognitive impairments. Brains develop early in pregnancy, so you can imagine how many children are affected by the drinking their parents did without knowing they were pickling their baby’s brain. Sometimes it’s expressed as being really bad at math, or anxiety, or mental health issues as they struggle through puberty and continue to haunt them in adulthood.
Six of our foster children were available for adoption, again six kids was never a goal, yet we adopted them all. We really had no choice, by the time a decision was made that they could not return to the people who had given them life, we couldn’t say no.
All of their birth mothers were “poly-drug-users”, each was affected differently so we continued to support them in any way we could think of. We traveled with them, went on so many camping adventures, they tried soccer, gymnastics, dance, scouts, and hobbies. Creativity was the one unifying factor, expressed in different ways so that it was more supportive than competitive. We had a huge play room, most of the basement, plenty of dress up clothes and puppets, as well as entire cities made out of large cardboard cartons, an indoor slide and more. Yes, there was plenty of dancing in the rain.
My life has been far less about planning than living. There have been so many beautiful memories and adventures. Luckily I have had an incredible cast of family and friends without whom none of this would have happened.
Our children are now adults and most of them are sharing Indigo Wings with me. They love me enough to try to make my dream come true and for that I am truly grateful.