Monday, March 10, 2008

The Call...

"It’s the children, “my” kids who inspire me to pursue a career as an Early Childhood Special Educator. It’s a little girl with long kinky hair and thick pink glasses, her laughter echoing across the playground as she swings through the air in an attempt to kick the sky. It’s a beautiful baby boy with gleaming eyes, oblivious to the evil virus lurking in his body. It’s a toddler using her walker and braces to walk across the living room to give you a hug, smiling despite her pain. It’s an autistic preschooler, in my Sunday School class, with fire in his eyes smiling exclaiming loudly when you walk in the room, “my teacher!” The Lord has allowed these incredible little ones to come into my life and steal my heart so that I would discover my true calling.
There is nothing quite like falling in love with these incredible and mysterious children, the peacemakers, who radiate such love and devotion towards life despite their pain. I have been privileged to care for many miracle babies and one in particular who is living out her last days with laughter in her heart – A toddler who has a rare neurological disorder, which has no treatment or cure. Who would have thought that the grandest inspiration for a person’s future plans could be encapsulated in a package so tiny? Elianna, her name means my God has answered me, and this little girl herself is an answered prayer. She is the little girl who would never walk. The little girl who would never make it to the age of two, the little girl who would not eat, the little girl who would not sleep, the little girl so silent – always smiling. Her big brown eyes shimmering like diamonds and dark wavy hair, black as night radiating in a soft crown around her head.
Elianna, a child born to fragile for this world, a baby whose apple breath warmed my neck as I held her as close as possible to me, holding her down on this earth afraid she would float away as quickly as she came, knowing in an instant she would be gone. Her smile and shortly after, her laughter like a garden in late summer, continually active with crawly things and flowers swaying in the warm august breezes. A porch swing creaking under the weight of old lover’s, hand-in-hand, enjoying the sunset over mountain peeks. The times of force feeding her supplements in attempt to make her grow, the doctors who scratched their heads at test results. Prayers said into the wee hours of the morning, at the top of the stairs, to keep her breathing through the night… “just one more breath Lord, just one more breath” The final goodbye, watching from a distance, letting her go physically, but holding on to that last bit of sweetness, of innocence… watching her struggle away happily, with her pink leg braces and red walker. The paradox of innocence and wisdom combined in a package so small. Despite the prayers, knowing in the tunnels of my heart that the next time I saw her would be in a tiny coffin. She is dying, leaving this world behind in a slow sequence of body system shut downs, first her ability to crawl, to speak, to eat, and then to breathe.
I guess the reason why I want to obtain a degree in Early Childhood Special Education is a bit of a selfish motive. I want to remember all that Elianna has taught me about the peace of life and what is really important – Loving every spirit, no matter how small or damaged the physical package may be. I want to surround myself with children who I can teach. So that maybe, through their successes, can live long and happy lives. I want to help save children… because I couldn’t save Ellie. "

I wrote these words a few years ago, and they still are meaningful to me, but now need to do more, I feel led to be a missionary, to love the unlovable, to touch the untouchable. to live and breath service. Sometimes i wish that it wasn't taboo to spend extra time in college because i think i would triple major and triple minor...

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