Big, brown eyes the color of a Hershey bar. Thick, luxurious black hair that falls to near her waist in a mass of curls and ringlets. (She didn't get that hair from me, her mother!) A round, pink-cheeked face. A grin that lights up the entire room.
That is Destinie, my eight-year-old daughter. She is absolutely gorgeous, if I do say so myself. (She favors her daddy in looks.)
I am proud to be her mother. I can't imagine my life without her.
Destinie Joy Hope is a child with special needs. One can see that immediately when they first lay eyes upon her. She is in a wheelchair (has never been able to walk, and she probably never will) and cannot talk all that much. Destinie had cerebral palsy; it was caused by a lack of oxygen to her brain and it left its mark with spastic, unco-operative arms and legs and an inability to control her head, trunk, arms, and legs. She requires a lot of care, but as her mother, I am willing and glad to do it.
Anything to make her more comfortable and happy. As long as it helps her, I will be there for my child. I love her that much.
I'm just glad she's my only child. I don't know what I would do if I had another (younger) child to take care of when Destinie needs so much care. She cannot feed herself (I have to feed her via a tube in her belly; I pour the liquid suppliment into an IV bag and I hook it up to her feeding tube; it takes about an hour to feed her this way; I let gravity do the work) nor go to the restroom (she has to wear diapers; Destinie is not toilet trained), and I have to dress and undress her.
Sometimes she gets sick and ends up in the hospital. When she is there, my husband takes care of things at home (the bills, the yard, etc.) and I can spend all my time with Destinie. It is not an easy life, especially when Des gets sick, but God has brought her through and I know He made her this way for a specific reason.
Thank God my church family accepts her, which is more than I can say for some of my neighbors. Some of my neighbors look at me with pitying looks upon their faces or stare at Des as if she has AIDS or some other terrible disease; it makes me very uncomfortable. Destinie is not an object to be pitied; she is a little child who so happens to be severely disabled and that wasn't even her fault!
When Destinie is at school, I worry about her constantly. I always end up calling her teachers several times a day, to make sure that she is doing okay. I am sure some of them must think I am a crackpot or something, but seeing that Destinie is so medically fragile, anything can happen and I want to make sure that all is well. It's what is known as being a good parent who is only concerned for her daughter.
I do like it when Destinie is at school, though, to tell you the truth. That way, I can spend time with Bruce (husband) and get some needed errands (shopping, laundry, etc.) done. And I can even take a nap if there is not much to do. (My husband doesn't work; he was injured in the service and gets a small VA pension; it's not much, but God somehow always provides for all our needs!)
I just wish more people could see Destinie for whom she really is instead of seeing just the wheelchair, her feeding tube, her spasticity, or the fact that she cannot walk or talk. It truly makes me angry when people say she is mentally disabled when she is anything but! She happens to be very smart: her eyes and face are her greatest communication devices and she can easily tell me in her own special fashion just how she is feeling. I can read Destinie like a book; once you learn her tricks (or her sounds), it's very easy to know what's on her mind, though she cannot verbally express it.
Well, it's time to make supper for Bruce and myself (and get Destinie's "supper", PediaSure Nutritional Suppliment) ready, so I will run along. I will write in here another time; until later this is Cassie Devoreaux saying so long and God bless!
~Cassie Hope Broussard, Abbeville (Meaux), Louisiana.