Hello there and welcome to my blog! My name is Charity, I’m a mom raising a bunch of kids. I was born in Miami, Florida and raised by my grandparents who are originally from Cuba. I am fluent in spanish and very proud of my heritage.
I have a special little girl named Sophie. Sophie was born with a rare genetic disorder called Cri du Chat syndrome. Having Sophie has re-shaped my life, my family and friends are what matter most to me, and my life revolves around them.
I’m a working mom and I also have a Delivery based bake shop after going after my dream of being a Pastry Chef. I’m a crafty person I enjoy cooking, baking, cake decorating, making jewelry, dancing, scrap booking, reading and whatever else I can get myself into. I’m not a big sports fan, I’m pretty clueless when it comes to sports except when the kids are participating in them. I love to help others when I can and I try to enjoy life to the fullest because everyday that goes by is one less day I have to live. I totally believe in KARMA and I hate DRAMA.
I do the best that I can and no less than that. I believe in God and all that he is he is my strength and my guiding light. But I respect everyone else’s belief’s, live and let live as I am no one to judge.
If you do not hope, you will not find what is behind your hopes. Life is what you make of it, no effort will end in no result.
My Journey with Cri du Chat
No one ever thinks it will happen to them because if you follow all the rules and take care of yourself your baby is supposed to be fine. With each of my pregnancies I followed all the rules, I ate right, rested well, took my vitamins and went to all my doctors visits. But even doing all the right things does not guarantee your baby will escape the chance that something might go wrong.
I had a threatened miscarriage at six weeks pregnant and even the doctor expected me to lose her. I prayed so much for a miracle, for God to protect my baby because I already loved her so much. She held on and kept growing but through-out the pregnancy I carried an unexplainable fear that something was wrong. I would wrap my arms around my belly and cry, praying for the Lord to keep my baby safe. I never understood why I felt this way. It was after Sophie’s birth and diagnosis that my husband looked at me one day and said “you always knew, didn’t you?”. And that’s when I realized I somehow did, I had carried unexplained fears for so many months and it was not until I first laid eyes on Sophie that those fears were validated. We had no idea until Sophie was born that there was anything different about her but I felt it, deep down in the depths of my soul I knew that she was different.
I was not prepared for what life had in store for me or my family. Cri du Chat syndrome, this strange thing that had invaded my life. All this medical terminology, some that I could not even pronounce and had no idea existed. I felt it had taken over my life for many months, it was draining the life out of me little by little. I became obsessed, I was in disbelief. I was angry, scared and could not comprehend why God would do this to me. My family was shocked and did not understand why she was sick. It took a good three months before we told our loved ones about Sophie’s diagnosis, we wrote a letter and sent it to all of our loved ones, Sophie has Cri du Chat Syndrome. It was so hard for most to understand and some still do not.
In the beginning all I could see was her sickness and the syndrome. She had been sick from birth and I was doubting myself, wondering if I could care for this sick child. So much for being in control, that concept flew out the window the moment Sophie took her first breath. I quit my job to care for her, our life took a dramatic turn. I tried to understand why this was all happening, I found myself in a dark and lonely place. I had become obsessed, I needed a sign, a glimmer of hope that I would not lose her as the doctors had told us. I needed to know there was hope, that the doctors were wrong but all the information I found on the internet was horrifying. It was devastating, I became lost inside my own harsh reality.
But than one night, as if guided by the grace of God one single internet page changed my life forever. It was about 3 am and I was searching for hope, I came across a single internet page of a little girl named Olivia who has Cri du Chat. On this page there were pictures of this amazing little girl, by each picture a small description of something her parents were told she would never accomplish but yet there she was, doing precisley those things they said she would never do. That was my awakening moment, this single page shined brighter than the sun to me in that instant. I woke up my husband with flowing tears, a nervous laugh and said “were gonna be ok”.
I had the pleasure of meeting this special little girl and her amazing mother Tiffany Townsend at the 2010 5p- conference. Tiffany, author of Elastamoms Excerpts gave me hope in the midst of so much darkness. It was because of her strength and willingness to share her journey that I decided I wanted to share my journey. I will tell you that I feel like I have accomplished my goal with this blog. I have touched many hearts and helped other families look to the future with hope as Tiffany did for me. I also help connect these families that contact me to our huge support group on Facebook, it only takes one action to make a difference in someone’s life. I am honored to have the opportunity to have a chance to help others.
I’m not going to lie and say my life is easy because it’s not. Seven kids are hard enough to raise without having one with challenges, we are still learning to balance it all. I’m not an expert on mother hood and certainly not the special needs world but I do try my best.
Most days are good, I have learned to focus on the good but there are bad days. Days that I cry, sometimes a lot. Days where I don’t want her to be different; but then I snap back into my reality. If she did not have Cri du Chat, if she was a typical child she would not be “my Sophie”. I cannot wish her away, she is who she is and her syndrome is just part of who she is. I do celebrate her accomplishments, all of them and I make a big deal out of them because I can appreciate it so much more now. I have learned to appreciate the smallest of things, I look forward to them.
I have learned that it’s ok to cry, it’s ok to be mad, it’s ok to want to ask “why me?”. It does not make you a bad person, it’s part of the healing process. I’ve learned “life goes on”, although it may be different from what it was before you have to start living again. You do find normal again, it’s just a different normal. It may take alot longer to fall into place but it does. My goals have changed, I am a better human being and mother. I am stronger than I ever thought possible. I’ve learned the meaning of true beauty and unconditional love.
I no longer see a syndrome, I see my daughter. The beautiful and innocent soul she is. I see how she has changed her siblings is so many wonderful ways. I see through her how they are becoming more humble human beings.
It’s hard, it’s scary, it’s frustrating and tiring. But, I am not alone, we are not alone. I have found many friends and forged new relationships through this journey, I have found a wonderful support system through Facebook with many special needs parents, not all with children with Cri du Chat. No matter what the disorder or delay, we experience many of the same ups and downs. It’s like we are a blended family.
I did not choose to have a child with special needs but nonetheless I was chosen. I will embrace my life and do my best to be the best human being, mother, wife, friend and loved one possible. My child with special needs is not my burden, she is my just my child.