Saturday, April 23, 2011

eSpecially Parents: Natalie's Story

Hi, my name is Natalie Weaver. Before I became a mom I worked as a sales and marketing manager. In my free time I enjoyed painting. I used to display my artwork for years at a gallery in a local arts district. At some point I would like to paint again.

At a very young age I knew that I wanted to be a mom and somehow knew it would be the most important role in my life. Taking care of my family is what I'm truly passionate about. I feel lucky to be able to spend my days at home with my children, Sophia is 2 1/2 and Alex is 9 months old. I couldn't do this without my loving and supportive husband Mark. He is an amazing person. His strength and wonderful sense of humor has helped us get through the most heartbreaking times with our daughter.

Sophia was born with a rare craniofacial condition. So rare that none of her many specialists have seen anyone else like her. She has differences to her face, hands and feet. She is undiagnosed and one of a kind. Sophia's had 6 surgeries and faces dozens more in the hopes of improving basic functions like eating, walking and talking, just to
name a few. She has physical, occupational and speech therapy every week to build her strength. In between surgeries and hard work, Sophia is the happiest little girl and loves to laugh. Her strength and beauty amaze me.

I am so excited that Vanessa invited me to be apart of eSpecially Parents. A mutual friend introduced me to her blog 2 years ago. I remember the first time I read it. At that time, I felt very isolated. I didn't know anyone else who had a child with special needs. Some of the things Vanessa wrote in her blog were the same as the thoughts in my
head. For the first time I felt connected to a mother who understood what I was going through. Even though we have never met, she's had a tremendous impact on me and helped me realize that I am not alone. Vanessa's honesty and willingness to share her feelings is an inspiration to me.

I was nervous about participating and sharing my feelings but I wanted to push myself outside of my comfort zone. I think it will be good for me. I want to connect with other families that understand. I'd like to build a loving and understanding community around us. Also, It is so important for me to tell others about my Sweet Sophia and to share our journey. Our life is filled with many challenges but somehow we manage to live in the
moment and remain happy.

To follow Sophia's journey visit Sophia Weaver.

>Read more about the eSpecially Parents Series here

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