I said a while ago I would start a new series called “it’s my life or life after 21”. I fully intended to research different educational and living arrangements to begin to formulate an adult life plan for Alex. However through the course of this year, my writings and my involvement with WindWalkers I have taken a different stance.
I have written about this before but it is worth repeating.
We dream of a life for Alex where she is independent, but that may or may not exist in the way I imagine. I envision a place where Alex is safe and protected from danger. I hope for a place where Alex is surrounded by friends and people that care about her success. Whether this is in a rural or urban environment is not important to me. It is important that Alex can work, be responsible for herself and feel fulfilled.
Thus, our dream for WindWalkers Ranch was born in February of this year. Molly, the ED of WindWalkers and I have put together a Strategic Planning team. We have redefined the mission of WindWalkers to include the formation of a residential community for disabled adults. We have met with a number of local stakeholders to solicit advice and support. We have looked at real estate and John has prepared a proforma. I am working on a formal "investor’s" package and doing research around other programs to prepare a “best practices” analysis.
I believe things happen for a reason. Losing my job had afforded me the time to work on our plan. However, it has not provided me with the resources to stay unemployed. I hope I am able to find a job in the very near future; I cannot even begin to think about what will happen if I do not. Can a 53 year old woman, her 53 year old husband and teenage kids really move in with her mother? I jest – partially because I believe I will find a job, as will John. Staying positive has always worked for me.
However, in the mean time I want to use my time wisely; make more connections and begin to outreach to others who share the same dream for their developmentally disabled young adults. My dream for Alex, as well as hers, is WindWalkers Ranch. A place where safe and will have friends who are more similar to her than not. She will get a job, in the Ranch community or the local community and she will be successful and thrive. She can also have a horse; and learn it is not quite as easy as she thinks!
One piece of advice I received from a local mentor; keep the energy. Yes, to me, this will be the key to our success. Passion can start a project; energy will finish it – as well as lots and lots of money! As Alex would say - Go me!!!!