A little background: In 2005 I made a list...some would call it a bucket list. It stayed filed away for the next year or so, it was just a list. Towards the end of 2006 I suddenly had the realization that I could actually do some of the things on that list, so I started to prepare. In 2007 I moved to Ecuador to do one of the first things on the list...work in an orphanage.
Since that time, my list has shrunk...and grown. I've been able to cross of a lot of things, and add a lot more. It's been pretty amazing, and fun, and fulfilling. Some things on my list that I initially thought would be "once in a lifetime" experiences have actually become such a big part of my life that they will never be a one time thing.
One thing I've learned about dreams is that we don't have to know how it's all going to work out. There are so many times in our lives that we say "that will never happen" so we don't do anything about it, we don't even put it on our dream list. So I've learned to put those things down.
I have a few passions in my life. One of them is humanitarian work, another is autism, and another is kids. So, why not combine them all?
I would love to some day be able to start a program in a developing country working with orphans with disabilities. There are a lot of orphanages out there, but unfortunately they are usually understaffed, and they are rarely trained in working with kids with disabilities. I would love to be able to build a program where kids receive the intervention that they need early in their lives. I obviously don't have all the logistics worked out, but some day...
I received an e-mail the other day from a lady who is part of a program in China where they train nannies to work with kids rather than having the kids live in an orphanage. It sounded like a great program, and it made me think that it is possible, and some day I can do that.
May your imaginations run wild, and your dream lists grow (and shrink), and may the things you never thought were possible...happen.
Utah PLAY Project Home Consultant
Early Intervention Services for Children with Autism