Q: What do you hope to learn from living with Heidi?
A: I hope to learn what it takes to make a good relationship and then take it to the “I do everything for you” step without making it odd or embarrassing to both parties.
Q: Why do you want to become a Health Care Aide?
A: I want to become a health care aide because of Heidi. I see the world as a cruel place that we need to fix. This world is not ready for people to change how others see “CRIPS”. It’s a touchy subject that not everyone is comfortable with talking about because, as humans, we don't always see how we treat others well. when I'm out with my aunt I get questioning looks “why is that young women with that *crip*?” My answer to their looks is “She’s with me and I will protect her”. Not everyone gets just how strong my relationship with her is. My aunt has saved my life more than once. In junior high I was a mess but my aunt would not let me quit anything. She would take me for a day or for a week and I would get through it all. I never have had a relationship like I do with my aunt. She can make my awful days into good days and my good days in to amazing, awesome, beautiful days.
She pushes me to be the best I can. It’s because of her that I'm working so hard to get my diploma and also to become a healthcare aide. She makes everything better with her huge happy grin that she always has for me. When I was a little girl I met my aunt that has changed my world, turned it upside down and put it back together to make me smile; even when I thought I never would again. she is my influence that saves me from making my life worse and helps.
Q: How did you meet Tyler?
A: Tyler is my ADOPTIVE niece – it’s the closest / most convenient shorthand identifier we could find for our rather complex connection. Here’s a Reader’s Digest version of how Tyler came into my life: Some 13 years ago, Tyler’s grandfather, Shafer Parker, became my pastor. I soon developed a close friendship with Shafer and his wife Jeanne – and over time, also with their eldest son (Tyler’s stepdad), Tyler’s mom, and their two kids: Tyler (then all of 5 years old), and Sean (then a newborn).
Q. Why did she move in with you?
A: Due to frequent relocations, Tyler has had to go to 2 high schools in the past 3 years. Faced with another move, she was frustrated and on the verge of quitting high school. Tyler’s goal is to become a Health Care Aide. But I felt strongly that it’s important for her future that she finish high school before going on to her HCA training. So, I offered to have her come live with me to finish high school and then go on to take her HCA training at Nightingale Academy. Her entire family thought it was a good idea, Tyler took me up on the offer, and here we are.
Q. What are you learning?
A: The importance of PRAYER!!!!!!!!!! . How to negotiate multiple roles of surrogate mom, aunt, landlord, roommate, confidante, & counselor. (No wonder I’m so tired!) 3. How to establish rules and boundaries, while giving her the freedom she needs to make her own decisions as a young adult. (This is still VERY MUCH a work in progress!!!)