I don't travel much. It's too difficult to take Jovanna with me or to leave her with someone else. I was offered the opportunity by MESD to go to the National Federation of Families Conference in Washington DC and I decided to take Jovanna with me and let her go through the Youth Track at the conference. We leave tomorrow morning. I have not been to a Federation of Families Conference yet but I understand it is a really inspirational thing. I am told it will revive my spirits and renew my inspiration to continue the battle for better care and respect for my family and other families raising children with special needs. I need that right now. Sometimes the challenge of raising Jovanna really begins to weigh heavy on me and right now, as she is becoming a teen and add that with the already challenging behaviors of Autism Spectrum/Aspergers and it just becomes too much on some days. I work day and night to help change the system and support other families raising special children and at times it feels like we are just stuck, there aren't any options, there isn't enough of me to go around. Hopefully, I will experience a renewed sense of hope and inspiration over the next few days and hopefully, Jovanna will be able to hold herself together enough that I can attend the adult conference sessions while she participates in the Youth Track.
She made a poster for the conference poster contest a few months ago and we submitted it. The focus of the contest was "Childrens mental health matters to us, what matters to you?". She did this really cute poster with several children of all different colors (some really interesting colors) and some were boys and some were girls and wrote the theme on the poster. I guess we will find out while we are there how she did. She is excited and is sure she is going to win. I hope she can handle the disappointment if she doesn't. But it will be exciting to see her work there. We leave Thursday at 12:30pm with a stop in Fort Worth, TX and then off to D.C. All day on a plane...with Jovanna... Wish me luck!