Exciting news! At least to me it is and I really don't care what anyone else thinks. This is about me helping people and helping myself.
Last week I called a fellow "cleft mom" to talk about the Illinois support network. This woman also happens to be the director of AmeriFace.
The mission of AmeriFace is to provide information and emotional support to individuals with facial differences and their families and increase public understanding through awareness programs and education.
I spent well over an hour on the phone with Robin. We shared experiences, feelings, concerns and more. She told me she loved my excitement and passion and encouraged me to become a Pathfinder in the Pathfinder Outreach Network and take the Pathfinder Training Webinar. I was hesitant, but they I figured, hey why not. If I can do it on my lunch and it's free, I have no reason not to. So I did it and knew that this was something I needed to do, I could feel it. Helping people is something I have always enjoyed doing, I really don't know why I didn't pursue something that helps people when I chose my career path. There's still time.
I had to leave the Webinar a little early. I allowed for enough time to finish it, but there were some technical issues in the beginning so we got a late start. I had to cut out early so I could make it to a business meeting on time. The following day I called the Executive Director of cleftAdvocate (Debbie) who held the Webinar. I was happy to hear the Webinar we wrapping up right after I had to disconnect, whew. Debbie finished things up with me and we talked for about an hour and a half. She also loved my excitement and passion. I asked her if I was a Pathfinder now and she said yes! I did explain that I don't have a lot of free time but that I could dedicate a few hours a week to this. She then reminded me that our families and jobs need to come first, then we can use our time to volunteer. I figure, instead of spending my down time at work screwing around on the internet, why not spend that time helping others. So that's what I am going to do.
Robin and I also talked about putting together a fuction in the Chicagoland area so families here can connect, she is also in a suburb of Chicago. Debbie also loved this idea. Next week I am going to touch base with Robin about it and get a date set.