Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Our lovely foster daughter and sign writer me.

"Beautiful, beautiful brown eyes."
Let me introduce Pania our foster daughter. She is living in supervised care with four other friends now. Pania is now in her thirties, but came to us when she was just nine years old. She is a Rett syndrome sufferer. We had decided we would be prepared to adopt another special needs child, and apparently there was a need to adopt older children. We were introduced to Pania and she became part of our family. We were advised not to adopt her, because as a foster daughter we received some financial help toward looking after her. It is always jarring to call her our foster daughter, because we love her, and indeed the family loves her as if she was our natural born child. When she came to us her ailment was not diagnosed, but with research, visits to pediatricians, and finally a confirmed diagnosis by a visiting world expert in Retts Syndrome we knew what she and we were up against. Pania can walk and can feed herself with assistance. Pretty much everything else she needs help with. She cannot speak except through the occasional sign (tapping her mouth) body language and through her beautiful eyes. We brought her out for a visit to the holiday house our other daughter and her husband were staying at for the long weekend. She just loved sitting beside me and being included in the conversation. This photo was taken during that time. Pania has taught me so much and caused me to appreciate and not take for granted so many things most of us can do without thinking. Some have said that such people should be aborted, but certainly if I never met Pania my life would be so much poorer. I love her to bits. Her smile is a real joy to behold, and her eyes are beautiful. I sing to her, "Beautiful, beautiful brown eyes, ... I'll never love blue eyes again."

The first panel partly completed. The second was easier and an improvement.
Sign writing
I have been doing some sign writing. The Dunedin Night Shelter trust is getting into a campaign to raise money to purchase the buildings we currently rent. We want Dunedin people and groups to get on board and have called it "How do you eat an Elephant?" recognising that it is a big sum we want to raise. I have done two panels we will use in the publicity for this campaign. Before the advent of computers and power points etc I used to do quite a few posters and banners, but lately have not needed to do many. I found doing these two panels interesting. Three changes since I was doing it often.

  • I do not have the patience I used to have. I tend to rush things along.
  • I need reading glasses to do the work.
  • My hands shake a lot more than they used to do. I do a good ripple effect. :-)
Anyway it has been interesting.

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