The Unexpected Gift We Received This Year


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Photo: Miranda Smith

It’s nearly the new year. As the house sleeps quietly, I have taken time to sit and reflect. This year has been a lot. I won’t lie, we have had more than our fair share—as everyone else has, but there has been beauty. Sometimes, when barely treading water or praying to be able to come up for air, we forget. We forget there is beauty.

When the pandemic began and we had our “two week break” from school, I was up for anything but after a broken collar bone, numerous tries to climb out a window and a child shaving her head, I realized I needed help. More help.

Our daughter has been diagnosed with autism since she was just two years old. It’s been a journey. From not having an insurance plan that covered therapy to a fight to obtain it, and then realizing the insurance I had didn’t mean we would have the therapy right for us.

For years, since we had the therapies covered, we have tried to find a company that would work, for our daughter most importantly and for our family. We had found great therapists but for one reason or another, they never worked out.

Enter COVID.

Enter my need for help.

Enter Miranda.

Yes, Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy is controversial but for us, its right and the greatest gift we have been given this year is this young woman, trained in social work, who is with us, daily.

In July when we first onboarded with the company, I was concerned. The first therapist left without returning—if she could have run while screaming she would have. We know, our daughter is a lot. She’s not anything like any BCBA or ABA Therapist has ever seen but she’s ours and she’s incredible.

Finally, the company found what they felt was a perfect fit. Enter, Miranda. They were right. She is perfect. Since July, almost every day, Miranda makes the hour-long commute to love our daughter.

Yes, there is work. Yes, there are challenges. Yes, she pushes her but in four short months, we have seen so much growth. We have not all fallen for Miranda but we have seen Miranda give us the greatest gift we could ever receive, glimpses of the daughter we once knew, the one we once had. One that interacts, one that laughs, one that plays and one that is beginning to understand more and more each day.

We could all focus on what wasn’t in 2020. We could focus on the loss, the pain, the suffering. It’s been here. For all of us. However, I won’t. I will choose to see the gift of 2020.

Dear Miss Miranda, you have made our world the best it could have been this year. We truly are grateful to you.

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I'm a mom of many who is living her best life navigating a busy world full of ups and downs. Managing five kids and one with additional needs I enjoy learning through living and sharing what I know. I can't wait to share our Messy World with you.

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