So...I'm a new mom to an adorable FUR BABY. Her name is Bella...and she is perfect. Bella isn't just a new family member, she's also my son's "emotional support animal." I'll give you a short back story as to why Donato needed a canine companion.
The past two-years has been tough on a lot of families. Kids were stuck at home, families were separated from loved ones...and everyone was anxious about getting sick. Well, my son Donato has always struggled with focus and regulating his emotions. He was officially diagnosed with ADHD/anxiety after a two-day exam with a neuropsychologist. The doctor basically confirmed what I already knew in my heart. My husband and I had a very challenging road ahead. We had to learn how to parent a neuro-divergent child. If we didn't get Donato the help he needed, he wouldn't be able to succeed in school. Academics is not an issue. He excels in reading and math. Donato's challenge is remaining focused, controlling his impulsivity and regulating his big emotions.
My husband and I spent the past two years researching ways to help Donato. We hired an occupational therapist. We regularly consult a pediatric therapist. And we got him an IEP (individualized education program) in school. I've lost track at how many virtual meetings Don and I have attended with school staff. I'm happy to say all our dedication is starting to pay off. Donato is loving second grade so far. Is it perfect? No...but that's to be expected. We are in a MUCH better situation now than we were six months ago.
Thankfully, the medication Donato is currently on has helped tremendously with his ADHD. However, he still struggles with anxiety. Although he's come a long way in controlling his emotions, we knew getting him an "emotional support animal" would help. That's where Bella comes in. Don and I agreed to look for the perfect pet for our family. It took almost a year, but we finally found her. Bella came home with us yesterday. We surprised Donato with his fur sister...and OMG...their connection is already so beautiful.
Bella came into our lives at exactly the right time. We all needed her. I cried the first time I held her. Those tears were my own anxiety exiting my body. Don has never had his own dog...so he was super excited too. I know the next couple of months are going to be a bit challenging as we all get to know each other...but my heart is so full. Our family is complete.