I never could have dreamed of all that has happened. In 2020, we were all catapulted into a new era. Unfamiliarity, uncertainty, and unexpected manners of navigating our lives have become commonplace this year. Somehow through the jarring and jostling, we started to settle in our own ways. Unaccustomed habits formed, but we carried on.
In a moment of my own pause, it dawned on me that in the midst of the perplexing whirlwind of 2020, a celebration was missed. May of this year marked the founding of Embrace the Child® Ltd–ten years of labor and love, intensive work, sacrifice and dedication. The 10th anniversary, in retrospect, would have ideally brought about some sort of celebration for my ETC families and friends. Yet, as a result of the pandemic, any formal celebration was only a fleeting afterthought. But in that pause, I reflected that ETC is much more than a one-time frilled extravaganza. And, I like it that way. It is fitting.
While small, Embrace the Child ® Ltd. is powerful.
Over 10 years, ETC remained consistently rooted in its foundational values, embodying simplicity, conveying and achieving what is most important: love within families, fostering the countless activities that form family life, enfolding and embracing all children and their families.
I knew that founding ETC could bring about a difference to my life and to yours. When I started my practice, I felt as if I vaulted from Half Moon into a ravine, hang gliding. I was uncertain what to expect, but ultimately, this experience led to soaring. To offer our community a new way of understanding the meaning of family and occupational therapy was paramount. Despite my trepidation, I embarked, and so did you.
When families arrive at my doorstep, I often wonder what their expectations may be. Some, I expect, consider what does an OT who understands a child and family relationships offer? Some appear to have a sense of relief and others, a visible sheerly overwhelmed countenance (similar to my first day). But in most of you, much like me, there is a sense of hope. I experience it in our very first interactions. As our first day unfolds, we begin to step together, and this leads to working to journey in stride. It is my incredible privilege to be there as each of you grow, over days, months or even years. This experience with you is my greatest gift as a clinician, perhaps even more than I fathomed. Over time, we grow together. We ride the unanticipated waves, navigate the torrential storms and gratefully experience the golden, sunrises and sunsets in your child/ren, families and in life. We find rest in the reality, that even amidst disarray, families have the potential to bond through life’s journey. There is strength and there is peace.
While every ETC child and family has their own story, 2020 certainly brought life’s stressors to a collective forefront for all. In this tenth year of Embrace the Child®, clearly, the most upheaval of all, I have watched my ETC families rise to the occasion, cling to one another and work hard to adapt to the ever-changing new world together. Seeing your perseverance to our work for your child/ren and families is the realization of my hopes and it brings me back to why I embarked on my path years ago. My dear ETC families, you are the reasons I celebrate. You are a formidable force. You have made ETC what it is today, and dually, I hope that I have made a profound, and meaningful influence, enriching your lives.
I am forever grateful to you and for you. I pause, and I celebrate. We are Embrace the Child®. We are family-strong!
In my own small ways, it is my humble honor to continue to bring the message of family as central to the effectiveness in our work together, to build the scope of practice of family occupations for occupational therapists, and to raise awareness of the DIR®-FCD™ model to interdisciplinary professionals locally in Pittsburgh, regionally, nationally and internationally.
To my own family, my joy and my strength–I give all my love and gratitude.
Author: Stacy Sue Rosello, MA, OTR/L
Founder, Embrace the Child, ® Ltd.
Editor: Grace Anne Rosello, BA
Copyright © 2020 Stacy Sue Rosello