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Many Call It A Place Of Miracles

From Employee to Mom this Holiday Season: Erika Hellstrom shares her daughter’s enrollment

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From Employee to Mom this Holiday Season: Erika Hellstrom shares her daughter’s enrollment

Santa and big sister Maddy listen as Violet shares her Christmas list.

Starting Eden II was a transition two years ago, going from full time director at a CUNY college to working part time so that I could spend more time with Violet, my then one year old daughter who I worked tirelessly to adopt as a newborn.

And now at Eden II, I’ve added parent to my connection with the agency. My story starts as I signed Violet up for a pre- preschool this past fall. I couldn’t wait to buy a little uniform for my then two year old, and I was so happy that she would be in the same school as her older sister Maddy. So excited to see her grow in a school environment, I was shocked when the school called to tell me she was having behavioral issues of concern. My first call was to Randy and Joanne, who came to my rescue. All of my colleagues at Eden II moved quickly to help assess the situation. And before I knew it, I was going through psych, speech, OT, and other evals,Vineland testing, and sitting through my own IEP meeting for Violet. I was trying to keep up and it was difficult. My perspective changed… all of a sudden I wasn’t just writing a press release, I was taking notes as a mom and facing a possible autism diagnosis for my daughter.

Ever since I started working here, I’ve been writing that Eden II is a lifeline, a place of hope, and that many call it a place of miracles. Now I’ve experienced it. Now I see how the staff is not only knowledgeable but caring and compassionate. They walk you through every step and make sure you understand it. I’m still in a whirlwind trying to get used to her schedule of OT, speech, school… but I’m getting there.

I had no idea when I started working at Eden II that Violet would need any services (I think I may be the first employee to have had a child enter the program after starting to work there). I normally go around asking parents to submit a testimonial for our newsletter, but this time I wanted to share my story with you. I wanted to let you know I’m an Eden II mom and I’m so fortunate for the love everyone shares for Violet.

This holiday season I’m thankful for Violet’s team and look forward to her accomplishments to come, thanks to Eden II.

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