Our family of 4 emigrated from the US to the Netherlands in 2014. We were drawn to the Netherlands because of its liberal-humanist traditions, beautiful scenery, and its educated and pragmatic people. We live in Amsterdam.
I’m Jillian, mother of 2 young adults, former attorney and Texan, business manager for our musical instrument-making business, animal and bird lover, and barre enthusiast.
My partner, M. is a musical instrument maker from Portland, Oregon. He loves a great fountain pen and what it can write. His life was upended in 2010 when I walked into his shop with my daughter’s violin bow needing restoration.
My daughter, K. is a second year fine arts student at a university in Amsterdam. A vibrant and creative soul, she sees everything through the lens of art and enjoys playing the violin.
My son, B. is a free spirit and autistic. He attends an anthroposophical special needs secondary school. He loves surfing the internet, playing Wii, cooking, being a barista, and spending hours taunting Sid with a squeaky mouse on a stick.
Sid is our luscious Maine Coon cat and my personal therapist. His registered name happens to be CameronCoons Sundae Funday, so he’ll be the subject of weekly Sunday posts. He is more like my son’s former yellow lab service dog than any cat I’ve ever met.
In this blog, I will be going into some detail about what it is like to parent a child with multiple disabilities and how this affects the physical, emotional, and financial well-being of the entire family. I feel that this will be helpful for a complete awareness of the need for additional services, support and understanding for such families in the US.
I truly wish that B. were able to offer his perspective on the topics in this blog. Unfortunately, I have never been able to have a conversation with B. about his condition or his feelings about this or any other subject. Therefore, this blog is heavily weighted toward my perspective as a parent of a special needs child. In order to try to maintain his anonymity, I have chosen to use only our initials and will not post any identifying photos of B. or other family members.
In order to allow persons to read posts according to their interests, I plan to post twice weekly. On Sundays, I will be sharing Sid posts and more entertaining stories; on Wednesdays, I’ll tackle the more serious subjects.
You can sign up for e-mail notifications of posts below. Thank you for allowing me to share our experiences.
All photos in this blog – unless otherwise noted – are mine. Please do not use them without permission.
You may contact me at jillian[at]tiltingtowardwindmills[dot]com.