My Name is Laura Loyola I am originally from Chile, South America. I came to Australia as an exchange student of Architecture at the University of Canberra in 2011. It only took me 1 day to fall in love with this beautiful country and its people. 

I knew I could not stay forever, that my stay here was only gonna be the length of my studies, but having the chance to work while studying gave me the amazing opportunity to meet beautiful people in the world of Special needs. I worked for the length of my studies in Black Mountain School in Canberra that gave me a new sense of belonging. Being able to learn about this amazing kids, their laughs and innocence, their resilience and strength gave me a new perspective to life. I never saw their disability I just saw a beautiful tiny person trying to leave a mark in this world. The amazing teachers and resources and care teach me not only about the beautiful work they do everyday, but they gave me strength to face a future I didn’t know I would have to face myself one day. 

By the time I had to leave this amazing country, I had found a man that would change my life forever. We had said our good byes when 3 days before flying out of the country to pursue my dreams in Restauration in Macedonia, I found out that I was pregnant. 

The news of this miracle baby was about to travel the world to my family in Chile, I was so scared to tell my parents, I was only 24 years old in the other side of the world, alone, with no money, family or a job. I told my family who took the news in an unexpected way. They were happy , thrilled and supportive. 

After I gather myself to tell my ex-partner, the one who, only 3 days before I had said good bye forever, I was received with open arms by his family. I returned to my job in the school and continue to work there until I was 7 months pregnant taking my leave at Christmas of 2013. 

When the time came to go into the delivery room I was very scared and I had a bad feeling. Things progressed very quickly into that scary nightmare where all the bad things you ever imagine were happening to you. My baby got stuck during a C-section and had to be pulled with forceps, she was lethargic, not breathing properly and with an absgard of 4. 

She was immediately taken to the ICU and I felt my world disappearing beneath me. I got to see her after 2 days when she was finally stable. She was the most beautiful girl in the world, but different. That beautiful story I have told myself looking at the children in the school I worked at… That hope was not easy to grasp when your world gives a complete turn. Is easy to care about kids that are not yours, you give them what they need in a specific time frame, but the stress and unconditional love and care that a parent needs to give, is so completely different. You realize you have not know LOVE, COMMITMENT or RESPONSIBILITY until you have a life in your own hands, a part of you, someone that will see you make mistakes after mistake and love you no matter what. 

And here starts a new Journey, full of love, responsibility and Hope, but also with splashes of pain, rage, denial , angriness, helplessness, and finally acceptance. 

I had to learn to accept that this new life was gonna be full of roller-coasters, full of research and unknowns, I had to learn to accept her wins as well as her lows and commit to her to support her and be her rock and personal cheerleader. But the funny thing is that I became everything to her, not only her mum, but her carer, her nurse, her therapist, her voice and she became my light in the darkness, she showed me that no matter what she goes through she fights with a smile on her face and that no matter how different her goals look like and how much takes her to reach them I will always celebrate every single one with everything inside me. 

So here begins the journey of acceptance, after all the anger and guilt there is a  point where your perspective changes for me was this phrase…. for the first 2 years I kept asking WHY ME ? until my aunty said to me WHY NOT YOU? … I have the strength to be her mum and she choose me because I will fight till eternity for her to always do her best, for her dreams come true and for her voice to be heard. 

This book is dedicated to her, my amazing daughter Emma. for her strength, resilience, love and wisdom that has brought to my life, forever and always my best friend and my HERO.