18 years later, I have finished moving her into her first "apartment". She is sharing a house with another disabled woman. She is nervous, but happy. I am nervous, and happy but very sad too. It will grow on me, just need to let the reality of it all sink in. She is gone and out from under my wing.
Nettie became our daughter by a laundry list of coincidences. The biggest of which was the mistake made by the grouphome that signed a form allowing her to attend the school I was teaching at. I was warned, she wouldn't survive another 3 months. Fall and winter were her worst times and that she was far to fragile to survive yet another pneumonia. So I placed her in a small chair in the corner of the room and we waited for her to die. By Christmas break, when she hadn't missed a single day of school yet. . . I realized, I needed to actually try and teach this child. So teach we did. She started talking, sitting up without assistance, and clearly we favored each other. I helped her get her first wheelchair where she learned she could push the wheels and learned what independence meant. Who knew how far that concept would go!!