Jessie’s nominator writes “Jessie is a spunky 8 year-old who loves to cheer-lead and go to camp ESP. Jessie was adopted from Brazil and is raised by her single mother, a teacher, Stacey. Jessie also happens to have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Even though Jessie has challenges such as hearing loss, sleep disorders, ample medications, surgeries and many other challenges– she manages to face her fears, be a friend to new campers at ESP, perform on a special needs cheer-leading squad and change the life of everyone that meets her. She has had a rough life but you wouldn’t be able to tell from her big heart and beautiful smile.“
I was informed by her mother that Jessie also has autism, but I would never have guessed. Jessie and I chatted non-stop through her photos. She asked me a million and one questions about what we were doing, what we were seeing at the gardens, what I thought about such and such thing.. she is full of wonder at the world around her. We saw birds, caterpillars, lots of flowers and plants, stuck our feet in the water and climbed a big rock. I really enjoyed talking with her because she’s so super expressive. The photos were punctuated by gasps as she saw another bird fly over or wondered what type of plant we’d just seen. Everything is new for her, and I really just had a great time. It doesn’t hurt that she makes such a great peacock fairy, and I was really thrilled to even get a hug after we were done!
Read more about fetal alcohol syndrome: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fetal_alcohol_syndrome