Manila #Autism #MahalKita

Hey all,

Where do I begin? Over the last few years I have been working towards a dream of returning to my roots. I was born in Manila in 1986 and, although it I didn’t live there for very long, it left such a hand print on my heart.

In 2013/2014 before my divorce, I decided I wanted to do something special for children with Autism in Manila after making a connection to a non profit organization there. But it wasn’t the right time. I didn’t see why and I felt so sad that it didn’t happen then.

But everything happens for a reason. The fire of that dream was reignited last year but it still was not yet the right time and now I know why. I’ve been doing a lot of meditations lately and a lot of old memories have come to me and I suddenly knew I needed to reconnect with someone special from my past.

I was shocked when I found the woman who took care of me as a baby in Olongapo City. It felt like a dream and something old and broken began to heal. That’s a long story. I haven’t decided how much of it I want to share here just yet.

But I am now preparing to travel to Manila on August 20th-30th (minus travel time and it’s a long journey) I will now be able to do the volunteer work with the children I have wanted to meet and finally sit on the beach I sat on as a baby every morning for months. I can’t even begin to express how transformative this trip is going to be. I know because I can feel my heart already healing. I hope that my efforts with the children will be remembered. I know I will never forget this journey.

About Gretchen McIntire (formerly Leary)

I am 34 years old, I live in the Raleigh area, and I am writing from the perspective of an individual with Asperger's Syndrome.
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