My beautiful girl with autism was able to attend her Junior Prom! It feels miraculous to be able to say that! It feels just as miraculous to say that I was able to pull it all off on a single mama’s budget! My girl had been excitedly day dreaming of her spring prom for months. She spent hours combing through google images with her virtual window shopping. Until one day she announced what she’d love to wear. My heart sank when I discovered just how far out of the budget her dream dress was. I also wasn’t too keen on her strapless choice. I had stressed myself into a tizzy trying to figure out how I was going to make her dreams come true. I eventually took it to God in prayer. I needed a miracle. It was then it dawned on me that her dream dress looked kinda familiar. It reminded me of the wedding dress that had been purchased and never worn for my oldest daughter. ( She eloped 7 years ago!) I soon found myself pulling that forgotten dress out of the basement. It was very similar! But it was also very white.
I searched through Pinterest. I learned it is possible to dye a wedding dress. What did I have to lose? I went for it. 4 bottles of aqua marine blue dye and 1 hot bathtub full of water later, I began crafting away like Cinderella’s fairy Godmother! I should have taken pictures of the dying process. I was elbow deep in a tub of aqua marine blue-tinted fabric and I wasn’t so sure any of this would work. But it did!
I was awestruck at how well it turned out! I put my crafting skills into full swing from that moment on! Grace was happy to finally try on her dream dress so I could make alterations and add more beading! She never once complained it wasn’t the expensive strapless dress she had seen online. She loved this dress! I loved the miraculous affordability and we did not have to worry about a wardrobe malfunction with this dress!
The big day arrived. A few more pictures and off they went, escorted by their amazing teacher! Grace and her fellow special needs classmates cast aside any labels life had placed upon them and embraced the full acceptance of their peers. When the time came for the Prom King and Queen to share the first dance they stopped within the first minute. The King and the Queen shared their spotlight moment with my girl and her classmates. It was a sweet and beautiful moment.
For anyone that has ever advocated on behalf of those living with disabilities, thank you. All of the tireless efforts to advocate awareness has afforded Grace a life lived with acceptance. Acceptance with her peers and within her community, where we are all different, not less.
Every girl should have a moment like this.