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Hello

My name is Vanessa Forisha and I am a writer, blogger, wife, former English teacher, Christian, and mother of three girls including a medically-complex special needs child. 

My Story

My name is Vanessa Forisha and I am a writer, blogger, wife, former English teacher, Christian, and mother of three girls including a medically-complex special needs child.

 

For almost a decade, I worked professionally as an educator. I taught middle school and high school English/Language Arts/Reading, newspaper, yearbook, and speech/debate. I was a Campus Instructional Coach and I led numerous professional developments for teachers on an assortment of topics. I have a B.A. degree in English from Florida International University and an M.Ed. degree in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Texas in Arlington. I currently serve as a committee member at the ARC of Chesapeake, a local organization that supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live the lives they choose by creating opportunities, promoting respect and equity, and providing access to services. I also serve as a Deacon at First Presbyterian Church.

 

I am an unabashed bibliophile and unequivocally opposed to all efforts to censor the availability of materials for students available in libraries; however, I am supportive of an individual parent’s right to make decisions for their own child as long as it doesn’t infringe upon others.

 

I am a “late-to-the-party” Christian who believes that any effort to politicize faith does nothing more than push people away from the faith who need it the most. I find efforts to legislate faith to be judgmental, controlling, and an intrusion into God’s personal relationship with individuals. I believe that every single person in this world is a child of God and He calls us to evangelize through love, period.

 

I believe that free speech is a right, but a platform is a gift that carries enormous responsibility.

 

I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican. Neither party speaks for me and there are points on both sides that I agree with and points on both sides that I don’t. I often view our political system as run by divorced parents who refuse to co-parent amicably. I believe in compromise and compromise usually means everyone gives a little, takes a little, and neither side feels like they won.

 

I am an advocate for disability rights, especially after the trials and tribulations my family endured in the process of finding medical and educational support for my daughter, Maggie, to cope and thrive with her diagnosis. She has an extraordinarily rare seizure condition called Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and her co-morbidities include autism, global developmental delay, sensory processing disorder, and pica, and she is nonverbal. She may not be able to speak, but I can and I will advocate for her (and others like her) to give her the best possible chances in life.

 

I wrote a memoir, Magnolia in November, about Maggie’s journey and my own. Magnolia in November paradoxically describes the experiences of raising a medically complex and neurodivergent child, but it’s also a testimony of today’s educational systems from the perspective of a teacher, mother, leader, and student. I share the struggles of juggling home and career, transitioning to being a stay-at-home parent, and its impact on marriage and family. I am currently seeking literary representation for this memoir.

 

New blog posts are released on Mondays and Picks-of-the-Months are released on the 1st of every month.

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