My Name Is... Anna Smith

Teacher hopes to start on journey of foster care

Posted 8/12/19

About me I recently bought a home in Castle Rock with my husband, Brandon Smith. We live with our two dogs, Will and Bentley, but we’re hoping to add to our family soon with a foster child or two! …

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My Name Is... Anna Smith

Teacher hopes to start on journey of foster care

Posted

About me

I recently bought a home in Castle Rock with my husband, Brandon Smith. We live with our two dogs, Will and Bentley, but we’re hoping to add to our family soon with a foster child or two! I am a math/science teacher at Brightmont Academy, a private school in Castle Pines. This will be my ninth year of teaching.

My life with epilepsy

I was diagnosed with epilepsy in the seventh grade and it turned my whole world (and my family’s world) upside down. I hate to say it, but I was embarrassed about the drastic change in my health. Thankfully, my seizures only occurred while I was asleep (it’s called nocturnal epilepsy), so I was able to somewhat hide my condition while going through school. The medications that doctors initially prescribed to treat my epilepsy all caused severe allergies (full-body rashes) and had intolerable side effects. I was tired all the time and my memory became terrible. My parents later admitted that with everything going on, they weren’t sure I would make it through high school.

Fortunately, I was introduced to a new, non-medication treatment option called VNS Therapy — a small device that sends mild pulses to areas of my brain that are associated with seizures. I had the device implanted just days before my junior year of high school — and it was a game-changer for me. I sometimes think of it as a pacemaker for the brain instead of the heart.

While everyone responds differently to various therapies, I was able to slowly start decreasing my medication until I was off of it completely. There were many times where I went over a year without having a single seizure. I am extremely happy to say that I haven’t had a seizure in almost two and a half years.

Becoming a foster parent

My husband, Brandon, and I began seriously considering becoming foster parents a year ago. We are in the final stages of the certification process and hope to be certified in the next couple of months. We have asked to take on a child (or sibling pair) aged 4-18 years old. There are a lot of factors which contributed to our decision, the greatest of which is a feeling of having extra love to give. We believe we can make a difference, and we’re excited to provide children with opportunities they may not have had previously.

My hobbies

We love the outdoors and all activities associated with being outside. We look forward to not only providing a safe and loving home, but also showing children the wonders of hiking, biking, camping, boating … you name it!

My advice

Mel Robbins said, “If the problem you’re facing can be solved with action, you don’t have a problem.” Just another way of saying if you’re not happy, do something about it.

If you have suggestions for My Name Is…, contact Jessica Gibbs at jgibbs@coloradocommunitymedia.com.

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