Triumphs through ADVERSITY-A Tribute to My Daughter Laura Cerrano

Home Stager with Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island #888

Triumphs through ADVERSITY-A Tribute to My Daughter Laura Cerrano

As many of you know, my daughter Laura is a New York Feng Shui Consultant and Owner of Feng Shui Manhattan.  She is also a recent graduate of SUNY New Paltz New York and has earned with honors both a Bachelor of Fine Arts and A Bachelor of Science in Art EducationShe is also a Certified Personal Trainer as well as Certified in Willpower and Grace and is currently taking courses in Qi Gong.  She is 24 years old.

Yes, I'm a proud mother but Laura doesn't have a "usual" story.  It's a personal one that she's allowing me to share-to inspire others.  She hopes it helps motivate others and plans to do exactly that with the children she will someday be teaching.

Laura was adopted from Colombia, South America in 1984.  We had adopted my son, Adam, two years previous and had been able to go get him when he was just three months old.  Times had changed and we were advised not to travel to Columbia during the dangerous times.

We opted to pay additional fees and expenses to have someone bring Laura to us and with inevitable delays, we did not get her until she was six months old.  Although we had paid to have her placed with a family, it was clear that she hadn't been.  Her bones would literally crack in her legs and the doctor suspected she had not been removed from a very small crib very often.

She did not like to be held; she did not make eye contact and was extremely sensitive to even the slightest noises.  She was eventually diagnosed at the age of 2 ½ as "Learning Disabled."  I had work to do-and so did she.

Through the years, I was repeatedly told by the school that she would never be able to graduate high school.  I went to more meetings that I can remember to mainstream her in one class each year and the school fought me every step of the way.

When Laura was old enough, I allowed her to sit in on the meetings.  She'd hear her teachers, the school psychologist, and other "heads" of departments say she'd never be able to keep up.  I'd explain to her that it would take a LOT of HARD WORK and did she want to try a "new" class.

To her credit, she never said no.  She was always up to a challenge and she was ready to take it on. Eventually we battled them together.  Districts lose money when you remove a child from special education, you see.  But I saw in Laura such a determination to succeed and more then that, perhaps, to PROVE THEM WRONG.

The day she graduated High School (on time and with a Regents Diploma) was, I thought, the happiest day of my life.  Until the day she graduated college with a GPA of 3.6.

I told a recent Feng Shui client with a "challenged" child that children rise to YOUR expectations of them.  You can help instill determination into them every single day with encouragement and love.

I have no doubt that Laura will always remember HER life lessons and be able to help many children AND clients who's path she crosses.

A few shots of the GREAT DAY---Congratulations Laura Cerrano!

Manhattan Feng Shui Consultant Laura Cerrano

New Paltz NY Grauduation with Laura Cerrano Feng Shui ConsultantOver 900 Graduates...I Never thought I'd see her!

Feng Shui New York Consultant Laura CerranoI shouldn't have worried...she saw ME!  Laura is on the right with her good friend and dorm mate Kate.

New Paltz NY Graduation 2009It was 50 degrees and raining on and off...but this other mother caught my eye.  Tears were streaming down her face before the graduation even began--same as me.

Laura Cerrano and Adam Schumacher Brother and SisterLaura with her proud brother Adam.  Adam is a baker and worked all night before driving up to New Paltz.  As Gary would say, he wouldn't miss it for the world!

Oh, a quick update:  Since Graduation on May 17th, she's been commissioned for Five Original pieces of Art for a new Feng Shui Construction!

**Carole Provenzale has been a Certified Feng Shui Consultant since 1997 and is the Founder of Feng Shui Long Island.  Along with Feng Shui Consultant Laura Cerrano, on site Feng Shui Consultations provided for New York City (Manhattan) and all of Long Island for Homes, Apartments, Businesses, Corporations, Renovations and New Construction.


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Laura Cerrano is a second-generation Certified New York City Feng Shui Consultant Expert. As a full-time Feng Shui consultant, Laura provides bicoastal consultations and workshops for residential, commercial, real estate developments, Fortune 500 companies and healing faculties. In addition, Laura is a resident teacher at the Metropolitan Institute of Design in Syosset, NY. She has been featured in highly respected publications and TV networks such as Bravo's "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen," PBS, CBC Television, BBC Radio and The New York Times. 



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Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Jennifer, It's terrible that so many children and parents are discouraged instead of encouraged by teachers.  It's a lesson learned though that Laura will never forget.

Craig, Thank you....I somehow knew about High School but not about college.  I am smiling still (and hope my face doesn't get stuck :)

Paddy, Your son is in New Paltz....I wish him every happiness and fun that my daughter had there.  I spent a few days in that lovely little town and really enjoyed it and will one day be celebrating your son's graduation with you!

Mel, It's personal and I didn't know how Laura would feel...she thought it might help someone else and I hope it does. 

Missy, I will let her know.  It's funny that the school told me THEY knew her better then I did....I don't even have to ask how you'd feel if someone said that to you, I already know!

Linda, They are our biggest joy and some of our scariest times.  I'm thrilled to hear that your son is home finally and wish him well and much success in everything he does!  Thank you for sharing that, I can't imagine your relief that he's back.

Teri, You're so right, it really has just begun.  I fortunately had help in dealing with the "system."  I don't know how I wouldn't have gotten through it without that advice.  But it is true and I did just hear of another child from the district who was told he would never graduate High School either...he did as well! 

Betina, Thank you so much for your kind words.  I am proud of her that she allowed me to tell something so personal and she does hope it may help someone reading.  We know our children and we are the ones that can help to encourage them.  It's determination and I think that's true with anything in life.

Mitchell, Thank you so much.  I believe she'll be moving to Manhattan very soon so keep your eyes open; funny that I was the one that always wanted to live there!

Jun 01, 2009 02:07 PM #10
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

WoooHooooo to your daughter!  I know why she is successful...look at who her mom is!

Jun 01, 2009 05:21 PM #11
Maria Morton
Chartwell Kansas City Realty - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

Carole, this story brought a tear to my eye. Congratulations Laura! Yay! And Congratulations to you, Carole, for being there and believing in your daughter.

Jun 01, 2009 05:51 PM #12
Trace Galle
Designs by Trace - Kelowna, BC

Hi Carole,

How proud you must be!! Congratulations to Laura!! It is sad how people can just judge someone with out really giving them a chance to show them what they are really made of.  I am sure glad that Laura has you for a mother otherwise she may have never really reached her full potential. You fought for her and she proved them all wrong!!

Jun 02, 2009 04:27 AM #13
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Sally, You're sweet, thank you.  Hey, mom, you've got a pretty successful daughter yourself.  And I wanted to mention that your blog today was outstanding!

Maria, It was awful, I couldn't stop crying :(  There was not one suitable picture I could put up!

Trace, She's a bit like me in the way that when someone says I CAN'T do something, I set out to prove them wrong.  I don't like being told it can't happen when no one has even tried yet.  I hope you are well.


Jun 02, 2009 12:52 PM #14
Sylvie Conde
Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Broker, Toronto Real Estate

Carole, congratulations to a great Mom and a GREAT daughter. 
I think our children are able to do just about anything, if we encourage them and stand by them.
I know all about the school and negativity, about a child 'not being able to make it'.
A lot of teachers should be retrained on how to encourage children.
We need to fight for our kids and help them to succeed.
Good for Laura.  I'm sure we still have great things to see from her.
Congratulations again, to both of you.  And it doesn't look like Adam did so badly either. :)

Jun 03, 2009 12:20 AM #15
Laurie Mindnich
Centennial, CO

Carole, were you bawling?? I would have been- what a terrific testament to the young woman that you've shaped, but whose own final word has given her such a bright future. What an inspiring team you are!!! Congratulations.

Jun 03, 2009 01:58 PM #16
Mara Hawks
First Realty Auburn - Auburn, AL
Inactive-2012 REALTOR - Homes for Sale Auburn Real Estate, AL

Carole, I'm completely choked up...thank you (and Laura!) for sharing this story of courage and strength, determination and Love's generosity in the Universe...what blessings you have brought to each other's lives, and I understand , too, what it takes to work through the educational systems. Her spark and spirit of Life, once a fragile whisper, found its strength and roots in your selfless, mothering love...and bloomed beyond belief! Your thinking is like a mountain, Carole, hiking to heaven, one breath of compassion after another. I'm truly touched by this story, and thank you again for sharing this with us. BIG HUGS TO YOU BOTH! 

Jun 03, 2009 02:02 PM #17
Carol Smith
Casmi Photography - Mebane, NC

Carole and Laura,

Thank you for being gracious enough to let us in on your story.  It's amazing what encouragement and perseverance can do. 

We all have our limits, but sometimes those limits are minimized by those that don't WANT us to succeed.   You are both beautiful, smart and successful ... Let the rest of the world eat cake!

Jun 04, 2009 03:47 PM #18
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Sylvie, What a wonderful day it was!  The teachers have to worry about going against the Administration who WANT to keep children in Special Ed...the district makes more money.  I didn't know how political it was until I found myself in the middle of it.

Laurie, I actually started crying in spurts a few days before :)  And event I can't describe and that's why there are no photos of us together.....I looked AWFUL!

Mara, You are such an inspiration yourself and I somehow have no doubt YOU would have done the same if you had to.  A funny thing that I did not realize is that I'm more quiet and much less apt to argue if it's for me but my "claws" come out when it's my children :)! 

Carol, Interesting bit of news that just came up:  There is an opening in our district for an Art Education teacher :)  There are many applicant's but Laura is going to apply.  And has one teacher that is rooting for her!  We'll see if it's meant to be.

Jun 05, 2009 02:44 AM #19
Chris Fisher
Your Virtual Assistant - Concord, CA

Wow, Carole!  Your children are beautiful and I am not surprised your daughter had the strength and determination to do this.  She  had a lot of support.  Thank you for sharing her wonderful story, and congratulations to Laura for everything!

Jun 05, 2009 05:05 AM #20
Mary Yonkers
Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate - Erie, PA
Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor

Carole--Congrats are in order for both you & your daughter.  I remember that period of time so well.  My daughter finished finals, graduated and got an engagement ring all in one week.  What a whirlwind!  Now almost 12 years and two kids later life is still good.  I enjoy her and her friendship.  Good luck to your daughter as she sets out in the world.

Jun 05, 2009 07:53 AM #21
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Chris, I am always amazed at what she's overcome.  I hope that for parents reading they may not be too quick to believe the schools and instead they might see incredible potential in their children.

Mary What a whirlwind is RIGHT!  I'm thrilled to hear things are still well and very happy.  My daughter is putting off any thought of marriage until she is established (I'm glad to hear that :)

Jun 05, 2009 03:18 PM #22
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

That's a very encouraging story.  Good for you for not getting sucked into all the negative thinking!  You must be very proud to have such beautiful children.

Jun 06, 2009 01:49 PM #23
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging that Sells Portland Homes"

Carole ~ What a wonderful story of a determined, exceptional mother who wouldn't accept less than what your daughter deserved.  Both of your children are beautiful and successful and I'm sure they know how lucky they are to have had a positive force like you raise them.

Jun 06, 2009 04:38 PM #24
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Georgina,  Thank you, I am proud of them :)  It is a wonderful feeling to see your children exceed beyond even your expectations and watch their dreams come true.

Maaureen, It WAS determindation but Laura never said she wasn't up to a challange--and still doesn't.  Her graduation was a very special day, moreso because so many people said it would never come.

Jun 07, 2009 02:46 PM #25
c m
Colorado Springs, CO

Plenty to be proud of for you and your daughter! Lots of educators in our family, from spec. ed to counseling, admin, and regular ed.  All of "our gang" are very appreciative of parents who advocate for their child, to help them achieve their full potential.  As with all professions, there are those who do what they do to get a paycheck, and there are those who do what they do, because it is their calling and they do it well!  You took the calling to be a mother seriously, and you do/did it well!

Jun 07, 2009 05:52 PM #26
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Well, to me it sounds like Laura is just like her mother:

  1. She rocks!
  2. She rolls!
  3. She rules!


Jun 09, 2009 08:43 PM #27
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Cheryl, Thank you, I appreciate the comment and the thought.  You are allowed a parent advocate at these meetings but they never spoke up.  Still, Laura has had two wonderful teachers who always stepped in and spoke up; that helped tremendously.  They love what they do and she still visits them both today!

Russel, Laura thanks you very much...I do, too.  If I could get her on Activerain more (one of these days.........)

Jun 12, 2009 02:19 PM #28
Kathy Anderson
HomeSmart - Surprise, AZ
Arizona Retirement Homes For Sale, Sun City Grand

Beautiful story!  Beautiful family!  Congrats on your accomplishments Laura! 

Jun 18, 2009 11:03 AM #29
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