As many of you know, I divide my time between doll-making and helping run and fundraise for my brother's group home. I love the 12 residents in that group home and feel very lucky to be a part of their lives.
So when I was contacted by the mother of a 23-year-old Autistic boy to make a custom doll, I felt like my two worlds had suddenly merged.
Brenda wrote to me asking if I could make a doll of Michael's favorite character, Kiki, the delivery girl. She had several specific customizations for Michael. The hair needed to be yarn for sensory reasons. That was easy since all of my dolls have yarn hair. Two, she had to be more realistic, more like Kiki, than Phoebe is. This meant shortening her limbs and including the whites of her eyes. She said Michael is very literal and would notice these types of details.
And Kiki needed to be tough. Kiki might be slept with, rolled over or tossed around.
I love a doll challenge and I especially loved this one. Although I had never met Michael, I had some understanding of Michael's world. I had a mission and went to work.
A few details about Kiki:
- She has shorter limbs to be realistic
- She has whites in her eyes
- Her bow is stitched down.
- Her red shoes are stitched on.
- She has two dresses because in the cartoon sometimes her dress appears deep Navy and sometimes it appears a purply blue. I wasn't sure which Michael would think was realistic.
- She has a simple sturdy messenger bag.
- She wants to go live with Michael.
Kiki flew off to Canada, where she met Michael. Michael's Mom waited for the right time to introduce the two. And Michael's Mom, her devotion reminds me of my Mom's devotion to my brother, which makes me a little weepy.