Early on in my pregnancy with Abby, we found out that we were having twins. I was overwhelmed- but not with the idea of having two at the same time- but with gratitude that God saw me fit to have not one, but two of his spirits- at the same time. We didn’t know if we were even going to be able to get pregnant after the multiple surgeries I had had in that region in the years prior. Though having twins was not meant to be for us, from time to time I get overwhelmed with that same feeling.
Grateful that God saw me fit to have not one, but two of his CHOICEST spirits. It came the other day as I watched a mom and her beautiful, grown daughter walk hand in hand into the store. It happens every time the girl down the street, Roxy, who has Down syndrome, says ‘hi’ to Abby and gives her a kiss. I am grateful. I’m grateful to be apart of this world. The world of special needs. It has taught me how wonderful life can be.
I’m grateful to be numbered among the parents who have kids with special needs. I’m not of their ranks just yet, but they are teaching me. They (you) are teaching me patience, they are teaching me that laughter can still live on, and they are teaching me how important it is to share the knowledge I’ve gained so far with others.
Brave. These parents are brave. They’ve taught me so much. I think about the Smith’s- I always think about the Smiths- who were there for me while we were getting Casey diagnosed. I was working so hard just to get through the grief of “losing” my son, that if I didn’t have them, I wouldn’t have been able to get through the maze of getting him services. For Tammy Smith telling me simply, “autism sucks.” Because I needed to be able to say that from time to time without feeling badly or like I didn’t love Casey to bits. For being brave in their lives so that I could (try to)be brave in mine.
|Deron and Jaron Smith|
I think about the Down syndrome world. For the women on Babycenter.com who made me SO EXCITED to have a child with Down syndrome. Who made no qualms about it being hard, but also showed me that it was every bit as wonderful. I’m so grateful for Melissa The Awesome who has taught me that it’s okay to be a little irreverent, to laugh and to every once in a while be a headcase (not so much her as me) about the situation we’ve found ourselves in. For being the only other person I know to have both a child with Autism and a child with Down syndrome. But for also being super cool. She’s shown me that you can be terribly down to earth even when the realities here are sort of staggering from time to time. (I want to add this super pretty picture of herself that she sent me in a text, but I don’t want to get murdered. Today.) I’m grateful for Annette down the street who has taken me under her wing and shown me all the wonderful things Virginia has to offer for our kids.
I’m grateful for Casey’s teachers, past and present. Who did everything they could within their means and their time to help Casey. For Casey’s regular education teacher now who always acts like HE’S the lucky one to have the special needs kids in his class. Who’s more than happy to have a classroom that is a little bit more challenging, but all the better for it. For his special needs teacher who’s okay with Casey thinking she’s his girlfriend. She has this AMAZING picture on her wall of her and Casey as Casey’s tackling her. There’s so much joy in BOTH of their faces. I’ll email her for a copy of it and post it here as soon as I get it. It’s too wonderful.
This month is Down Syndrome Awareness Month and I’m eagerly awaiting the Buddy Walk we get to do again next week. I get to go be numbered with hundreds of these amazing people. Last year just being there was one of the most amazing feelings I’ve ever had. These kids have a special spirit, you know it if you’ve held Abby. Add to that the hundred or so children with Down syndrome who will be there and I’m sure you can imagine the joy it is. We didn’t make our own team this year, mostly because things have been so busy, but we’ve joined another one. This family had a child with Down syndrome a few years ago and have just adopted their second with Down syndrome. If you’re feeling spendy, if you love Abby and would love to see services for her and these other amazing kids continue (along with research into Down syndrome related issues) you can donate here:
October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I know too many women who have fought, are in the process of fighting, or may have to fight this awful disease. It affects too many women, but fortunately, if it’s caught early, it’s almost 99% curable. That’s HUGE. Funding for Susan G. Komen, The American Cancer Society and the National Breast Cancer foundation (among others) goes towards research, education, breast exams and tests for women who don’t otherwise have the ability to get routine screening, etc. To donate, go to:
And finally (right?) I’m grateful for you readers. I can’t even begin to tell me how much you mean to me. The letters I’ve recieved from a couple of you last week brought me to tears and to my knees. I get to meet the greatest people who for whatever reason, come here. This blog has been a huge outlet for me, I’ve needed it. Thank you for your support and for encouraging me to write, and to live a life worth writing about.