Down Syndrome Awareness MONTH

01.10.16

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

Psalm 139:14

Our Angel

There are some folks that will celebrate this special month and some that won’t!

Just like some folks have an extra chromosome and some don’t!

Our family is part of a very special, select group who will celebrate this month. October is Global Down Syndrome Awareness month!

Every year I take some time this week, as we prepare  for the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Association BUDDY WALK, to remember the birth of our granddaughter, Sarah Elizabeth, almost eight years ago and I was reminded of a poem I had read many years before she was even born!

Sweet Sisters

This is a poem, written by Emily Perl Kingsley. She wrote it to help others understand what it’s like to raise a child with special needs.

A Trip to Holland
When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”
“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”
But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.

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We landed in Holland almost eight years ago as we welcomed our precious Sarah, who has Down Syndrome, into our family! Our son, Brad, and his beautiful wife, Julia, never even asked about Italy and proudly introduced us all to the greatest gift our family has ever been given . . . and we LOVE Holland! Celebrate the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome this month as we will be celebrating our angel, Sweet Sarah!

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2013 Lowcountry Buddy Walk

Team Sarah and Gracen!

Sarah collage

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