Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Are You Trying to Slow Me Down, Lord?

well, i blogged night before last about comparisons.....and i was blessed beyond measure by the responses of encouragement that i received!  my sweet fb friend, peggy, was surprised to hear that sometimes i am sad....these are her kind words:

" Oh, Penny, how sad this sounds, & it makes my heart hurt to think of you hurting for your sweet Wyatt. To me, he's just a darling little boy who's so totally loved & whose Mama takes great delight in each of his achievements. I know this ...probably won't help, but "not as fast paced" doesn't have to be a bad thing, really. Our world is far too fast-paced these days. With Wyatt, although he might be behind others his age, he's happy with the life he has, and you get to savor each and every step forward. So many moms these days live such hectic lives they totally miss their kids' first words, first steps, first everything. God knew exactly what He was doing when he placed Wyatt in your tender care----for you to be a loving caretaker & blessing to him & for him to be a blessing to you, & just maybe to slow things down & really be able to rejoice in each little bit or growth. I'll be praying for you that this sadness will be lifted and you can continue to rejoice in all of the beauty and goodness that is Wyatt. Sending love & hugs."

although i wish that i deserved all her "praises," i fall so woefully short of them..... but her kind words of encouragement did make me think.... i'm sure that God has often tried to slow me down....in more ways than one.  so often i can look back and see how i have rushed through our older boys' lives!   been in such a hurry to do other "things" that i have often missed the most important "things" that God has entrusted me with....my family....my precious boys and wonderful hubby!   and with wyatt, i'll have PLENTY of time to enjoy, treasure, and love him and all his milestones and accomplishments!    peace.....

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Those Comparisons.....

the younger boys and i travelled yesterday by plane to texas to see tim's family while tim and ethan drove.  isn't it funny how there are moments that you are reminded that your child has Down syndrome more than other moments?   the lady at the information desk at the airport commented on how cute he is....then went on to tell me that her mom works at MKL (our local school for kiddos w/special needs).   why does it surprise me when someone recognizes that he has Ds?  he looks so much like our older boys that sometimes it just catches me off guard!   and once i'm reminded, then i wonder what other strangers are thinking when they see wyatt, if they're feeling sorry for me....

i don't dwell on these thoughts often, but right now it's just a little more obvious to me developmentally that wyatt is behind other kids his age, especially in the area of walking.....i know all the statistics for kids with Ds and their varying ages of walking, but that doesn't make it hurt less to see kids younger than him running all over the place.  to hear them talking a lot more....the list goes on.   in our extended family i have a cousin with a child 1 month younger than wyatt, and when we were together on Christmas eve it made me a little sad.  funny thing is, i asked tim if it makes him sad, and he said "no...." end of story..... wish i was more like that!  

my friend carol and i were talking about those comparisons of our kids w/Ds....her son is almost 1 year older than wyatt, and he's kind of paving the way for wyatt at our local preschool.    as we were talking, she said it's like there's a "film" over his brain (i think that's the way she put it).... he's just a little slower in things.... and i feel that way as well....like wyatt's just not as quick to pick things up as other kids....which i know is the case, but it's still hard!    and it makes me sad.....and i know that i will see that more and more the older he gets....and i just wonder if/when it will get easier to accept.....that life for wyatt will be a little slower....not as fast paced, maybe.....

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

it's now midnight on Christmas eve.....actually VERY EARLY Christmas morning!  i have so much to be thankful for this Christmas, but i have just felt rushed through this entire month.  and i do not like that feeling.  we finally sat down together tonight and read the Christmas story from Luke....i am very thankful we made the time to do that!

we've had a lot going on lately; a couple of deaths in our extended family.  a local shooting at our school board meeting that could have ended in the death of 2 of our friends....only by the miraculous hand of God were they all saved.   we have so much to be thankful for....

i'm reminded again tonight of the great sacrifice that Jesus made for us, to forgive us of our sins.  we have so very much to be thankful for....

may God richly bless you and your family this Christmas.  may we each find the time to focus on the TRUE MEANING of CHRISTMAS.......the BIRTH of our SAVIOR.....JESUS CHRIST!   

and may there one day very soon be peace on earth......

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Down Syndrome: A Teenager's Perspective...

i have a facebook friend, liz, whose teenage daughter, heidi, has Down syndrome.  they live in the united kingdom.  this is what heidi wrote (independently) in response to a request from a friend who wanted to hear firsthand about what life is like for someone who has Down's syndrome:

"Hi i,am Heidi i,am 15 and i have downs syndrome. I go to tile hill wood school and has blue eyes and i,am very cute and...... has a wonderful and intelligent Personality and has a very kind and caring family .  I,am in year 9 i have lots of friends. I have been in the newspaper and on the radio because my dad wrote a book about me.

And i,am very happy to have such a wonderful sister as Suzie . I,am currentley choosing my options and i have chosen R.......E ,French, I have chosen french because my brother Tim has done it and can help me and he is very good at the french pronouncation. And also i have chosen History because it is very intresting. And i like history. Next school year when i start my gcses every thursday 9 till 3 i might be going to my brothers college to do a hair and beauty course.      Heidi"

liz and heidi
you sometimes hear that someone "suffers" from Ds.....as liz said in her post, "i don't think heidi SUFFERS from Ds, do you????"   it sounds to me like heidi has a lovely life that she lives to the fullest....and parents and siblings who love and support her!   heidi even has her own website:  http://www.heidicrowter.com/ ! 

liz is always such a tremendous support and encouragement to those of us who are relatively new to this unexpected journey of Ds.   our online Ds community has parents of kids with Ds of all ages, and we are so blessed to benefit from the experiences that they so freely share with us!   but to actually hear how a young lady with Ds describes her life is amazing and gives me much hope for wyatt's future.....

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Whisperings....

i don't know if i'm just being particularly sensitive or not, but i have felt like there has been a lot of "whispering"  around me while i've been out shopping with wyatt this week.  i have seen several people give me that pitiful, "so sorry for you" look.   seen (and heard) the whispering amongst families and friends while looking in our direction.  i know that wyatt is awfully cute, but i don't think that's what they are whispering about!

i posted a status on facebook about the whispering, and my good friend kym (http://www.stringbean17.com/)  sent me this message:

"Depends on the whisper....I do lean down sometimes and explain to my kids LOTS of things. Why someone is being mean....what the preacher meant, what the person in a wheelchair is doing with a pen in his mouth...usually then it involves them interacting in some way. Being kind to the meanie, interesting dialog now that they understand what the preacher is saying....or a conversation with someone in a wheelchair.

I do not know if the whispering you encountered was mean-spirited, but it may not have been. If it was, a good smile or having Wyatt blow them a kiss is a good option! :) If it isn't, a good smile or having Wyatt blow them a kiss might just be what they need to come explain that they were telling their child about their best friends little brother when they were a child...and how much they loved him, but they were not sure if they could come up to you.

I think that people who do not have kids with special needs do not know that they can talk or approach others. I have always walked up to the wheel chair, engaged the worker at wal-mart, but
most people are afraid of being rejected! :)"
i know that it's hard to know what to say to someone who has a child with special needs, but i wish it wasn't that way.  i wish that more parents could just treat our kids like we treat theirs....as precious gifts from God.....created by the same loving God!     not like our kids have something that their kids might catch.... something extra sweet, loving, kind and innocent.......

Friday, December 10, 2010

I Meet the Best People at JC Penney!

i meet the greatest people at jcpenney!   that's where i met my good friend april, whose son is clayton!  our mutual occupational therapist had given me april's number, but we had not been able to connect yet.   we ran into each other there, and i immediately recognized clayton....i knew she had to be april!   clayton is 4 months younger than wyatt, and we have become fast friends....with that little something extra in common!

this week, while doing some Christmas shopping at jcpenney, i saw a young adult with Down syndrome shopping with his parents.  i immediately spoke to his mom....just "hi, how are you?"....trying to figure out what to say!   as i circled around the area where we were shopping, i was able to speak to his mom again...."i have a baby with Down syndrome" i said..... she immediately warmed up to me and we had a lovely conversation.  she told me he (wyatt) would be the biggest blessing of my life!   their son's name is nathaniel, and he is a sweet, courteous, precious 30 year old who loves to worship!   his mom told me that he even sings solos in church!   my encounter was such a blessing to me....such an encouragement!   i actually saw them again today after the old fashioned Christmas parade that wyatt and i rode in with my parents, in my dad's '31 model a!    i grabbed wyatt and "chased them down" to talk to them again!    they are an awesome Christian family.....i'm so glad i met them!

his mom told me that she was 21 when he was born.   he was born right here in the same hospital where wyatt was born.  at that same hospital they told his parents to put him in an institution. i praise God that no one said that to us when wyatt was born.  i can't even imagine.....

it's hard to imagine that parents in eastern europe and other countries leave their babies born with Ds in the hospital to be transferred to orphanages.  it's hard to believe that people in russia believe that adults with Ds "cannot take care of themselves or contribute to society. So..it is all we can do. Maybe the conditions should be better, but many of them are violent and mentally unstable. So we have no other choice.  Sorry."   this comment was posted on my friend patti's blog (A Perfect Lily.....letters to my daughter) today by a young russian woman......  this comment leads me to ask, have they ever met a child or adult with Ds?   the most kind, sweet, precious and loving people in the world?   oh my goodness..... so sad that even today in russia people believe this.....

we must pray for these people, for people around the world to have their eyes opened to the truth about Down syndrome....  we must pray that doctors will stop counseling parents who have a prenatal diagnosis of Ds to have abortions.......   the needs are so great.....  thank you God, for wyatt....for opening my eyes to the beauty that you created with that little extra chromosome.....maybe we're the ones who are missing something......

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Olga's Giveaway

i am so proud and excited for my friend patti who is having a giveaway for the adoption fund for OLGA from Reece's Rainbow !   patti's heart has been burdened for this precious girl who will turn 5 in january....the same month patti's own daughter lily will turn 1!   

please visit patti's blog A Perfect Lily....Letters to My Daughter to read about how you can donate to olga's fund as well!   patti is a pastor's wife, mother to 10 children, and homeschooler!   her 10th child, lily, was born with Down syndrome this year.  patti does not intend to adopt olga, but she knows that if there is enough money in olga's fund, someone will adopt her!  money is often the only deterent for families who would love to be the forever family to one of these precious children! 

i'm so excited that in only 3 days, patti has raised over $4,300 for precious olga!   i praise God that so many people have given sacrificially for this precious little girl who so desperately needs a home!   what can you do?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Thanksgiving in the Country

          just thought i'd share my handsome guys with y'all!  
          i'd hoped one of these would make a good Christmas pic,
          but not so sure about that!  we are so blessed!  

this is my crew! 
dad (tim) holding wyatt, forrest in front, and ethan beside me!

i'm not sure where forrest is looking in all these pics!

next year i don't think forrest will be able to stand in front of me!  

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Baby for Christmas!

one of my best friends in real life is actually giving a baby a home this Christmas.  i am so excited that my friends kym and dave are getting the desire of their hearts, the opportunity to adopt!  they have been blessed with 7 wonderful children.....seriously terrific kids, but as long as i have known them, they have ALL wanted to adopt a child.  at one point it was a child from china, but i think their family size prohibits that from happening.  they are a loving Christian family who have felt strongly about adoption for a long time!   

they have been in the process of getting their home study complete; we were blessed to serve as references for them, having to answer some pretty tough questions!   they received word monday that their home study was complete, and received word either monday or tuesday that a couple had chosen them to adopt their baby.   the baby boy is due around december 26th, and they video chatted with the birth parents this week!  at that time, the birth mom told them they would like for them (kym and dave) to be there when the baby is born, and could schedule an induction to be sure that happens!   very exciting!   

and to add a sweet blessing, the birth parents shared that they had chosen a name for their baby already.....WYATT..."strong of heart!"    kym and dave were more than happy to keep that name as one of their precious baby's names.   our kids share a lot of names in common already!   kym also told me that it is very fitting, because perhaps without God blessing us with our "surprise" little man wyatt, they would never have pursued adopting a child at this point in their lives!   

i am so thrilled at how God is at work in their lives....at His perfect timing!   i am eternally grateful that He is in control.....and i am not!    peace.....

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Who Will Love The Orphans This Christmas?

i love Christmas....it's my favorite time of year!  not only do we celebrate Christ's birth, but i have a birthday near Christmas as well!   and i'm like a little kid....i love birthdays!   i like to have a party, i like to get presents, i just like to celebrate my birthday in general!  

this year, however, i'm really struggling.....my heart is so torn for the babies and childrens with Down syndrome who need homes, both here in abroad.   i'm crying as i write this.  their needs are so great!   and their Christmas is so bleek.  who will love them?  who will hug them and hold them?  i need NOTHING in comparison to those precious children.  my kids need NOTHING in comparison to those precious children.    yet we live in such a "gimme gimme gimme" society......UGH!!!!    the commercialism of Christmas takes our focus off of the real reason we celebrate Christmas....the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ!  

yes, i'm giving to help bring a precious child home.....but should i do more?   my heart just breaks over these babies!  i just saw one on reece's rainbow....dante....who was born the same day as our precious wyatt.....and i saw christian, who was born the day before wyatt.....these boys so desperately need mommies and daddies to love them! 

i don't know what God's will for me is in this area, but i do know that He has changed my heart drastically over this past year.....yet it needs to be changed more and more to be like His.  i also know that i need to be on my knees in prayer seeking His direction......

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday.....Wyatt's Glasses!

if you're happy and you know it!
just hanging out with my daddy!

give me the camera!!!
physical therapy....with ms. joanna...
practicing standing.....have you ever seen such a contraption????