I posted this on Facebook, but really felt the need to blog this too. I know i'm rarely present on this blog & need to be better about this but I advocate a lot on FB. I feel someone needs to see this today...feel free to share my #IBet story...
Recently one of my friends shared the most inspiring story I have ever read - she is a "single" military wife (while her husband was deployed a year - he is home now! ) with 2 small children living in Japan & she has officially built an income by helping others that allows her to retire her spouse so he can be home and present in their lives. A man on a plane tried to belittle her for being away from her children for work, and her response was priceless & had him in tears - and me too! She in turn challenged us to write our own stories so here is mine...
#Ibet if you were pregnant and received a Down Syndrome diagnosis & open heart surgery diagnosis that you would still celebrate the child that God was giving you. That you would understand that unanswered prayers are always the best! That you would see that she is beautiful, smart, funny, and perfectly made.
#Ibet if you received this diagnosis that you would NEVER call someone or something "retarded" again. That it would pierce your heart every time you heard it and you would regret every time it had been uttered from your mouth in the past.
#Ibet that after you handed your tiny baby over to a team of surgeons praying for God to hold her hands so she wouldn't be scared, that they could repair that broken heart so you could take her home again, and that her pain could be managed because it tore your heart to hear - that you would never take for granted every day of life. That you wouldn't fret & moan over the minor details that hold you back from life but that you would celebrate the small things like they were big things and you would turn it all over to HIM.
#Ibet that the fear you once had about how your new baby would impact her siblings would turn into great thankfulness. Thankfulness that they have a sibling that is special! She makes them better because she teaches them patience, kindness, and complete and total acceptance. That you will know they are better because they have each other.
#Ibet she would constantly blow your socks off - that you'd witness her walking, talking, potty training, and all of it would bring tears to your eyes because you've been given papers & books that said she wouldn't, couldn't, or would NEVER do this that or the other...until she was way older or possibly never - and you'd fist pump the air every time because she is just that awesome & because she's breaking the molds!
#Ibet you'd talk about her a lot because people NEED to learn from her. That adults need education MORE than the kids! That you'd have a constant fear that it wouldn't be kids that view her as less than - but actual adults that breed that into their children...so you would share her beauty, smile, and daily glow to teach them that what information was handed to them was wrong so they can learn and teach their children better. It starts with adults - not kids.
#Ibet you would push for inclusion, high school, college - because you know she's capable of anything! You wouldn't EVER limit her!
#Ibet your life would be bigger, richer, and better because you learned what a life with Down Syndrome meant. That you would embrace it. That she would be JUST like your other kids. You would treat her the same, respect her the same, set the same expectations, and she would rise to the occasion every time. That you would forget Down Syndrome in your daily life but thank God daily for her and the lessons you have learned.
#Ibet Down Syndrome would bless your life too.
*these photos are my property*