Monday, October 15, 2012

Oh My Little Ada!


Most days I don't dwell on Ada having Down syndrome. I do think about it every day because as a mom I really have to. I think about if I have all her doctor's appointments scheduled; I think about whether or not she's had enough tummy and sitting time each day, if she's held a spoon, if she's tried picking up puffs by herself, etc. Now I do believe a lot of moms who have typical children think about these same things, but I'm thinking about them because I want Ada to reach her highest potential alongside Down syndrome.

Ada is now sitting up and clapping. She seems to be raising her arms when we say "How big is Ada?" At times I wonder if that is an accident but I have to believe she really does get it. She loves to be bounced up and down and will laugh like crazy when I do it. She's eating baby food really well and has started to eat puffs and soft bread. She is constantly up on all fours rocking like she is getting ready to crawl.

So hard to get this girl to smile for the camera because she's obsessed with grabbing it and observing!
Last week I took her for her 9 month appointment and she is a little over 13 pounds. She's still in 3-6 month clothing and can wear 6 months but it's a little baggy on her. It actually works best to wear 3-6 month pants and 6 month tops. You know how much I hate changing bins for clothing the first year of life so most of the time she just either has to go baggy or a bit short. Poor thing!

Her doctor is so pleased with how she is doing. He said she is on the curve in every way for a typical child. This is good news right? But somehow it feels strange to be excited about that. I mean, wonder if she wasn't? She'd still be Ada. We'd still love her. It's in these moments I get confused as to how I should be hoping. Do you hope for the smartest physically fit Down syndrome child who can compete with some typical children? It just seems weird.

Sitting up like a big girl in her crib.
 At the Down syndrome walk this became evident to me. People send me Down syndrome articles and videos all the time. I totally appreciate them. It's great to see. I remember people sending me, and at times still do, all the videos about children who were deaf and could speak well or who turned out to be great musicians. Great for those children and great to know about the different potentials children with these disabilities can reach! At the same time I wonder if my child can't do those things will that be disappointing? I really don't want to be disappointed in them especially if it's not their fault.

It's this weird conflicting emotion that goes on inside of me. When these moments come I remind myself that I just want each of my girls to be the best they can be. To reach their full potential and not the full potential of what their disability is.

Another weird conflicting emotion races through me when someone sends me a video or article about a person who has one of my children's disabilities and says "Wow, can you believe they can do this?" I am surprised at their unbelief and sad that they didn't realize that, yes, these children can do these things.
They do them all the time. 

June helping Ada in therapy.
I feel burdened at times of having to be the advocate for the deaf or those with Down syndrome. I don't really want to be the educator but the Lord has placed me in this position and continues to give me in Grace and Patience to share what these children can do and be. Even in this burden, I can become excited about it and think about my future. Will I be someone who leads parents who have children with these disabilities? Will I be able to run an organization that advocates for them? Will I be able to come alongside a parent who is having a hard time dealing with their child's disability?

A few years ago I thought that when my children were a bit older I'd finish my Masters in Counseling. Now I am realizing why I wasn't able to finish that degree and wonder what He has in store for me. The Lord placed these three girls in my home to not only give me the opportunity with Greg to love and raise them, but to change me and put me in a place that will be able to help those around me. Isn't that amazing?!

Thanks, again, for letting me express honestly!




I love this statement:

When these moments come I remind myself that I just want each of my girls to be the best they can be. To reach their full potential....

I know it's coming from a bit of a different place when your kids have a disability, but it's such a great mantra for all of us parents. Just putting on the blinders to everyone else and wanting them to be the most loving, smartest, joyful version of themselves.

Thanks for making us think!



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