Friday, July 22, 2011


While I was pregnant with Daniel, and we had learned about the likelihood that he would be born with Down syndrome, I discovered the Down syndrome board on  We received so many tender mercies during our stay with grief (yes, I did say grief) and shock, and finding the Down syndrome board was definitely high on the list for me.  Here was a place where parents could freely share their joys and triumphs, struggles and sadness.  No sugar coating.  Raw emotions.  A safe zone.  Lots of questions and plenty of advice.  It was blatantly obvious to me that these parents adored their children.

One of the gems I discovered quickly was the importance of being involved in the local Down syndrome support group.  So many parents talked about the feeling of family – a place of acceptance and belonging – that is part of these groups.  “Get involved with your local group,” they would say to expectant moms.  I have to admit, I was a little skeptical at first.  How in the world could a bunch of strangers getting together to have a party be beneficial?  To our local group, I say, “Thank you for loving a skeptic!”  We have been received with open arms and open hearts.  We attended our first activity in May – a family swimming party.  The feeling of love was almost tangible.  I watched from the side of pool as I held Daniel, and the sea of emotions living inside me began to swell.  I realized again that this wasn’t going to be an easy journey.  (Then again, parenthood itself is inherently difficult.)  And I also knew that we could do this!

Last week our chapter held a luau, complete with yummy food, water fun, and entertainment by the Pauni family.  I think it would be an understatement if I said that our kids had a blast!




Even Daniel enjoyed the festivities…for a minute or two while we tried to feed him!  (“We” meaning Grandma tried, and then I tried, and he showed us who’s really in charge!)


Learning the Hula.  It’s all in the feet (or so I heard).


Do the Haka (no shirts allowed)!  Look at those muscles!  (Josh wouldn’t participate…I think because they told the boys to take their shirts off!)


Does a Down syndrome support group solve all the problems we face as parents raising a child with special needs?  Probably not.  What it does do – at least for us – is help families to know that this is do-able.  And life will still be enjoyable.  Oh, and just in case you didn’t know already, people with Down syndrome are pretty amazing!


No comments:

Post a Comment