I certainly did. Should you feel inclined, you can go back to those months leading up to Micah's birth to find out bits of ways in which I grieved. I received a VERY informed piece of advice from a friend during that time. Andrea advised me not to waste time grieving the little things, like "Micah won't be able to ride a bike when he's five." As she said, there's time to grieve that later... like when he's five... because I'll probably grieve it then anyway, regardless of whether I grieved it before he was born. Andrea is a member of my "parents of kids with special needs" family. There's a subset to that group, and it's my "moms of kids with Down syndrome" family.
Frankly, it's a family I never expected nor wanted. I was pretty content living in my little "Christian moms of typical kids" family. But I LOVE my DS family (yes, I know that's not "people first language," but give me a bit of grace here, k?). I've met some amazing people, all because Micah has Down syndrome. For example... we went back to WI for the first annual DS awareness walk in the Fox Cities last weekend (see pictures from Saturday's post). The night before the walk, there was a small event at which Rachel Coleman (Signing Time) shared a bit of her journey. At the event, I was able to spend some time with some women who have helped me A LOT during the past 3 years since we received Micah' diagnosis. Meeting some of their children before Micah was born took some of the fear away.
Anyway... here are some photos of some members of our new family.
L to R: Jennifer, Sherry, Debbie, Melanie, Danielle, yours truly
Melanie (our vision-casting walk coordinator) and Rachel Coleman
Melanie and Rachel signing "elk" (if you were to sign "deer," your thumbs would be touching your head... for "elk" your hands are not touching your head)
Anyway... I'm grateful for all of you, my friends of little ones with designer genes. You bless me beyond words. I feel privileged to walk this journey with you. And if you haven't been to a national conference yet, please consider attending next year in San Antonio. I was blown away in Orlando at NDSC. I kept thinking, "Wow. I've never seen a group of parents more passionate about their children." (to those of you not in the "parents of kids with special needs" family, please don't take offense... it's just that when you have to advocate DAILY for your child, that passion you have for your child tends to grow).