Monday, March 5, 2012

Project 3.21 Returns

I have an anniversary coming up. 3 years and 5 days ago I found out I was having a baby girl. And in 6 more days, will be 3 years from when my world came crashing down. I don't think any amount of time will make me forget the shocks of pain, fear and numbness that shot through me through-out that day, and my countless writings, both here and in my private journals, keep me from forgetting the details. It was the first time I learned something was wrong, it was the first time I had to fear for the life of my child, the first time I had to stand up for my baby girl to have the right to keep living, and it was the first time Down syndrome became a very close part of my life.

I have grown and changed a lot in three years. I've learned more about the medical field and suffering then I ever wanted to get close to, but more importantly I've learned about life and beauty. My life, that was very quickly whizzing by me, abruptly slowed down. The flowers came into focus. A nightmare became a blessing, a priceless blessing.

Life is a precious, precious gift. Not to be rushed. Not to be taken for granted. There is no such thing as too many kisses, or being too grateful. Both should be endless. Two seems to be a big turning point for most families with a child with Down syndrome. That same big turning point that would normally happen for most at One. And its most closely linked to the independence of walking. I knew the flood gates had opened when Fiona had a break though with crawling. Then it was pulling to stand. And clapping. And walking holding my hands. And attempting to use utensils. And interactively playing with her toys. And then last week, she stacked two blocks. Its pouring at our house.... sweet, much needed rain pouring, fueling growth. Two is quickly approaching.

One. Two. Three, four, five, six, seven, eat, nine, ten, eleven, tweleve.... steps as she pushed her hippo walker. Independently- on her own. Over and over, she fell and got back up, pride beaming from her contagious smile. I look at her size 2 feet, all straight with their little sandle gapped big toes. The same feet that used to tuck up crooked and turned, the same legs that used to refuse to straighten. And I see a future ballernia. I see her chasing after a soccer ball with her brothers. I squeeze my eyes shut and force it all to slow down again, teasuring each wabbly and intentional step.

With March, comes 3.21. Last year, I asked you all to help me raise awerness about Down syndrome and World Down Syndrome Day, which is March 21. And I am asking again. Post a blog about it. Share a story or a picture of someone you know or love who has the 3rd 21st chromsome on Facebook, twitter, email or in person and share the message of acceptance and worth. And if you are able, help us in supporting NDSS (National Down Syndrome Society) with a modest donation. This orginization helps us in advocating for our kids all over the country, supporting them, standing up for them, and helping people with Down syndrome achieve their dreams.

Whats so cool about World Down Syndrome Day (and how it differentiates from National Down Syndrome Awareness month, which is October) is that this a day reconginzed WORLD wide. Every country, nation, race, social class and gender is effect by Down syndrome, and this is a day to celebrate how we are positively affected across the world. I smile to know my friends in Canada, England and all the way in Australia are also raising glasses with me on 3.21.2012 to our kids who have positively impacted our lives.

Help me reach my goal of raising Project 3.21  up from $1,450 to $2,000. I am forever grateful for our friends who continue to shower us with support and help brighten Fiona's future, and for all of you that I do not even know personally who hold a place for my daughter and her life in your heart. Your words, let alone your donations, bring so much comfort and encouragement to this mamma's heart who aches for the same that you all wish for your own children- the best future possible.

To learn more about Project 3.21 and World Down Syndrome Day and my Fiona, visit HERE

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