Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My baby girl...

...isn't such a baby any more.  Can you guess what today is?

If you guessed "The day that part of my heart walked away from me without so much as a backward glance", you would be correct!!!!

Today was Lamb's first day of first grade!  She was so excited, she practically floated onto the bus this morning.  I miss her and cannot wait to hear about her day.  In the meantime, I have some brownie baking to do, so I had best be going.

Talk to you soon!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Questions over Cheerios

As Lamb, Roo, and I sat at the breakfast table this morning (Monkey is sick and Mr. Fantastic was upstairs with him), she seemed unusually quiet. After some probing, it turned out she had some questions on her mind...

"Is Down syndrome a sickness?"

"Is it good or bad?'

"I thought you said he would have Down syndrome for his whole life.  But if they can fix his heart, why can't they fix the Down syndrome, too?"

A year ago I would have been devastated by these questions, but today they had a certain sweetness to them. She wants to understand, she wants simple answers to complicated questions. I can definitely relate. And I can also appreciate her next question...

"Do we have any kiwi left?"

Sometimes you need to ponder life's mysteries, and sometimes you need to accept them and move on.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I love my buddy!

Saturday was a big day in our zoo--it was the first annual appearance of Roo's Crew at our local Buddy Walk!  Here we are, in all our glory...

Last year I was aware of the walk, but I just wasn't quite there yet.  I had a feeling that the people at the walk would be... well... happy.  And I really wasn't that.  At all.

But this year was a different story.  I was excited--and still a little nervous.  I was ready, as much as I ever would be.  And I wanted to feel a little more connected to families like ours.  And so, Roo's Crew was formed.

We set out to the walk not knowing what to expect, not knowing if this would be a one-time thing or an annual event for us.  Let me tell you, we will be there again next year without a doubt--only next time, we'll have our own team shirts.  :-)

We arrived a little later than planned, but I really didn't think there would be that many people there, so it shouldn't be too crowded, right?  Wow, was I wrong!  There were around 5,000 people walking this year!  5,000!!!!  I could hardly stop crying for the first half-hour we were there, just seeing all these wonderful families coming together to celebrate our "buddies" with Down syndrome.  I have to admit, lately I've been feeling a little bit isolated, a little alone on our journey, and it was so nice to see all these families and feel like we really belonged.

The event was well-organized and went great.  The weather was nice, the activities were great, the people were friendly.  I can't say enough good about it.

Here are a few of my favorite shots from the walk.  I took them all with my iPhone, so I can't say they are fabulous quality, but you'll get the idea.  Enjoy!  :-)

Me & my buddy!  ;-)
My attempt to get a shot of the crowd--there were about 5,000 people there!  It was unbelievable!!!

We're walking!  :-)

Lamb & her Nana
Roo with Papa

This band was a great encouragement along the walk--and the two boys in front both have DS.

Walking out onto the field at Progressive Field!  :-)

The kids LOVED getting to sit in the dugout.  :-)

All of the "buddies"--those with DS--got a medal as they approached home plate.  It was so cool!

And after the walk, there were tons of family-friendly activities.  The big kids very much enjoyed the bubble machines!

Lamb getting her hair sprayed...

Face painting--for some reason, she decided she wanted different color polka dots all over her face.  I have no idea where that idea came from, but it turned out cute...

Monkey got his face painted, too, and he went with a timeless favorite...


And once again, our favorite Buddy of the day.  He had a great time, and I can't wait to take him back next year.  :-)

To those of you who provided support for our team, THANK YOU!  I feel so blessed to have been a part of the walk, and especially to feel the love from each person who was a part of our team, whether in walking or by donation.  Thank you again!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Prayer for today...

Dear Lord,

The needs are so many, and my words are so few.

Thank You for knowing my heart and filling in the gaps.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Family Forest... pause...

Good morning, friends!  If you're wondering what happened to my Family Forest post for yesterday... I didn't forget.  I went to post it, and then... I found that I need to just sit on it for a little while.  I just need... a little extra time to work on this.  I apologize for the delay, especially since I said it would be there!

In other news, Roo's hearing test went GREAT!  His hearing is normal, praise the Lord!!!!  The doctor asked me to bring him back in a year.  If his hearing is normal again at that point, then we only need to have him checked every 2-3 years.  I am SO THANKFUL!

Have a great Thursday.  We're going back-to-school shopping.  :-)  What are you up to today?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Two more weeks

In less than weeks, my precious Lamb will be a FIRST GRADER.  I was struck by the reality of it all yesterday when I took her shopping for supplies.  First grade.  I don't wanna give her back.  Can't I just keep her at home?  Yes, I know the answer.  I am welcome to keep her at home--it's called home school.  Amazing invention.  But I am just barely hanging on by a thread as it is--there is no way I could be solely responsible for my children's education as well.  Just sign me up for the nuthouse right now.

Anyway, my blogging lately has been sporadic at best.  I can't blame it entirely on the busyness of summer, because I am finally ready to accept the fact that we are just plain busy all the time.  But right now, the summer--and spending the last two weeks of break with my baby girl--is taking up all of my time and energy.

So I'm here to ask you... please be patient with me.  I want to be here with you all, sharing what God is sharing with me, filling you in on our continuing DS journey, telling you about my amazing children.  But for now I need a little more time to BE with my amazing children--and husband!

Just two more weeks.  I really think I can be around more then.  Until then, I will still be posting.  Look for my next Family Forest post later today.  Roo and I are at Children's Hospital right now, getting his hearing tested.

Stay tuned..........

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Katy's Family Forest, Part 13

Danielle—let's call her Danny, to keep her straight from my birth mom :-)—quickly e-mailed Mr. Fantastic back to confirm that we were indeed talking about the same person. I'm still not sure how she was so confident. I'm telling you, we're not talking about a real unique name here, people. Anyway, Mr. Fantastic passed her e-mail on to me to handle as I saw fit. You see, I hadn't truly expected to find him. Before Mr. Fantastic had come across this messageboard, I had decided that I didn't want to invest the money in the investigator he had talked to. I didn't imagine in a million years that we would be able to contact him on our own. So now that the opportunity was right there in front of my face, I was no longer so sure I wanted to go forward with it. Mr. Fantastic assured me that he would leave the ball in my court.

But then, for some reason, he didn't. He felt obligated to respond to Danny's e-mail, and he told her why we were searching for George. It seems like such a minor detail now, so unimportant, but at the time I was absolutely devastated. This was a big step for me, and I wanted to take it in my way, on my time. Instead, he'd pushed me right down the staircase!

It was probably the shove that I needed, though. I now felt that I had no choice but to e-mail this woman about this man who I wasn't even sure I wanted to find. So I did. I told her who I was—probably reiterated a lot of the things Mr. Fantastic had already said—and explained why I was looking for George. I had no idea when I hit the "send" button what an integral part of my life she would become over the next several years.

Somewhere I still have that first e-mail that Danny sent me. I was in awe of how God had dropped her in our laps—I still am. Yes, she said again, we were talking about the same George… and she also knew who I was. She and George had had a relationship shortly after his relationship with my birth mom—but theirs had been… well, more "real", for lack of a better word. While I surmise that George's relationship with Danielle had been a fling (and had definitely been an affair), he and Danny had been in a long-term, somewhat-committed (more on that later) relationship. One where they lived together and had a child together as a result of actually TRYING to get pregnant. She had known about George's affair with Danielle and knew that they'd had a child who had been given up for adoption. And now here we were, 21 years later, "meeting" for the first time by the miracle of the internet.

And then I got it—George's address. I'm not sure if the message Mr. Fantastic had come across online was an old one, or if she had found him in the interim or what, but she now had his physical address. And she sent it to me.

And this man… the one who had lived in Colorado when I was born… who had lived in California when I was a child… who had traveled the world as a member of the Air Force… lived in Columbus, Ohio. Two hours away from me.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Show off

I just wanted to show you Roo's big tricks--hopping, dancing, and singing.  :-)  The lighting isn't great at first, but it gets better.  Enjoy...