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!

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