{3:21} World Down Syndrome Day

I’m so in love with Sarah Conant’s song Who I Am. And in honor of World Down Syndrome Day, I wanted to share a little bit about who Eli is.

Eli, you will be one year old next month! It’s so hard to even believe that 3 years ago we were struggling with infertility and had lost all hope of ever having a family. It truly feels like just yesterday we were driving to the hospital because you decided to make an early arrival.
Your coming into this world was a celebration and your life continues with that theme- we celebrate the opportunity to be your parents every day.
You inspire us and our friends. You have a laugh that is absolutely contagious. When you smile, your big blue eyes turn into half cesent moons that just melt my heart. I just love that toothless grin. You are smart and stubborn- you know how to work your mama and you know what you want (which is not OT!). You have a determination I have never seen- always trying again even when it’s difficult.
You hate naps…like with a passion. And you love to snuggle. Your favorite toys aren’t toys at all: tissue paper, bells, beads and spatulas. What a turkey!
You take in the world around you with such amazement- especially now that you got your tubes placed. You can hear so many new things and you are a regular ole chatter box.
My favorite part of the day is laying in bed in the morning and listening to you talk to yourself over the baby monitor…or maybe it’s when I come home from work and you give my neck a squeeze…or when you laugh during our games and I shower you with kisses…you get the point. Gosh I so love everything about you! You are you, and I’m blown away by how amazing you are daily.

3 years ago I could have never imagined the simple joy you would bring to our lives. Eli, you are the Extra Light Inside that we prayed for. You are a much loved child of God, made perfectly in His image. We love who you are and can’t wait to discover who you will be! Happy 11 months my little man! Happy World Down Syndrome Day!

For more information on DS, resources, support or to connect with other families, please visit: IDSC

Barry’s Birthday

20120902-094837.jpgThis weekend has been so relaxing! I’m glad we decided to get away together. 🙂
Such a different day compared to last year. A year ago this weekend we were celebrating Barry’s birthday and I was trying to hold myself together. I had just finished my embryo transfer and recovered from bed rest. On the way home from work my mom had to talk me down- I was 100% convinced our IVF cycle did not work and we were not pregnant. When I arrived home, I immediately wanted to discuss adoption options instead of prepare for Barry’s party.
What I really wanted to do was cry but having people over forced me to move forward and be positive.
Emotions were high, hopes were being stressed and prayers were being lifted up. I remember every detail of that day down to what I was wearing.
Little did we know that Gods plan was already in motion. (Although, Barry says he knew the whole time that we were pregnant already and it was a boy hehe.)
Today, as we celebrate Barry’s birthday, we reflect on the blessings that have been poured out through our journey and our precious son. What a difference a year makes.
Thank you for sharing in our journey.

Late Weekend Update

I started this entry Monday morning and never finished. I thought I could make it sound better, but I just can’t. lol It is what it is and my mind is still thinking on all of it, so here it is!

This weekend went by too quickly! My family dropped by on Saturday to watch the UFC fight and visit Eli (more to visit Eli lol). I don’t like that kind of thing, so after my mom left (not her thing either) my sister and I did at home pedicures and laid around chatting. It was nearly exactly how a movie would typify a sister-sister gathering and it made me very happy. Is it dumb to say that? Oh well, our nails look awesome now and I have I new favorite polish brand (Essie- has stayed put for 4 days on my fingers, no touch ups or peeling after all my hand-washing and bottle cleaning) 😉

Sunday I put Eli in the church nursery while we attended service for the first time ever. I wasn’t nervous or anything…until I walked away. I started to tear up out of no where! I didn’t cry, but still…it wasn’t as easy to leave him as I thought it would be.
Up until now, I have never left Eli with “strangers”. I didn’t cry when we left him for our first date night, or even any time we leave him with family or friends. But these girls were not personal friends or anyone we even remotely knew.
I think part of it made me feel vulnerable. Like I needed to explain to them that he has Ds. Which is utterly stupid since it’s not important at all. Ds isn’t even a part of the equation or something I think about on a daily basis. Why I would even concern myself with such a thing is beyond me, but I was instantly worried that his new caretakers needed to know. Maybe to protect him?…I don’t know. It seems so dumb even as I write it. Obviously I’m still protective of him.
Whatever the reason, the good news is that he did wonderfully (the staff loved him!) and that was two poopie diapers I didn’t have to change. *whew* crisis avoided.

The sermon was a comforting message that has been our family mantra for the last 2 years: waiting on God. It got me thinking about how much waiting we did…waiting to be blessed with a child. How all-consuming that mission became and how impatiently we waited for God to give us what we wanted. Now it seems like a distant memory. Another chapter. I’ve barely thought about that time since finding out we were pregnant and giving birth to Eli.
Funny how quickly we forget.
It was a good reminder to be thankful for what we have and it also forced me to think ahead. Wonder what God’s plans for the future of our family included.
There is almost always a time during service when our pastor challenges us to try to “hear” God speaking to us. Today I clenched my eyes tightly in an attempt to intercept that message.
What does God have in store for us? Should we wait for more kids? Begin looking into adoption? Try on our own/try IVF again?
Partly it seems selfish to even begin to think about that. We waited for so long to have Eli and now that he is here we want to enjoy every second we have with him. I feel content…as if everything fell into place. Why jump in again? Cause that’s the kind of person I am!
Anyway, didn’t “hear” my answer today, so I will continue to pray until I do, ’cause I’m pretty sure it’s going to be awesomeness. 🙂

After that we visited some of Barry’s family to celebrate a birthday. Eli was passed around by Georgia relatives who had not met him yet. He was the hit of the party for sure. The topic turned to questions about Ds and his development. I guess it’s a common theme this weekend…
They were so impressed with how strong he is and how typical he really is. I was able to shed some light on a few things and hopefully discourage some stereotypes.
It was a nice follow up to church, since I was feeling like I needed to talk about it. I need to be quick to advocate, teach and openly discuss Ds because Eli is breaking all the rules and we are loving every second of it.
I really wish there was better and more updated information out there that more accurately represented our kiddos. Barry says I should write something but I just don’t know where to even begin.

Ok, this entry feels disjointed. Too much soul-searching and complicated stuff going on in my brain right now. lol
Eli is doing very well in his crib, we are ready for a new week and trying to stay out of this Texas heat.