Gratitude Journal: In honor of a year with the Quail

1. Making Zuzu into an awesome sister

2. Being an awesome sister yourself

3. the little hands sweeping behind you gesture you make when you are excited

4. the way your arms go up and you get all wiggly in anticipation when one of us put a receiving blanket over our shoulders

5. the courage you gave me as a mother

6. making us into a family

7. bringing me back to the kind of person I’ve always been

8. your confidence in your rightful belonging in our hearts, our family, our lives and on my hip

9. showing me the beauty in your unique face and way of being

10. your giggles, grins and gripping little hands

11. the community you bonded us too

12. your Buddha belly

13. your calm wise gaze

14. the way you follow your sister and cat around the room

15. your ability to have your cake and eat it too (you insist on being held by one of us and then immediately focus on the other)

16. for showing me there is more than one way to parent a child

17.  the reminder that we all have abilities and gifts

18. your joy and exuberance as you accomplish each developmental milestone

19.  the way you nuzzle into our necks when we hold you

20. the soft cooing sounds of you telling us what’s on your mind

21. our future- I can’t imagine our lives with anyone other then you, exactly how you are. I can’t wait to see and be with the person you are becoming and already are.

I can’t believe a year has flown by already dear girl. We all love you to itty bitty pieces and know that you are perfect exactly as you are. You make us so proud and we look forward to many, many family days together in our lives. We have so much to show you and do with you. We have learned so much about life, love and humanity already in this brief time together. This world is getting better every day- and we promise to continue to make it a happy, safe place for you to be able to spread your wings in. You are such a beauty. Thank you for gracing and blessing our lives.

Fave-O-Lit Friday: Oz Squad

Dear friends & family;

With the recent onslaught of media coverage surrounding the word retard. Sarah Palin has unwittingly become the Momma Bear defender of all children with Down syndrome. It is important to our families that she be educated in disability history and why it is important that she not politicize THIS particular issue. It is important that she use her public platform to defend people disabilities and help others who will listen to her undrestand that the word retard hurts all of us deeply. That it doesn’t matter who you are, please do not use this word and please understand that it hurts our precious children when you do.

I belong to an advocacy group that works to educate people about Down syndrome. We are sending an open letter to Mrs. Palin- a non-partisan one…- to help her understand how important it is that NO ONE be allowed to use the word & that when she speaks, she represents all of our families and and our children that have Down syndrome regardless of politics because she is such a public figure. Please come join us in reaching out to her by signing our letter.

Thanks so much for your help!

corner view: wisdom from an elder

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

-from Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

With the recent onslaught of media coverage surrounding the use of the word retard and retarded I find myself extremely saddened by the public’s defense of the appropriateness of this word as a synonym for anything they find annoying or ridiculous. Why people are insistent on their defense of their gratuitous use of this word when they are made aware of the power of it to hurt and strip the dignity of individuals with intellectual disabilities, is beyond me. I would have expected at the point in which it garners so much attention ;that people outside of the community of those of us who either have an intellectual disability or know and love someone who does; that it would have been a simple choice to just not say it- that it would have been clear that there is no appropriate time to use it or any other hate speech. The continued defense of people’s “right” to hurt others through this word is so disheartening to me. As Mr. Frost says- I do have promises to keep- to my children and teaching them to be kind to others; and miles to go before I sleep- there is still much work to be done in advocating for the rights of all people.