Thursday, March 3, 2011

All Around Me

Yesterday our family had the privilege of attending the Special Olympics to cheer on a wonderful boy from our church.  Not only did we want to cheer on this great little man, but Eric and I also thought it would be a good idea for our boys to see children with special needs up close and personal.  Sure, we have met Maria Falvo and her 2 little Eastern Europe loves (Benji & Taiya) but for once I wanted my boys to be the minority...I wanted them to see things through the eyes of special children.

A multitude of disabilities were represented yesterday but we kept a special look out for anyone with Down Syndrome.  I really had a desire to show my boys just how active and happy children with Down Syndrome can be.  And boy were we blessed!  We saw several children with Down Syndrome and even had the honor of meeting them up close and personal.  One little girl, Emily, took a liking to my boys and hugged them over and over.  Jeremiah was a little taken back by her overt affection towards him, but Elijah and Nathan ate it up!  Elijah kept giving her the "thumb's up" and telling her she did a great job (sweet Emily had 2 blue ribbons from the day's events!) and Sammy talked up a storm to her and held her hand.  I think he was telling her about his new brother, Daniel, but I am not entirely certain.  Little Emily also took a liking to Eric and hugged him a few times and thanked him for coming to cheer everyone on.  We also met a few other children with Down Syndrome, and again and again we were welcomed with love, affection, and happiness.  My boys (even Jeremiah!) were so excited to be around such happy kids which made them even all the more excited to be getting a new brother with Down Syndrome.  As I stood back and observed everything, I felt so emotional.  I don't know if I can even properly explain, but all I know is that seeing all of those amazing children made my heart ache for my son.  I even allowed myself to think that maybe, just maybe, someday we will be there to cheer on our own special boy and he, too, will get a blue ribbon.

The best part of the day, however, was watching our little friend, Eric, from church, participate in the 400 meter walk.  We stood at the starting line with him and cheered like mad.  Then before we knew it our 3 boys ran off with him around the track.  Eric cannot run the whole way around, but he would jog from time to time and all 3 of my boys jogged along side of him cheering him all with all that they had.  Tears blurred my vision as Eric crossed the finish line and I was so pleased for him as he received the blue ribbon!!!  My heart swelled with happiness to watch my boys be such good little friends to their friend, Eric.  It showed me that they will be fantastic brothers to Daniel and be there for him; to cheer him on in life.

To top off our fantastic day I met a special woman whose name is Cindy.  Cindy showed up at our church last evening as a newcomer to our Wednesday evening Bible Study.  What makes Cindy extra special is that she, too, has Down Syndrome.  I kind of saw Cindy's visit to our church as a special sign from God...O.K., maybe I am being dramatic, but I couldn't help but rejoice in her visit.  You see, we found out that she is also adopted.  God is so good!  Need I even write just how amazing I think that is?  God is setting things up at for our church to welcome a whole new segment of the population to come and be a part of our church family and He started with Cindy.  To that He will add our Daniel.  I am praying that more families from our church would adopt, too, and add to our "special segment".

In the meantime I must wait.  I must wait on God; timing for our family and for Daniel.  I will continue to pray for him, day dream about him, think about what it will be like to see him for the first time, and how wonderful it will be to embrace him for the first time.  I wonder if in his heart he knows that he has a family...I wonder if he has moments where he daydreams, too.  While I wait I will continue to advocate for these orphans that so desperately need a family and praise God that He spoke to our hearts and led us to Daniel.

--Jenny

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