Saturday, April 10, 2010

it's late.

i should be sleeping. in fact i was in bed already but couldn't sleep.
my chest is sunburned and my body is tired.
but my mind, my mind is racing a million miles an hour.

i'll tell you why...

when ben was born, i did what most people do--run to the internet for information, facts, help.
biggest mistake of my life.
google down syndrome and see what comes up.
text book type information full of hurtful and i suppose, medical, terminology.
delayed, cognitive disability, distinct appearance, lists upon lists of "side effects".
it nearly sent me over the egde straight into the deep end of dispair.

then, one day, i found a blog called bridget's light.
bridget had a third 21st chromosome just like ben.
bridget was also very close to ben's age. how cool.

reading about bridget's obstacles and victories equipped me with more than just medical terminology or a list of commonalities. it gave me something else entirely--HOPE--because bridget's mom, lisa, was about so much more than just down syndrome. she was as much about LIFE and LIVING as anything else.

over the past few years, lisa and i have chatted on each other's blogs, sent emails, left comments, and almost met once (we should have but got our weekends mixed up).
when i say she is a true friend, i know it probably sounds silly to most people because we've never even met, but i do feel like she is. we have something in common that runs deep--and that surpasses our common love of the beach or flea market shopping, although those are both awesome qualities i wish to find in all my friends--lisa and i are both mothers who love our children more than we fear their labels.

man, i'm really rambling here. but i have a point, i promise!

lisa and her husband have five children but they are expecting their sixth, a toddler named alina from the ukraine. alina also has down syndrome.

so, the reason i can't sleep is because in a few short hours, lisa will meet alina for the first time. a little girl that was given up at birth because her parents didn't want her will finally have a mother. an innocent child whose head was shaved in an orphanage because it was just easier that way will no longer have to be a burden to anyone. a baby who would be institutionalized for the rest of her life at age 5 because she couldn't possibly play an important role in society will now be doted on. she will be loved and loved and loved.

and all i can do is sit here and think about how good our God is. all i can do i give Him thanks and praise. for this journey lisa is on has inspired me. i feel thankful and grateful and my heart is full of love. i want to give God thanks for more than just giving alina a family to love her, but thanks for giving me ben and lisa and a reason to open my eyes extra wide and see the beauty in life that i had been missing. oh how i wish that so many more could see what i see, feel what i feel. see what lisa sees. and be brave enough to love without boundries, labels, limitations.

ok, slowly coming down off my soapbox now...

lisa, you are amazing.
alina, i can't wait to see you with a ponytail! :)
may God bless you and keep you safe.
there are many prayers being said for you tonight.

if you would like to continue to follow lisa and alina's journey, please check out loving alina.


Kelli said...

I started to comment on this post the other day and the computer stopped working and I lost what I had written. So, this comment will be less, but I wanted to tell you that I think what you wrote was great and I completely agree. So well written...I hope some day to meet your little guy!

Lisa said...

Thank you so much for your support--and your friendship, above all. This was so sweet! I am sorry we kept you waiting for details ;)...I hope you can sleep now :)!!

Beth said...

my daughter has special needs, and it has taken me a long time to truly 'see' all the life going on around me in the first year or two of her life. she is now 5 has 2 brothers and 1 sister, and i am finally in a place where i can be in the moment everyday. god IS good, and every child deserves the best life possible. lisa sounds amazing, like you!