And the second post…also still the same feelings!
Posting twice in one day, after nothing new for months, shocking, I know! I wrote earlier today, about my daughter & her pony and my love for all things EAAT. Our events of today actually inspired my thoughts of posting about how certain life events are recently coming full circle, and hopefully now continuing, round and round. Since Josie and Mr. Bean were really the first of a few events, I wanted to start there. But today was pretty amazing and completed a couple different circles.
Today was the National Down Syndrome Society – Buddy Walk for our area. Our local organization F.R.I.E.N.D.S., hosted the event in our beautiful downtown park area. (You can learn more about NDSS-Buddy Walks and FRIENDS, by clicking on the links over their names.) It was a gorgeous day. The weather was great. There were bouncy houses,
farm animals, balloon animals, music, everything a 5 year old girl could ask for at her park. There were couple of things that made the day extra special, though.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I was involved in EAAT for many years. The organizations that I worked for over all of the those years were very involved in all of the local special needs organizations. We often set up booths at the Autism Walk, transition fairs, and of course, Buddy walks. I spend many years standing at a table sharing with families with kiddos with Down syndrome, how great EAAT is. (I also enjoyed watching kiddos, that were current students, romp around and happily come to
the table to say hello!) I enjoyed those events a lot, as it was great to see those kids out of the element of the barn and get to spend time with them while experiencing other activities and day-to-day life happenings. I loved sharing about what we did, but also loved just being with those families. Even as a bit of an outsider. Well, today, we attended the Buddy Walk, but this time, I was ONE of those families. My child with Down syndrome romped around, bounced in the bouncy house with friends from school, fed goats & cows & ducks, danced the chicken dance, and walked a lap around the park with hundreds other families, celebrating their children
and loved ones with Down syndrome. She left with a full belly, a purple kitty balloon animal, a bag of extra goodies and a whole lot of exhausted happiness.
While there, she saw and greeted her Pre-K teacher, who’s childless and simply came to enjoy the event and see her students outside of the school walls, to see them in a different element and celebrate with them. (She’s an amazing teacher, by the way. We LOVE Miss K. I am SOOO happy Josie is repeating another year of Pre-K and will blog on that another time!) Today, my life again came full circle. After all those years of Buddy Walks with other
families and their children, today, MY family walked that park with full hearts and my beautiful daughter.
As an added bonus to our Buddy Walk event, Josie and I hung out at none other than, the Reece’s Rainbow table!! (So, yes, I did still kind of sit behind a table today, but as a completely different experience!) I got to meet the boy who started it all and his A.Mazing Mama! I think I was more excited about that then I realized, but of course, I couldn’t let my “I’m more excited than some dopey kid meeting their favorite celebrity” excitement show, so I played cool. It really hit me after we got home and well, as I started to write this post.
Today, we met Reece, who without hesitation, warmly welcomed my daughter with a big hug (and a big cheese for the camera)!
He’s a happy, busy boy who shares the love of the bouncy house with Josie. He’s the reason my daughter is sleeping under the same roof as me tonight. Without his existence, there would be no ‘Rainbow’. But the other end of that rainbow is his wonderful Mama, Andrea. She knew what an amazing blessing she’d been
given with Reece. It’s a bit surreal to think, that without Reece and his Mama, I may not have Josie. I know it’s all God’s plan, so I can’t say what exactly would or would not happen, but Andrea ‘saw’ my daughter before I did. She saw a child who needed a family and she shared that child. Because of her, almost 2000 children are home, with their families. Blossoming, thriving, growing, LOVED. It was a pretty amazing moment to hug the woman responsible for giving my child a chance at a life. And even more amazing for my child, who would not have been seen, hug her honorary Auntie, who saw my girl, shouted for her, loved her and helped bring her home.
Ultimate completed circle…right here…