When I post something new, I'm also "picture-driven". I will see a photo of my kids, or just something John Michael is doing, and that will inspire my writing. But I haven't taken any photos in over a week! Something's not quite right.
Here are some things on my mind lately, in no particular order:
- A couple of my blogging friends, Jennifer (she's local!) and Lisa are adopting beautiful children from eastern Europe. I honestly believe that if I weren't expecting my 5th child right now, we would be seriously considering this option for our family. Doug has often asked if I would be open to adopting a child, and until Reece's Rainbow and other wonderful families showed us the way, I would always say, "no". John Michael has done more for our family in his 2 years, than I ever could have imagined! Sofia and Alina are sooo fortunate to be finding their forever families, and both are families I've followed for a while and I'm overjoyed for them.
- On 3/3/10, I'm going to speaking to the student body at my older kids' school about the R word and Down syndrome. I'm a little nervous, but have much of it planned in my head. The first talk will be for TK through 2nd grade, and shorter in length. My Friend Isabelle is one of my favorite stories and it is narrated in video style, which I want to show them. I will also talk about John Michael and use some tips from Hi, I'm Ben. I Have a Secret. John C. McGinley also does a couple great longer 4 to 5 minute video clips with the amazing hip hop dance group, The Strikers, to talk about the R word (it's on http://www.r-word.org/ under resources). I plan to show those as well. For the 3rd to 8th grade group, I will show the middle school version of McGinley's clip, talk about Ds via PowerPoint, and end with "Difference is an Artist's Game" on YouTube. It's an amazing video essay written and narrated by an 8th grade girl about her little brother who has Ds and she compares him to a Picasso painting. At the end, I will have the kids sign a banner pledging to "SPREAD THE WORD TO END THE WORD" and encourage them to do it online at home as well.
- I also think about the dynamics of having another baby. I sit here typing and I can feel the little guy kicking me... gently... or nudging me to get off the computer. Not sure. Will he have curly blond hair like Nic, straight blond hair like John Michael, red hair like Greta, a sensitive nature like Anna? Will he be a Lego fanatic like Nic? What will he be like, what will his unique, unrepeatable, irreplaceable qualities be? How will this new little soul impact our family? Will I remain sane (ha ha) with the additional physical demands on me? What will we name him? We are at a loss for boy names that fit our family. So much to think about...
- I'm often asked if I had prenatal testing to make sure this baby doesn't have Down syndrome. I don't know about your experiences, but John Michael has by far been my easiest going child, the one who only cries when he gets hurt, not fussy, quick to hug and kiss. I'm grateful he has thus far been spared of major medical issues. He turns heads everywhere he goes and his quick smile and wave can melt anyone's heart. No, I only had a level 2 ultrasound. I declined genetic counseling. At this point, I don't need someone telling me that my chances for having another child with Ds, based on my age and having a child already w/ Ds is between 1 in 25 and 1 in 50. What would I do about it anyway? Nothing. Just love this little baby like all the others.
Enjoy your Saint Valentine's Day. Peace be with you (and me).