Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Sisterhood 3 Year Anniversary-- Love and Friendship, all because of one extra chromosome...

April 5, 2009

L to R:  Sheridan (Lisa Lindsey), Gabby (Sheree Pham), John Michael (Monica Crumley, me) and Joaquin (Jennifer Sanchez)

I missed our anniversary by 20 days, but here's to celebrating 3 years of love and friendship, all because our little ones shared a common chromosome.

Little did we know that our play date would be the beginning of something amazing.  A bond of kinship, a Sisterhood, sometimes stronger than blood.  These moms "get it".  Our kids are all unique, but we all "get it". 

And one by one, the Sisterhood grew...
one precious chromosomally enhanced child at a time. 
John Michael and Gracie hit it off immediately!

Joey (on his tummy) melted everyone with his huge brown eyes.
(L to R:  Gracie, Joaquin, John Michael, Gabby, Joey, and Sheridan)
Our friendship continued to grow and was cemented even further when Jennifer Sanchez made the journey to adopt Sofia from the Ukraine, giving Joaquin a little sister with an extra chromosome.  The photo above is Jen's fairwell gathering before making the long journey to get Sofia.  (L to R:  Joaquin, Ainsley, Joey (tummy), John Michael, Christian (back), Sheridan and Annelies)

Since then, several more moms have stepped up to adopt a child (or two!) with Down syndrome.  These women have amazingly generous hearts and a love so deep, so humbling.

Many new sibling babies have also joined the group and more are on the way...

Sofia looks nothing like she did in her orphanage!  Isn't it amazing what love and care do for our little ones?

Here, my chubby Luke is checking out Christopher, another of John Michael's buddies.
Annelies peaking out from behind John Michael at Bishop's farm last fall.

(Gracie and John Michael last fall...)

The beauty of the Sisterhood, which is now over 80 moms strong, is that no matter what you're going through, whether it's a rough patch, a medical issue, a milestone celebration, an IEP question, or just need to vent or share, we are here for each other.  We care about each other and want our kids to make a positive impact on our society.  With moms like these in the Sisterhood, the Sacramento region has no choice but to make way for a new breed of kids with Ds (and their moms!)  We are standing strong and will continue to support each other and educate those around us about Down syndrome and our amazing kids. 
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Sunday, April 15, 2012

What do you wish for?

I often wonder what John Michael's deepest wishes are...  Or what he dreams about...

Do you ever wonder?

Just because they can't tell you, specifically, doesn't mean it's not there...

Greta told me yesterday, on her 7th birthday, that John Michael can live with her when she gets older.  She said she would love it.  I truly believe her.  John Michael calls Greta "Princess" and he is her prince.

I guess my biggest wish is for my children to continue to love and care for each other throughout life and to encourage and support each other in their endeavors.  There is do doubt that John Michael is loved beyond measure by his siblings.  I have great faith that John Michael will be one of those adults with Down syndrome that is a very independent self-advocate, perhaps living with a roommate in an apartment.  At least that is my wish.  And if he needs more support than that, he will certainly have what he needs.  But I know for certain he will be well cared for by his siblings when Doug and I are no longer around.  This little guy has had such a tremendous impact on us all, but especially his siblings. 

What do you wish for?
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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Master of the Trike

     One of John Michael's IEP goals is to ride a trike.  Earlier this year, through lots of practice at school, he finally learned to pedal a trike.  I was thrilled, only to find out he couldn't steer.  He would start off strong and run into anything in his way.  Steering didn't click with him.

     Fast forward 6 months and I see John Michael in our backyard pulling out his trike.  He starts pedaling and turns slightly to avoid the table.  I couldn't believe it!  We turned him around and he showed me that he was connecting steering with avoiding objects and turning corners!

     I was so excited, that I brought it out front to the sidewalk to see what he could do.  He fell over once and ended up in the street once, but for the most part, he is starting to get it.  Watch how he carefully watches where he's going.  Soooo exciting!!!

     To hear his sweet voice and greetings, turn up volume or click on link to watch in YouTube.