This is My "Real" Blog: OutSourcing


Angie's Blog!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

OutSourcing

First of all. . . happy Saturday!

I could write a lot today -- because so much has happened, but quite honestly, my fingers are exhausted from writing the completely updated (but seriously needing to be edited) version of Caroline's story. It's available on Caroline's page that her "Aunt" Beth has created for her. (Notice I didn't say "Great" Aunt? That comment got me in trouble)

So, since I'm tired of writing, I'm going to borrow some words from my friend, Christy. Her son, Henry shares the same extra chromosome as Caroline. . . Henry has Down syndrome. Henry is going to be four later on this month. And for those of you keeping track of all things Caroline, Henry is my daughter's intended. His mom and I have decided it. . . and that settles it.

This is what Christy posted on her blog yesterday--and I'd send you there, but I guess I like the potential for even more varieties of people reading her beautiful words because of our extended circles of friends. Please read her words, and see that it comes from the heart of someone who not only loves my daughter like her own. . .but see it as coming from someone who has walked in the same shoes that I have walked. She fights the same battles I fight. But, most importantly, she receives the same kind of amazing love from Henry that I receive from Caroline. (oh, and if I can, I'm going to put in a picture of him, too. He's the cutest!)

Here's what she had to say. . . .

What you might not know is that October is another awareness month that doesn't get a whole lot of press. But it's one that's near & dear to my heart. It's Down Syndrome Awareness month. It's a month devoted to promoting awareness about what Down Syndrome REALLY is. About how amazing people with that little extra chromosome are. About how we've spent centuries treating them as if they can't do anything simply because they do it more slowly & deliberately. Because they look different than neurotypical people. But that they're showing us "normal" people every day that they can do far, far more than we've given them credit for.

It's difficult, as the mother of a child with DS, to not get frustrated with the way the world views these people. To constantly hear jokes with Down Syndrome as the butt. To hear the word "retard" bandied about as we insult ourselves & one another. I cannot imagine what it must be like to live in this world as a person with DS. Because they aren't deaf. Or brain dead. Or blind. They know that people stare at them. They hear the jokes. They get hit between the eyes with the insults. They hear the whispering. It must totally hurt. But, in spite of it all, most of the people with DS I know don't hold hatred or bitterness in their hearts about it. I admire that. Because I? HATE IT.

Let's educate ourselves about Down Syndrome & what it REALLY means, okay? It doesn't mean institutionalizing people. It doesn't mean they're "retards". It doesn't mean they can't learn or love or do much of what we all do every day. They go to work. They go to school. They play sports. They love music. They have friends. They go on dates. They're even going to college & getting married. They are JUST LIKE YOU & ME. From what I can see - here's the only difference.

They do what we do - just a little more slowly & deliberately.

It's not that they CAN'T do something - it's just that it takes them a little longer to learn how to do it. Having seen the strides we've taken in just the past couple of decades, I wouldn't be surprised to see a future when people with DS regularly drive, live on their own, and do a lot more. Of course, I'm speaking in generalizations, but I see it. I believe it.



THIS is a person with DS. I WISH I could be that flexible. :hee: Don't be fearful of him or other people with DS. They're people. They like to be treated like it. Talk to them. If you see someone with DS working at your store - say "hi". Ask how they are. Don't stare. Don't whisper. If someone tells you a joke who's punchline is something about DS, tell that person "that's not funny". Seriously. If I never hear another joke about Down Syndrome or "retards", it'll be a glorious world.

Love ya, Henry. And Caroline. And Jenni. And Danny. And Trevor. And Gigi. And Veronica. And Rhett. You're all beautiful, awesome people.

Christy, you continue to inspire and encourage me. Thank you. I love you, my friend. Can you imagine what the blog entries are gonna be like when we actually get these two kiddos together?!?!
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8 Comments:

Blogger 20Birds said...

hey i am so proud to belong to y'all, i'll take grandma... it is all good isnt it, my friend...

1:36 PM  
Blogger Christy said...

"Outsourcing". Now *that's* funny!

I'm glad my words meant something to you. Because, yeah, the world better WATCH OUT when Caroline & Henry get together. It'll be a tornado of awesomeness.

2:51 PM  
Blogger Yummers! said...

This was a good post to help with awareness. Here's a bit more awareness...

As a teacher, our DS kids are well-loved by everyone. They are sweet, gentle, happy children.

Children are children... treat them all with love and respect and they will reach to your expectations.
Joni

3:54 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Aaaah. Now the toe/ear comment about Henry makes sense. Seeing is believing.

And yes, I think they'll make a great couple!

10:31 PM  
Blogger Helen Hancock said...

Great team work with you and Christy - TFS Angie it was a great blog.

12:00 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Oh your story made me cry. Little Caroline...

6:57 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Lovely post, as usual. Lexie can do that! I'm joining her to the circus (if she wants). Funnily enough, over here there are no 'jokes' with DS in the punchline. I'm not sure if that's worse, or not. (It most certainly isn't because as a nation we're 'more enlightened', as the saying goes!) Hope you're having a great day (I think Lexie might marry Jack, but then again, she might not want to tie herself down! I fear she may be that kind of gal!!) xx

8:42 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

What beautiful words from your friend Angie! And I am all about betrothing are children too...lol! I think of you often when I happen to see someone with DS when I am out and about and of the blessing it is to see you on this journey and sharing here on your blog. Thank you for that!

2:30 PM  

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