This is My "Real" Blog: It's a Bird. . .It's a Plane. . .It's SuperMap!

Angie's Blog!

Friday, December 14, 2007

It's a Bird. . .It's a Plane. . .It's SuperMap!

No, I didn't type that wrong. SuperMap is the map (aptly named "Map") on Dora the Explorer with a red cape.

We are enamored with SuperMap. I never would have thought checking out one video from the library could change our lives the way it has. Who knew?

These are exciting times. . .
Mark, Caroline and I ventured to our local WalMart store this morning, along with another family from DSAG to accept six (6) checks totalling $5,875.00 for the Down Syndrome Awareness Group of East Tennessee. They have a community grant program, and six of our stores gave up to $1,000 each to support our Changing Lives program.

The Changing Lives program allows us, as a group, to make presentations to doctors, nurses, hospital staff, educators, and professionals about individuals with Ds. . . and give them tools to work with parents and extended family members.

It makes me sick to realize that still today, parents *can* be encouraged to "send away" or institutionalize their child with Down syndrome. I cannot imagine our lives without Caroline. I don't, in fact. I refuse to picture our family without her. She truly completes us.

Through the Changing Lives program, we can show professionals (who should know better, in my opinion) that a family's future can be greatly affected by the way they deliver a diagnosis. If expectant parents are told their child will have Ds, and are made to feel like it's the literal end of the world, guess how they could respond?

On the flipside, if parents who are expecting a child with Down syndrome are given solid information, resources, and positive feedback---it's an entirely different world.

Now, don't get me wrong. . .there's still some grieving that has to be done, whether before or after a child arrives. The "perfect" child you were expecting may not have arrived, but God's perfectly designed child has, or will arrive. And these doctors and nurses who interact with new, or expecting parents, can make all the difference for them.

The family that accompanied us to WM this morning has a daughter, Kristy, who is 26 years old. She is hilarious, engaging, sweet, and very loving. Everyone at our local Walmart knows her, and they love her very much. I told the associates this morning that Kristy's family didn't receive a lot of positive strokes when Kristy was born--but they loved her, and raised a beautiful daughter who has a lot of love to give.

By contrast, when Caroline was born, we received a lot of positive encouragement from professionals--especially a couple of nurses that I will always cherish. but, those first couple of days of Caroline's life could have been just terrible had we not been supported by our family, friends, and the great folks at the two hospitals where she and I spent her first week of life.

So, long story/short. . . our group will be able to continue sharing this message, and (re-)training professionals for the next year or so -- without added expense to our group -- because of the generosity of these stores. Man, this has been a great day.

Oh. . . .and after we were done having our pictures taken, I did a little more last-minute shopping. And yes, I know it's not officially "last minute" because Christmas is still over a week away.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Mark has the camera with him. When he brings it home, I'll post some pictures of the big event this morning.

Now, while we continue to watch "SuperMap" I'm off to wrap a few presents. . .I think.


Blogger That Chick Over There said...

I am nearly speechless that people are encouraged to send a child matter what the reason. That's just horrifying to me.

3:20 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Congrats on the big score! And it's not just the money, but what it can do (as you explained so well - and are living out so well). Keep up the good work, personally and professionally.

3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is wonderful Angie. Your post made me think of the gentle man that we just had a funeral for. "They" wanted his parents to put him in an institution when he was born, they said he wouldn't live past the age of 13, he lived until the age of 58. My niece and her husband have been blessed with a Downs child and are so fortunate that in their area there is so much for them.
Thanks for a beautiful post.

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Jules said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post, Angie...Hooray for donations. Hooray for education/training. Hooray for you and your dedication - we are a better world because of it...thank you!

Psst - we love supermap too - he rocks!

11:20 AM  
Blogger Helen Hancock said...

What a great story Angie.....thanks for sharing. Hope you had a good weekend.

9:56 PM  

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