Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thankful For YOU

It's Thanksgiving Eve… and I'm about to post my favorite ever kind of post on A Perfect Lily.

If you could have seen me when these pictures started flooding in, it looked something like this:

Oh my word…look how sweet she is… (giant lump in throat)

Ohhhh Abbi- come look at this little boy ! (tears welling up in eyes)

OOOOHHHH, this couple who is dating !!!! (chest heaving, gulping back tears, choking on my snot, basically I'm a giant puddle sitting at the computer.)



And the emails that went with some of them…



... little Brennan who wasn't diagnosed with Down syndrome until a week after his first birthday - can you imagine ? She had a whole year to just totally enjoy him for who he is- a baby - before any label came. And she followed Lily before she knew he shared her extra chromosome. When I first got Brennan's photo I thought his aunt misunderstood that I was looking for pictures of kids with Ds, and just sent me a photo of her "typical" nephew. Then I received another photo of Brennan from his mom, and emailed her…and I got "the rest of the story." Here's a little piece of her email..


Was there really a time that I didn't know that he had this?  It is crazy to think about that.  I am so grateful for that first year of ignorance.  It gave us a chance to get to know Brennan for the sweet little boy he is, without multiple dr appts, therapies, etc.  I have always been a pessimistic person, with little to no patience.  I really believe that he chose us to teach me how to slow down and enjoy life.  We are so glad that he is a part of our family.  The future scares the heck out of me, but then again, it scares me with Ellie too, my 3yr old.  Who knows what will come of any of our kids.  The one thing that I know for sure, is that Brennan, and our entire family, has more love and support than I ever thought possible.  And, the ds community is incredible.  Your sweet Lily has been putting smiles on my face since before I even had an idea that you & I had this in common.  So thank you, so much.  You might not realize, but you made me feel "normal" at a time when I felt like I couldn't quite get comfortable.

xo,
Alyssa





…or Linda, who adopted a baby with Down syndrome … she was 21, living at home with her parents, and engaged to be married. She fell in love with Stacey, who was 7 months old and staying with an elderly woman in a retirement home..waiting to be adopted by someone. I won't spoil the rest of the story (she's guest blogging next week), but you'll see Stacey and her boyfriend in the video below. She's the one beaming a million watt smile because she's so in love.





…and then there's Emily, who sent me this :

Hi Patti! This is a picture of my sweet baby girl Olivia Claire. She is 6 weeks old today. I'm so glad you are doing this post and that she can be a part of it. I would like to say thank you for all the encouragement you've provided in the last several months. I've been reading your blog since we received our prenatal diagnosis at 26 weeks pregnant. At 26 years old, Down syndrome was nowhere on my radar. I foolishly thought something like that wouldn't happen to me.
The biggest struggle I have had through all this is the unknown. I've never really known anyone personally who has Down syndrome so the diagnosis as very scary for me. I immediately got online and started looking for blogs written by people who were going through what I would be going through eventually. Your blog is one of the ones I read regularly. It has helped to take some of the fear away and realize that our previous normal will just become a new normal. My baby girl is beautiful and an absolute joy. I have a 2 year old son but wanted him to have a baby sister. That wish came true, and he loves her so much. I still worry about the future, but these small glimpses into the lives of families like yours has been a true inspiration. Your posts have been exactly what I needed to help me realize the "truth" about Down syndrome, and for that,
I say many thanks!!




Emily, thank YOU for sharing  your story with me. It means more than words can say.





A few words about the video- my son Tyler helped me with it, and I am so thankful he did. There are close to a hundred (maybe more?) photos you all sent in, and each one had to be downloaded, uploaded to iMovie, fit to scale, and have a name attached…Tyler helped with at least half of that process, so if you ever meet him, give him a gigantic hug, okay ? Or punch him if he spelled your child's name wrong :):) We finalized the slideshow last night, went to upload it, and realized it would take THREE HOURS to do so. I got up at 6:45 this morning just praying it didn't fail to upload…and it didn't :)

Just before I started this post I checked my gmail, and there was this :



Hi Patti,

I know I'm late with this picture of my daughter Emily for your Thanksgiving slideshow on your blog and that's ok, I just wanted to send it to you anyway.  A friend brought me to your instagram page and from there your blog page after Emily was born.  Thank you for sharing everything the way that you do.  My daughter Emily is almost 16 months old now and yes it was a big shock when within 5 mins of her birth I knew she had Down Syndrome, my husband was very upset so I had to make the phone calls to our parents to let them know the wonderful news of her arrival.  

Thank you again for your wonderful blog and instagram posts, I love seeing all the pictures of your family and family life.

Happy Thanksgiving.

From, Michelle (mrsdamo on insta)
Ireland.


Michelle, if our video didn't take three hours to upload, I would totally add sweet little Emily in this morning. Instead I'll post her picture here- because she is just too beautiful not to share…






So it's 7:26 a.m. now in Oregon, and I have a full day of Thanksgiving prep to attend to. We will have 30 wonderful people here tomorrow - I just wish we could have all of you too :) Because I am so thankful for the friendships I've made here, and so grateful to all of you for sharing your loved ones with us this Thanksgiving. You all are the best.

And now, without further ado….

Our annual Thankful For You slideshow.

Grab your kleenex….




35 comments:

Heather Rodriguez said...

Oh girl. I am a sobbing filled with crazy joy mess! Love your heart & the way you care about every precious soul that crosses your path. xoxox

Sarai said...

Beautiful people! Patti you are one awesome gal! Hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Alyssa aka Ellie's Mom said...

Patti,
What a beautiful tribute to such beautiful faces. Thank you again for including my sweet Brennan, and for all of your encouraging words over the last few days.
xo
Alyssa

Naomi said...

Crying. Seriously beautiful. Those songs were perfect.

Jenny said...

Loved it! xo... And Lily's picture wrapped it up nicely at the end!

EN said...

Seriously, I've spent my WHOLE life around Down syndrome so I really didn't think I would cry...but I DID! Beautiful slide show, Patti. I'm thankful for you and for the influential role that you play in our DS community. Keep the positivity coming - you are making a difference in the perception of our beautiful loved ones!

Anja... said...

Oooooh😭i can't watch it in Germany! Can you send it per Email PLEASE!!
Thank you Patti❤️

Susan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan said...

I personally love how the montage is frozen on my Emerson (granddaughter extraordinaire). Happy Thanksgiving!!

Becky said...

The finger prints of God. Yes! Amen! What a beautiful tribute to some of God's most precious treasures. Tears. Joy. Eucharisteo!

Life with Kaishon said...

This took my breath away.
AMAZING.
Thank you for taking the time : ).

mumofsix said...

Amazing Patti! Brilliant work Tyler! Just divine xxxx

Lindsay Gilroy said...

Love it!

Lindsay Gilroy said...

Love it!

Lindsay Gilroy said...

Love it!

Courtney Alumbaugh said...

Amazing... loved it!

Courtney Alumbaugh said...

Amazing... loved it!

Donna said...

Love the video, the amazing souls shine through each and every photo! Thank you for all the time and work involved, and the wonderful families that sent the photos.

MamaV said...

SOOO glad we don't have to vote on who is cutest... Love them all!

Tara Plagenza said...

Oh P... Such beauty and joy shared! Loved every minute. I want to meet and enjoy them all!!

Tara Plagenza said...

I want to meet and enjoy each and every one!! Such joy shared! Thanks P!

Heidi D said...

That was beautiful & I did need the kleenex. My husband & I had wanted to adopt a baby with Down Syndrome when we were first married but I have medical problems that meant we weren't approved for adoption. As I looked at your gorgeous video I still feel that little spot in my heart that seems to have something missing......& that was about 20 years ago we were told no. Thankyou to you for making this & to everyone that shared their gorgeous family members.

babypelly said...

My girl is the very first picture?!! Woohoo! :)

cathy said...

BEAUTIFUL, you out do yourself every year

Thank you for the video & the families

xoxo
cathy

cara said...

Thank you SO much for putting this together Patti!! And thank you Tyler for doing it as well!! I know you are a wonderful son!! :)

This was truly inspiring and beautiful! I love seeing all of the faces I know and new faces too. It would be so fun to have a great big party for all of our kiddos one day.

Our sweet baby James was having feeding issues the other day. One of our kids asked if he could have down syndrome. I told them that he didn't. And our Mary (5) piped up and said, "Of course he does because all the cutest people in the world have down syndrome!" And I know she is right about that!!! How can you not fall in love with all these precious people!!

Happy, happy Thanksgiving to you and your beautiful family!! xoxo

Elissa said...

Loved it! Sad I didn't remember to get Abbie's pic sent in, but I loved it.

Amelie said...

Beautiful video! Usually I follow you on Instagram but today decided to check out your blog :)
This video brought tears to my eyes! I could see the love of the families that stood behind those children radiating through their smiles!
I have a very soft spot for Down syndrome because I work with people with disabilities! I can see myself adopting a child with Down syndrome one day!
Anyway, great video and great song choices!
Happy American Thanksgiving all the way from Canada :)

Amelie said...

Beautiful video! Usually I follow you on Instagram but today decided to check out your blog :)
This video brought tears to my eyes! I could see the love of the families that stood behind those children radiating through their smiles!
I have a very soft spot for Down syndrome because I work with people with disabilities! I can see myself adopting a child with Down syndrome one day!
Anyway, great video and great song choices!
Happy American Thanksgiving all the way from Canada :)

Amelie said...

Beautiful video!! Usually I follow you on Instagram but decided to check out your blog :)
This video brought tears to my eyes! I could see the love of the families that stood behind each child through their captivating smiles :)
I have a big soft spot for Down syndrome as I work with people with disabilities! I could see myself adopting a child with ds one day!
Anyway, great video and song choices!!
Happy American Thanksgiving all the way from Canada :)

~Amy V.

Heidi D said...

Me again......I have watched this more than once now. I love the music you have chosen too. Could you please tell me the names of the songs you used ? Thanks :)

Anna Theurer said...

Absolutely beautiful, Patti! Thank you for putting together this wonderful video and thank you for including my Ellie.

Catherine Graybosch said...

I loved it Patti!!! Definitely needed the Kleenex. It is amazing how wonderful this Ds family is and that I am blessed to be a part of it. Thank you for putting this together each year. Loved Lily's pose at the end!!

mummalove said...

So gorgeous Patti! Loved seeing all those beautiful faces. Totally meant to send you one of our handsome boy - next year perhaps! Thank you for efforts in putting the clip together. x

Jamie Renee Freeman said...

OMGootness!!!! Thank you so, so much for doing this. My little Benny looks so sweet with all his beautiful brothers and sisters in this video! I feel so blessed to be a part of this. Thank You!!!!! xoxoxo

Faith Kopp said...

God has truly blessed us with these precious angels. Thanks for sharing them with us again. xoxoxoxoxo