1) Get connected. Join the Down syndrome community on Babycenter.com and meet hundreds of other moms who are blessed to be sharing this journey with you. Ask questions, read other mom's advice, brag, vent, rejoice, connect. This week Missy, the board owner will be guest blogging here...don't miss it!!
2) Go to Downsyndromepregnancy.org
I cannot say enough about this amazing resource for new moms. I so wish I had this when I was pregnant with Lily- it would have completely helped alleviate so many fears and concerns.
3) Read other blogs. I'm compiling a list to add to my "pages" tabs above, but there is an extensive list here that is wonderful. Blogs are what gave me a "real life" view of what our future held for Lily. More than any book or packet of information, they helped me process what a diagnosis of Down syndrome would mean.
4) Go to Reece's Rainbow. Learn more about the abandonment of children with Down syndrome in countries abroad, their living and dying conditions in orphanages and mental institutions, and donate for a waiting child’s adoption grant. The things our children face here in the US pale in comparison to what children in other nations are facing- gaining a new perspective on what "suffering" was really was the turning point for me personally as a mom. Involving myself in advocating and fundraising for kids on RR made me realize how blessed we are to be given the gift of Down syndrome.
and speaking of that....
So far almost $1,800 has been raised, which means almost $3,600 goes to little Albina, due to the generous donors who are matching her grant fund donations dollar for dollar. If she gets $5,000, her grant fund will be $10,000...so let's do this thing!
and speaking of that...
and speaking of that...
5)Check out our new prize!
One of Lily's readers (thank you again, Katrina!) contacted her friend Misty from beaditonline and asked her if she could help us out with our giveaway. Misty is donating one of her fabulous interchangeable watch bands & a watch face, valued at $25 to benefit our three little angels! If you already left comments on that post, you are automatically entered to win.
If you haven't had a chance to do so, please go to that post and leave a comment saying you will pray for these adorable kids, or blog or donate (leave a comment for each) and you will be entered to win. The other awesome prizes include a custom fingerprint necklace, a beautiful custom blanket, and a Scentsy warmer and bar...I wish I could enter my own giveaway!!
6) Join IDSC For Life
I'm proud to be a member of this organization, and I love their mission statement:
IDSC for Life is dedicated to promoting the dignity and respect for all individuals with Down syndrome, from conception and throughout life. We are a coalition that has worldwide representation. Our mission is to celebrate and enhance the lives of individuals with Down syndrome, as well as to ensure fair and accurate representation in the case of prenatal diagnosis. IDSC for Life will accomplish this mission by educating medical staff and families with a prenatal diagnosis, as well as offering current and up to date information.
I'm excited to be featuring founder Diane Grover in an interview here next week....if you would like information on IDSC please contact her at IDSCforLife@gmail.com.
This is the biggest lesson I've learned this past year. My daughter is capable of far more than I imagined, and I'm not going to settle for old stereotypes of what her diagnosis means.
Who says babies with Down syndrome aren't smart??
7) Read this Mother's Day Message. Over 50 mamas contributed and I guarantee you'll love it. Grab a box of tissues before you go:)
8) REJOICE! You are about to embark on one of the most amazing, rewarding, and fulfilling journeys this life has to offer. I say that without hesitation. We've only been on this journey a year, and already Lily has taught us so much about enjoying and celebrating life to the fullest. Each milestone is treasured and valued, and I find myself being truly amazed at what that extra chromosome means. I've made literally hundreds of new friends since Lily's birth, and I am forever grateful for my eyes being opened to other children who share her designer genes. Besides the gift of salvation, Lily is the greatest gift I've been given in life.