Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankful for YOU

It's two days until one of my very favoritest holidays, and I have nothing done. 

No carefully prepared pie crusts in my freezer, wrapped and waiting to be defrosted on Wednesday and rolled into the perfect flaky crusts. No cubes of dry bread stored in plastic baggies in my refrigerator, or diced celery and onion packed tightly in tupperware containers. No linens freshly pressed, just begging to be spread carefully across our dining room table, or carefully penned place cards sitting prettily on a counter top somewhere. Zip. Zero. Nada. Zilch.

Aside from a 25 pound turkey that is now defrosting in my fridge (bought a few days late) I have never been this ill-prepared for Thanksgiving.


I do have the best Thanksgiving post ever ready to go right now.

If I had a dollar for every time tears started to well up in my eyes while I was putting this post together- because every parent's sentiments touched my heart so deeply, and every beautiful photo that came into my inbox did the same- I would be a very rich woman.

I've said it here so many times that I probably sound like a broken record, but it's true just the same:

I am thankful for YOU.

I can't even begin to express how much your love and support has meant to me these past two years. I am so grateful for the friendships Lily's life has brought our way, and I just wish there was a way to get us all together in one place. But because we're spread out all over the planet...from Oregon all the way to Switzerland!...this was the best I could come up with.

I hope you enjoy reading this post as much as I did putting it might want to grab a box of tissues or two...or seventeen. If you've never experienced the blessing of Down syndrome before this...

...prepare to be amazed.


I'm thankful for Ellie because she brings joy to people around her, because she makes me laugh, and because she gives amazing hugs.  And I'm thankful that she's smart enough to cheer for the Bears.

~ Megan at My Stubborn Little Miss


I'm going to attach a couple of pictures of our Joseph and tell you why I'm thankful, because you played such a big roll in our finding Reece's Rainbow and ultimately our boys.

I am thankful that Joseph has hung on for the 6 and 1/2 years it took our family to find him. In two days, he has changed the way Marty and I will forever look at the world around us. He's a fighter and we can't wait to bring him home and help him grow and be all that God created him to be. 

Blessings to your family this Thanksgiving! We're thankful for you :)

~ Mandy at Finding Our Little One


I am thankful for Joseph because he opened up my world in amazing ways, he brought me friends I would have never known and a community of strong, courageous, LOVING women!! And Joseph opened our hearts to adoption.

 I am thankful for Jadon because he is MY SON from across the seas and I am blessed he was born with Down syndrome, for if not, he would not be mine and his birth mother would have kept him.

~Christie at Welcome to Taylorville


God says that we are all fearfully and wonderfully knit together in our mother's wombs.  Shilo's mom valued her life enough to choose us to be her parents.  We are thankful that our daughter survived the 92% abortion rate, and for her birth mom who chose life!

~ Andrea at Life at Mannchester Estate


We are thankful for Luke because he is a constant source of joy.
He delights in such small things and reminds us to do the same.

~ Dana at A life Worth Living


Isabelle has been such a blessing to our family.  I am thankful that she is apart of our life and for the things she is already teaching us.  I am learning that she is the little girl that I had been praying for - perfect just the way she is.

~ Tonya at The Little Holts


I am thankful for Katie because she has taught us to celebrate all parts of life and not just the major milestones.

~Brit at My Little Wonders


I am thankful for Ben every moment of every day.  He, at only 10 months old, has taught me to find beauty in each ordinary moment and has led me to see beauty in everyone and everything.

~ Laura at Ben's Blessings


We are thankful for Paisley because she works so hard and puts a smile on everyone she meets. Our girl Rocks!

~ Shannon


I'm thankful for a little girl who needs an extra chromosome to contain her HUGE personality.

~ Deanna at Everything and Nothing From Essex


I'm thankful for that gorgeous smile that I'm blessed to see every day.

~ Stephanie at Loving the Unexpected


I am so thankful Julian came into my life every day -  he is such a social guy and a typical toddler - curious, playful, creative. Here he is painting a pumpkin, my little artiste (16 months old here)!

I am thankful Julian came into my life because I love exploring the world with him. He is my little buddy, and we take him everywhere. Here we are at a farm in early October (he is 16 months old here).

~ Gretchen at Julian's Journey


I'm thankful for the beautiful gift of my son's life.  For teaching me that my love for him goes far beyond this life and is eternal.  For touching our lives so deeply and the lives of many others.  We are changed forever and will never be the same.  Love never ends.  Never.

~Max's mom Edie at


I am thankful for Evan because he transforms me everyday into a better person! I am becoming more accepting and more compassionate. I am also thankful because with one small smile he can lift my spirits! Thank you God for blessing me with such a wonderful gift!

~ Deb at Four Blessings of Mine


Nick and I are thankful for Cora because she's shown us what it truly means to unconditionally love.

Happy Thanksgiving!

~ Leah at Our Cora Bean


I am thankful for Luca for the sheer joy he brings to my family.  His smile lights up a room.  Whenever one of my older girls is grumpy I tell them to go play with Luca for a few minutes and it always lifts their spirits.

~ Sharla at One Day at a Time


I am thankful for Hailey because she has opened my eyes to a whole new world.  She has made me appreciate everything and everyone in my life more.  She brings us so much joy and happiness!

~ Michelle at The Hailey Herald


I'm thankful for Ty because he has brought new energy and excitement to our lives.  Every day is a new adventure!

~ Kerry at The Adventures of Ty the Toddler


Down syndrome was my greatest fear, now it is my greatest joy. I will be forever thankful to you Emmie for opening my eyes that were closed tight. It's beautiful here.

~ Stephanie at Daily Smiles


I'm thankful for my Moxie - who teaches me all about a life with moxie.

~ Meriah at With a Little Moxie


Thank you God for this gift!!  The gift of a child teaches us much....... the gift of a child with Down syndrome teaches us even more.  I am so very thankful for Nevin as he continues to teach me about joy...... about how to "celebrate" each day and live in each moment without losing the moment to worries about tomorrow.     Nevin lives life BIG and is happy to include all of those around him! 

~ Laurie at For Nevin's Sake


Thankful because they have changed my life in ways that I cannon even put into words.  They bless our families lives each day and teach us each day about how precious LIFE is. They may not be perfect as viewed in the eyes of this world, but they ARE ABSOLUTELY PERFECT in the eyes of God!!!!!  We love them and give thanks to God for these 2 special blessings!!!!

~ Stephanie at Opened Eyes Adoption


I am thankful for my daughter, Samantha, because she is my one and only, the most perfect daughter I could have ever asked for.  I am thankful for this experience of motherhood and for the community that has opened up to me, giving me fresh eyes to view life and the world around me.

~ Becca at The Bates Motel


I am thankful that whenever I see Emily's sweet face I think of God's unconditional love for me...because through her He has taught me what it truly means to love that way.  I am thankful for the blessing of Down Syndrome in my life, the richness it has brought into our lives is a blessing I never imagined for myself but God knew our family needed.


I am so very thankful for the love, laughter and joy this little sprite of a girl brings to our days as a family. She's a light of hope and love that beams from our centers.

~ Nicole at The Tao of Tulips


What I am most Thankful for about my sister, Sarah is that not only does she inspire me but through her dancing she inspires others to live out their dreams.


I'm grateful for my whole family, but especially love the extra love and pure joy John Michael brings to each of us in his very special way.  He inspires me to be a better mom to all my kids each day.

~ Monica at Monkey Musings


I'm thankful for Kamdyn, because she makes me smile every day.

~ Tricia at Life is Beautiful


I am thankful for Jacob because he has brought depth and perspective to our lives, our faith and our world. He has opened the door to new friends, new possibilities and I love seeing the world through the eyes of being Jakey's mom.

~ Carolyn at Light and Shadow


I am thankful to have her in my life because she makes it all worthy :)



I'm thankful that God opened my eyes to the beauty of special needs adoption through Knox.  His joy is contagious and has given me a new perspective on the value of life.

 ~ Wendy at Lankford Legacy


We are thankful for the blessing of Alayna & Dariya.  They continue to show us what love means and have opened our eyes to God's calling.

 ~ Rochelle at The Cannon Chronicles


I am thankful for Boston because he is a constant reminder of what unconditional love truly means. I am also thankful for those crazy awesome belly laughs that can bring a smile to my face at any hour of any day....oh...and there is his cuteness - disgusting amounts of cuteness :)


I'm thankful for Jimmy because he has changed the way I see the world
in the best way possible. I am happier because of him.

~ Christi at Ni Modo Todo!


Vada makes my heart smile. All I have to do is look at her and I melt. Everything that the doctors said she wouldn't and couldn't do, she's done. She completes our family and makes us whole. She has taught us all about true strength and that all life is precious and valuable. I am grateful for her in every single way.

~ Tara at Making the Most of Today


I'm thankful for Olga because even though she's not here yet the process to get to her has taught me to be content where I am and to lean on God. When I look at her picture and at her sweet face she reminds me to have hope and faith. She has been the biggest blessing to our family!!

~ Jen at Saving Our Starfish


I am thankful that God, in His wisdom, refused to answer the many prayers whispered by my heart. I am beyond grateful that while I focused on my own wants, He was thinking of what I truly needed. This baby girl is my soul's salvation and how can you thank anyone enough for that?

~ Heidi at My Liddy Bug 


I am so thankful for my Addy! She has taught us so many things since coming into our lives. I cannot imagine life without her!

~ Cammie at The Heflin Family


I am grateful that I have these two gorgeous girls for my daughters even though I cannot seem to get a good photograph done with the both of them together!  LOL!  With each day that passes, God seems to have an uncanny way of showing me the beauty of these precious angels that are my girls.  Whether it be a new sign that they have learned that day or the fondness and friendship that is growing between the two of them.  I will forever be grateful that God chose me to be their mother, that even though Lucy is not "of me", He knew that before she was in her mother's womb, she would be mine, here on earth, to care for and to love.  That is the greatest honor to receive from my Heavenly Father, to be chosen to care for His "special" child.  He must see something in me that I don't, or that I am slowly beginning to see.  I am looking forward to seeing our lives unfold together and to see what else the Lord has in store for us.  I am forever grateful for my life and my life with this wonderful family he has blessed me with.

~ Deanna at The 21st Chromosome: A Blessing in Disguise


I am thankful for Ollie Faith because she is everything I never knew I wanted and then some.  God has the best plans, and this baby girl has truly shown us that God never makes mistakes - I am thankful she was HIS gift to our family.

~ Annie at The House that Jade Built


I am very thankful for the blessing of my daughter Ellie who has taught me so much about love, acceptance, and never quitting when things are tough.  I am thankful for the way her eyes sparkle when she is happy, for the way her whole body moves with excitement when she is waving, and for her infectious smile.

~ Anna at The Chronicles of Ellie Bellie Bear


I am thankful for everything our little peanut, Abby, has taught us about life and absolute unconditional love in the past year and a half!

~ Melissa at There's a Pelly in my Belly


We are thankful for our little boy with the cute dimple who makes us smile multiple times a day. We are thankful for his persistence, his charming attitude, and his sweet relationship with his sister. We are just plain thankful for him...all of him!

~ Debbie


I am thankful for this smile that lights up our house every day.

~Angel at Surprising Sweetness


I am thankful that she has the same amazing relationship with her big sister that I have with mine...BEST FRIENDS!

~ Elissa


We are all thankful for George.  Lately I've been particularly grateful that since he's my last, that he's in many ways staying a little boy longer than all his siblings did.  God knew what he was doing when he gave us breast cancer and a baby with Down Syndrome at the same time...

 ~ Elizabeth at Keep On Spinning


I am thankful for my Fiona because she has touched more hearts with her sweet time on this earth then I have in my 25 years. I am thankful to see the world through a different pair of eyes.

~ Shannon at Life's Little Surprises


I am so thankful for Levia.  She's opened my eyes to how beautiful life can be.  She's allowed me to see the potential in others that society says have no potential.  She changed my heart in ways any other child couldn't have.


I am thankful for Lilly because she makes us  better people. Our family has become closer because of her. She brings us endless smiles everyday. She is our rock.



We are so thankful for Colin because he is a beautiful, loving, and special little boy who has made life so perfect.

~ Kelli at Love for Colin


When I received the news that my granddaughter would be born with DS I was overwhelmed with shock and grief.  All of those emotions were replaced with gratitude and gratefulness, as I gained insight into the precious child she is.  Thank you Lord for blessing our family with this very special child!


We are so thankful for the many blessings that Landon has brought to our lives.  Every day he encourages us to explore  the depths our hearts can go!


I am thankful for a child who showed me the true meaning of joy.

 ~ Lisa


Chloe has taught me and many others the true meaning of life, and her unconditional love, purity and innocence are something this world desperately needs.  I am so very thankful for these priceless Gifts God has given me in Chloe and her brother Nolan, and they are the Brightest Lights in my life!

~ Kurt at Chloe's Message


I do not think that there are words to adequately express how thankful we are in our family for Benji.   He is such a special gift from God!!  He blesses us all daily.  We cherish and adore this precious guy.

~ Cara


My friend, Bradley, with my son, Nicholas.  I am just thankful to know them.  They are beautiful.



I'm so grateful to see life through Livia's colorful, creative eyes...

~Tekeal at Livia the Great


I am thankful for Harper because she has taught me the most precious things in life are not perfect. They are messy and complicated but also perfect at the same time.

~ Kaiti at You are the Smile to my Face


Before I was pregnant, I prayed to God to give me a blue-eyed, blond little girl who loved Jesus, playing with baby dolls, loved getting (and giving kisses), loved to get dressed up in girly clothes, and who loved playing outside in the garden.  I'm thankful that God gave me EXACTLY what I asked of Him.  (Photo courtesy of Catherine Finn Photography)

~ Cathy


I am thankful for Ian, because he has shown me how to love unconditionally.  I have grown more as a person since having him, and for that I will be forever thankful!

~ Angela


I'm thankful for Emma because she has brought a closeness and support from all my family and friends that was needed. She has opened my eyes to a whole new world, and I can't wait to see what else is out there for her!

~ Lindsay at Someone Extra Special


I am thankful for the pink I now have in my house and the countless hair clips, baby dolls and dresses I get to step over everyday. Some days it is bittersweet, Kate is my only daughter (4 brothers) but most days I am thankful I get to experience a girl and witness effect she has on her brothers.

 ~ Callie at Because of Kate


 I am thankful for my son Kellan for all the same reasons I'm thankful for my other 3 children! He is our gift from God!!

~ Christina at Schye Family


I am grateful for Tilly's hugs, smiles, laughter, perseverance, spirit and the magic she brings. My life is changed forever, my vistas are broader, my patience greater even if more tested, my heart bigger and overflowing and my eyes are now open. I can see light where before there was none, I can see magic where before there was only a stronghold of 'normal' and I count my blessings more often, so thankful that God has granted me the extra special gift of being this child's Mummy!
Although Tilly has Smith Magenis syndrome and not Down Syndrome but I really couldn't pass the opportunity to dance in the tulip fields with so many of my special and equally blessed friends.

I am thankful for her because: When Megan was born, she tapped me on the shoulder and said "this is what unconditional love looks like, now step out of yourself and let me show you how it works."

~ Jennifer


I am thankful for the way that Sophia has opened my eyes and my heart to all the beautiful differences in the world.



I'm thankful for "Sunny" because his smile can brighten even the darkest of days!  He is truly our gift from God.

~ Roxanne 


I'm thankful for crinkly eyed smiles and crooked pinkie fingers, sandal gap toes and single creased palms, tiny bent ears and morning giggles and late night snuggles...I'm thankful for a little girl who turned our world right-side up with her surprise extra chromosome, and who opened our eyes to a beautiful community we never knew existed before. 

I'm thankful for Lily and I'm thankful for YOU.

Love always,


Unknown said...

oh got me!

beautiful beautiful beautiful!

i am so honoured that tilly got to be included. what amazing children are here!

loving you patti and lily and sending thanks straight back at you for who you are and knowing you xxxx

My Little Wonders said...

Absolutely beautiful Patti!

Education: Exploring Online Learning said...

So thankful for you, ans miss lily, and for reading your blog when i was pregnant and seeing it could be okay!

Unknown said...

Thank YOU Patti, this was beautiful

Laura said...

The tears are flowing and I'm squeezing Ben tight! Thank you, Patti, for touching my heart!

Emily said...

Way to make a mama cry this morning! It blesses my heart to see so many families loving and enjoying and being THANKFUL for children. Thank you - all of you!!

When someone asks "what is it like being a parent of a child with Down syndrome?", I should send them a link to this post.

Lynette said...

Beautiful! Thank you so much for blessing my morning =)

D said...

Thank you Patti... I am joining the crying club now! I am thankful to you!

Deanna said...

LOVE! I wish I could come help you with your Thanksgiving prep...thank you for putting this together!

Kelly said...

Beautiful! I am speechless....the love that gushes from this post it fantastic - I am honored to be a part of it!

Mrs. K said...

Goodness gracious, I wanted to grab each and everyone of those beautiful children and give 'em a big ole smooch. Sure made my day. Thank you for sharing and opening so many lives to the wonderful world of Down innocence, wonderment and true unconditional love.
Now go get started on that Thanksgiving dinner. Cannot let my grandchildren and SIL starve. ;+)

The Red Brick Farmhouse said...


Anna Theurer said...

Patti, this post turned out great! I love reading about (and seeing) so many of our precious treasures :) Thank you for writing such a great post of thankfulness!

Dixie said...

Beautiful post Patti!

Lori said...

What a great post!! I didn't cry...I was too busy smiling at all the beautiful faces!! Happy Thanksgiving - I miss you guys tons!!

JC said...

Patti, this post was amazing, perfect, beautiful! I loved it!! I only wish Russell and I hadn't missed the cut off date for pics :(

Leah said...

So lovely! This is one to be bookmarked for a long time to come! I am thankful that when Cora was born I discovered such a beautiful and inspirational place to help wipe my fears away. Thank you for that, Patti.

Mrs. K said...

Of course I went back to see all those precious gifts from Our Lord and Saviour. Still giggling and grinning at those beautiful faces. I cracked up again when I saw that sweetie in the orange hat, not too happy to be with the pumpkins but then her last picture...oh so precious.

Leah said...

Lovely post patti! Thanks for letting me be a part of it!

angie said...

Oh my goodness- thank you for sharing all of these scrumptious children! My hope is that anyone who would consider abortion after hearing the news that their baby has DS would come here and see these sweet faces and read the words of their families. We have a special needs son (not DS), and he has been the best gift our family could ever have been given.

Sarai said...

Beautiful.... I'm speechless....
Such a awesome post

Rochelle said...

So beautiful, each and every one! Happy Thanksgiving, thanks for including our girlies!

Kristen said...

Absolutely beautiful :)

one_plustwins said...

Count your them one by one....count your blessings and see what the Lord has done :) LOVE it, Patti!!!

sasbolton said...

Loved reading through the thoughts and feelings and enjoyed seeing these precious children! Thanks for your time and effort in creating such a beautiful post!

kecia said...

Patti I loved this! I had good intentions of getting you some pics but never did it...sorry! Every one of these pictures makes me smile!have a fabulous thanksgiving !

Lori said...

I was just showing your nephews and neices your post...Elli would say "ohh, baby" at most of the pictures, but when she saw a little girl with blond hair she would point to herself and say "I" - which is what she calls herself. When we got to Lily's picture we said "No, that's Lily". Elli just furrowed her brow, pointed to herself and said "No, I". Hillarious!!! Such a super cute post!! Who knew there were sooooo many beautiful babies in the world ;)

Lori said...

I was just showing your nephews and neices your post...Elli would say "ohh, baby" at most of the pictures, but when she saw a little girl with blond hair she would point to herself and say "I" - which is what she calls herself. When we got to Lily's picture we said "No, that's Lily". Elli just furrowed her brow, pointed to herself and said "No, I". Hillarious!!! Such a super cute post!! Who knew there were sooooo many beautiful babies in the world ;)

Unknown said...

Patti, I am thankful to you and many other beautiful blogs I found through your blog. I have not had the blessing of having someone in my life with Down syndrome but now feel as though I do. Because of all of your beautiful words and beautiful pictures my eyes are finally opened. Also, a huge thanks for introducing me to Reece's Rainbow, my most favorite charity and now where most of our extra money goes :)
Happy Thanksgiving to the Rice gang!

P.S. Now get busy on that big dinner.

lovemy3 said...

Thank you! Absolutely beautiful! Now I need to wipe away my tears :-)

Laurie said...

Thank you Patti!! so wonderful to see. Thanks for including us "old folks" :)

Heidi Ehle said...

I am always so excited to be a part of your blog in any small way. I glanced through all the pictures this morning...but just sat down to actually read through all the posts. Beautiful! I am so proud and immensely blessed to be a part of this community. Even those of you I don't know yet. You are all beautiful in my eyes...and what can I say? We have the most gorgeous children on Earth! :)
BTW Caleb is well aware of my obsession with your blog Patti. He has oohed and awwed over Lily's pics with me many a time. I came here and scrolled through to our post and he gasped. I think he was excited to see Liddy on here as I was for her to be here! :)
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

cathy said...

Be still my heart.....amazing


Jennifer said...

Thank YOU! What a beautiful and sweet post. Love it!

Aurora Flores said...

This is an absolutely beautiful post. I have fallen in love with your sweet Lily. She truly is a blessing.

Kellan's momma said...

I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this post Patti! I do believe I'll be reading it again and again! Thank you so much!

Esther said...

Wow, what a post! What beautiful children!
When I was in high school, we had a guest speaker talk about special needs children. She told us how many girls in the auditorium would probably have a child with special needs (based on statistics, and out of the amount of girls present.)
I asked G-d if he could choose me as one of the future mothers because I was sure I could handle it.
I was young and naive, and although I had worked with children AND adults with special needs, I didn't know how hard it could really get.

Now I am so grateful to G-d for answering my prayer. I did get chosen to receive a special soul, and it is something that I am able to handle well.

Stephanie said...

i just love it when you do posts like this. I get to see so many new little faces!! And I also get to match up faces with blogs. You visit so many places, sometimes you forget where you were. Sometimes I can't find a blog again.

And I was just fine until I got to Cathy!! What she wrote for some reason just got to me. it was similar to my prayers and I guess it struck a cord.

Thanks Patti and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family:)

Ale jc said...

First I am sew thankful Amy posted this link...MY heart just swells at this entry..IT'S full of love. YOU can feel it. Each one of these special gifts from GOD are just that. I used to live across the street from a family whose sweet daughter Elizabeth, would sit on her porch every day - 4 pm waiting for my son to get off the bus...At the top of her angelic lungs she would yell out "I love YA BJ"....( my son would daily go over there and give her a hug) They both touched my life sew much...I learned far more from this daily ritual, that to this day, many decades past, I still think of how Elzabeth brought such joy to our hearts...Thank you my dear sweet for posting this most delightful collection of spirited, loving buglets...I am sew thankful....xx

Becca said...

Beautiful, beautiful post, Patti!! Loved. Each. And. Every. Word. And. Photo. Thank you for this, and a very, very happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Laurie said...

Thank God for His love, mercy, good gifts and graces!

cara said...

Patti- this is just beautiful!! Thank you for putting this together. And I know that I do not say this alone when I say how thankful I am for you too!! You have taught so many of us so much through your precious letters to Lily. And my whole family has been so blessed by Lily with that grin that lights up the world. Thank you for ALL that you do for our community and ALL that you do for orphans that have no voice. You are truly an amazing lady that God has gifted in SO many ways. You are a wonderful friend. Love you.

Starla said...

Thank you for sharing the love and joy of these beautiful children...

Christi Harrison said...

I absolutely LOVED looking at the all the beautiful faces. Thank you so much for putting this together. It's incredible!

Laura said...

Perfect. Beautiful! I only wish I hadn't been gone from reading blogs for the last couple weeks and missed the call to send in. Next year...

We celebrate Mylie's 5th birthday this Thanksgiving Day! How fun and appropriate! :) I can't wait for morning!

Stori said...

THANK YOU! That was wonderful.