This is the 3rd year in a row that October has held special meaning for us in this house. Hard to believe that 4 years ago I would not have even noticed a reference to Down Syndrome Awareness Month (DSAM), let alone have a blog that dedicates much of its time to advocating for those who have DS.
I would never go back to the me "pre DS." There's so much I would like to go back and tell myself about the beauty that I was about to experience (not that I would have believed me). It's a very difficult thing to do - accept the unknown. And hear I am now, almost 3 years later, not only accepting but loving, living, breathing, educating, advocating, supporting, challenging and hopefully most of all...
Changing not only my outlook on Down syndrome, not only our family's and friend's outlook - but YOURS. All of you. Every time you take the time to come over and visit us here on Chasing Hazel. Every time you share something on our Facebook page or like a picture on our Instagram feed, you are showing your support.
Support for Hazel - yeah sure - but also support for all those with Down syndrome.
When you look at Hazel with love in your eyes...
When you celebrate her accomplishments with us...
When you realize that she's a little girl that has learned to walk, talk, play and have temper tantrums...
YOU ARE INVITING KNOWLEDGE ABOUT DOWN SYNDROME INTO YOUR HEART.
How many of you have come across an individual with DS in the community and been a little less intimidated to speak to them because you know Hazel?
Oh - I hope A LOT!!!
Yes, this month is about raising awareness but I hope that we have been doing a good job raising awareness all year long and not just this month.
Guys I don't write this blog to make money, I don't receive any endorsements, funds or grants for the time I spend here writing. I don't publish posts because some body asked me too.
I do it for Hazel.
I do it so that you feel a little less intimidated by her. I do it so that you know that people with Down syndrome are beautiful, just as any other person. They have a great deal to offer us. I do it so that you can experience just a little part of the joy and love that we experience everyday. We don't just experience joy from Hazel, but from all the individuals that we have welcomed into our hearts since the beginning of this journey. I know a love now that I can't even begin to explain. My heart swells with pride for all our little friends with DS. Their accomplishments, are our accomplishments.
We are in this together. All of us. We are paving the way. But first we have to take out our power tools and heavy machinery and break the very hard concrete roads that are already laid. We need to change the infrastructure and then pave a new road entirely. Our new roads bend, weave and fork in ways that we never thought possible. At the end they join together and lead us to a most breathtaking view.
I am calling on you. Won't you please help me?
Talk about Down syndrome in your homes, share our Facebook links, open your hearts up to something a little different, teach you kids about it.
If there is anything I can do to help I am IN!!! ALL IN!!!! Email me or post a comment.