All our necessary paperwork has been submitted and we are leaving…..wait for it….soon. That is all we know…”soon”. It could be in 2 weeks it could be in 4 weeks. We just don’t know. We are getting so close and yet still so far away. Yesterday another family received there travel date to meet their child. They got all of a 1 week notice, thats it, one week! It sent me into mini panic attacks all day. My spiritual self says ‘don’t panic’ God’s got this. My worldly self says, ‘AHHHHHHHH’ I am about to go to another country, where I don’t speak the language, and try to navigate their laws, their customs and I really don’t have a clue and…
I DON’T HAVE ANY EXPERIENCE WITH DOWN SYNDROME!
Expect for a few brief encounters:
The day after we committed to ‘John Mark’ and I walked into a restaurant, a chinese buffet. There were a TON of seats in the front of the restaurant. The hostess lead us to the back of the restaurant. I remember walking by all the dozens of empty tables thinking, ‘what is she doing’ Why are we…WOAH. Then I saw him. As she laid our menu’s on the table I was frozen. Like literally. I stood frozen looking at a little boy, about 3 with his family. He had down syndrome. I immediately started bawling. Seriously, I was out of control. My husband and daughter stared at me not knowing what in the world was happening. I felt like a huge idiot. I pray that family didn’t notice my reaction or think I was offended by them. I didn’t want to respond that way I just did. We had just made this huge decision, guided by The Spirit. I can’t explain it and maybe some would say I ridiculous but I don’t care. Something in my spirit is touched by people with down syndrome. I went to the bathroom and calmed myself down. My oldest daughter told my husband what was happening, she knew. She knows me. See, we have a crying gene that comes straight from my Granny and she’s got it too.
I was at church after a youth night. I knew there were kids in our stake (stake: a mormon word meaning many different congregations who meet in the surrounding area) who have down syndrome. I had wanted to meet them but had not had the opportunity. Well I was on one side of the gym eating cookies with my daughter and talking with another woman. I saw Laura walk in. A spunky girl with bright red hair. We were clear across the gym from her. I saw her weave in an out of people, dodging here and there and making her way to ME! She walked up, put her hand on my shoulder and said, HI. Thats it. How sweet. I swear she was in tune with the will of the Lord. She had never met me and bypassed bunches of people she knew. I talked with her for a moment and then she walked away. About ten minutes later I saw her again, across the gym. She was dragging, literally dragging her mother across the room. She again came to me and put her Mom’s hand in mine. She wanted us to meet!
Just this last weekend I saw Laura again at a church youth dance. I danced with her and she serenaded me. The song was, Reflection. You know the one in the Disney movie Mulan. She sang every word perfectly. I wanted to cry, but I didn’t. (Yes, progress)
So, as you can see I have like no experience. I want people to know I have almost ZERO idea what I am doing and that is OK. I want people to know that this whole journey is following The Spirit and His plan for us, it’s totally AWESOME. I really think that children with down syndrome require all the same things our other children require, LOVE and lots of patience and willingness to learn and do whatever is required to help them reach their full potential.
I am starting to really dislike the word, ‘soon’. Like a 5 year old who is waiting for their birthday party.