Today my topic finally hit me. I was a friend's house this afternoon and she is having a difficult time. Her family is a foster family. So far, they have opened their house and hearts to 4 small children over the course of a couple years. They are getting ready to get their 5th in a few days. I'll call them the Starfish family. The Starfish have a foster child that was brought to them at 3 days old. He is now 14 months old. His father signed over his rights and his mother has not been diligent in following through with her "tasks" to regain custody of her son. He is her 4th and she doesn't have custody of any of them. She seems to be on the verge giving the Starfish custody of her son, but can't seem to say the words just yet. In the meantime, my friend (Starfish mom) is a ball of stress. She can't sleep, worries nonstop, etc. She can't imagine giving up this little boy that she has loved since the day she started caring for him. I do understand her fear of losing him and not being able to control it. I felt like that before Hailey's heart surgery.
Ok...sorry for the rambling, but there is a point to me telling about the Starfish. Everyone "thinks" they know how life is for families with children with Down syndrome. That's where the pity looks and the "I'm sorry's" come from. They really have no clue, unless they have lived it. I'm not saying life is all "Unicorns and Rainbows". Some days are hard. Some days are frustrating. Who said parenting would be easy?!?! However, I feel lucky. I can't imagine living day in and day out with the fears that my friend deals with. The stress she lives with every waking moment. I, also, have a friend whose son was diagnosed with a lung cancer that only had a 30% survival rate. He was 3 at the time, he is now 8. I can't imagine going through that fear and the fear they have every time he goes for follow up testing.
What I'm trying to say (not so eloquently though) is all parents deal with daily struggles. Yes, some of them are more difficult than others. We all parent and live our lives the best that we can. Your child having Down syndrome is not the end of the world. It is the opposite. I've never cheered so hard as I have for this little girl in the 8 months she has been on earth. Every "little" thing!
Here are a few random photos from today.
|Working hard on those puff.|
|Now, what do I do with them once I pick them up?|
|I took these two pics because our families always comment about us living in the city...I passed them both on the way to my friend's house. Not a lot of city to me :-)|
This might have been my last try at capturing fall photos this year. Most of them are either dead leaves on the ground or trees that haven't turned yet.