I've spent the last few months focusing on my health and family and "might" have neglected my blog. I've decided it's time to dust off the laptop and get back at it. I'm several weeks late, but decided I would finally contribute to the Summer Blog Hop that my friend Meriah started here.
The first topic is my connection with disability. I'm going to be honest. I had ZERO emotional connections with disabilities before Hailey was born and the neonatologists uttered the words, "Your daughter has characteristics that are common with children with Down syndrome". That's not to say I had never met anyone with a disability. I saw the students who were in the special education class. We never had any interaction with them. There was a young man with Down syndrome that worked in our cafeteria, but I didn't know him. There was a group home run in the house beside our church. I saw the individuals at church every Sunday, but again...I didn't know them.
I think that is why Hailey's diagnosis was such a shock to me. I didn't have current information. I didn't have relationships to take knowledge from. It was all information from when I was younger...almost 20 years prior. The only thing I remember from all those experiences was segregation. Individuals that seemed to be kept away from everyone else. I didn't want that for my child. I didn't want that for my family. I knew that I didn't want a disability to define my daughter...I wanted more. I didn't want people to pity my family. I didn't want pity for my daughter. I wanted her to be an active participant in society. I wanted her loved. I wanted her to know she was wanted and loved. I wanted our family to be "normal" and do "normal" family activities.
My goals and dreams for Hailey's future are ever evolving, but so are those for my boys. The initial wants are still there. I want her loved and known for the person she is. For the qualities and values that we raise her with...not because she has Down syndrome.
You can read other posts from the Summer Blog Hop here. See how others are connected.