Welcome to my blog!

A blog about our busy family with two amazing kids, one of whom happens to have Down syndrome!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Me vs He

I had the day off today, so I woke up around 2pm, took the kids to get ice cream and headed off to church. Greg was bike riding with a friend- perfect day for it!

We had a guest speaker today. Phil Vischer, the creator of Veggie Tales! His story was not one I expected to hear. After putting tons of hard work into his dream, he went bankrupt. Google him. Seriously.

He started off the talk saying that everybody has a "dream". He talked about how putting our personal dream ahead of all else isn't really the way to go. The talk was titled Me vs He, about how our dreams may overshadow what God wants for us. And we may have to give it up to reach the ultimate plan God has for us.

It might have been the most powerful talk I've heard.

He talked about dreams we might have...being a millionaire, owning a huge home, having a healthy child. When he said that I immediately teared up and felt like he was talking directly to me.

When we found out that Lauren had Down syndrome when I was pregnant I was devastated. When we found out she needed open heart surgery I was angry. See, having a healthy daughter wasn't just my dream. I felt it was owed to me. Afterall, I did everything "right". I married my high school sweetheart, started a family after we were married, went back to school to support my family, attended church regularly. I held up my end of the bargain and God didn't. We'd had our kids early so we could retire early, be "empty nesters" early. I was angry. I was hurt. I was so confused on how He could let this happen to me. I truly went through each stage of grief.

My dream of a healthy child truly overshadowed the Lord's plan for our family. I couldn't see it at the time because my heart was clouded in grief, I was drowning.

Greg and I talked about it over dinner today. God's plans for our family are so incredibly amazing, we could've never dreamed up this life. These children. This girl.

Lauren came at a time where we needed her. She was a salve for a rocky marriage. She was the personification of everything we feared and everything we needed.

I am so thankful that we relied on the faith we share that shaped our beliefs on abortion. Lauren would always have been born, there was never another option for us. She is such a huge part of our family, we didn't know it at the time but we were waiting on her to complete us.

My heart is happy.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Things I feared the most

I realized today that some of the very things I feared the most about Lauren have become her greatest treasures in my eyes.

I was so afraid that her slanted eyes would look so different from mine. Truth is that her eyes are a bright vivid blue with gorgeous Brushfield spots. They look nothing like mine but they are absolutely beautiful.

I was terrified that her tongue would stick out. When she smiles her tongue comes just past her teeth, her eyes light up and I would swear she glows.

I was sad that she'd probably walk late. She just started walking this week at almost 2 and a half. We are ecstatic! I can't imagine being happier if she'd done it earlier, what would it even matter?

I wanted to know immediately if she'd go to a special school or if she'd be able to be in school with her brother. She is going to a special education preschool, but her brother will be in a program at the same school. They'll ride the school bus home together.

I was so afraid of being "that family". Different. We are different. And I don't mind at all. Lauren draws people to her, mostly in a good way. She makes people smile left and right and we often have people stop to share stories with us about their own loved ones with Down syndrome. She makes friends wherever we go. There is no blending in with Lauren Hope! And the few times we've felt judged or stared at in a not-so-nice way, we brush it off and feel so lucky that we got her and they didn't.

I was afraid I'd never get to experience what it was like to really have a daughter. Ha. Lauren is all things girl- sugar, spice, everything nice. Add in some snips, snails, puppy dog tails, and a big helping of diva. I don't picture her teenage years being any different. Is it crazy that I want to have arguments about boys, clothes, makeup, friends and homework? Because I do. (Please remind me of this in about 12 years).

I'm finding that Down syndrome isn't scary. It isn't something I spend my life wishing away. Most days I am honestly so thankful that our Lauren is so special. Because she is. I can't explain it. If you've met her, you know. I'm not sure why I have been trusted to be her mom but I'm damn sure I'll try my hardest to be worthy.

I accept her for who she is. Abilities. Disabilities. It's all the same to me. I think most Down syndrome parents will tell you that at one point they were sure that their child would be the smartest, most advanced child with Down syndrome that ever lived. I know I did. But Lauren's not, and that's okay.

She has a couple signs. She says a handful of words. She just started walking (holding onto one hand) and two and a half. She doesn't know her colors. She doesn't know how to count, to say her ABC's.... On paper she's honestly not much to write home about. But her soul radiates love, hope and joy. Her smile can light up a room. Her personality can bring sunshine on the cloudiest of days. Her eyes show a soul filled with all things great. She is Lauren Hope. And I'm so glad she's mine.

Sunday, June 8, 2014


Lauren walked!!!

She can walk now just holding onto one person's hand!!!