On many blogs and messages on various forums, I read the despair and devastation in parents' voices as they retell an encounter with a person who ignorantly says negative views or incorrect beliefs about Down syndrome. It leads these parents to believe that there are so many people who will perceive their child as less than worth--that these people are family members who will not accept there child. Their fear is real. It is palpable because often these horrible comments from these stranger or acquaintances are preceded by "I have a cousin or an uncle is Ds and . . . ."
|Ellie with her Uncle Matt at Christmas|
I want to tell you, it isn't always that way at all. No! Maybe you think I live in a bubble where the world is happy and everyone dotes on my little Ellie. That is not true. I know firsthand how people can be cruel. I know that they can be cruel to people with intellectual abilities, physical deformities, and for instance, those who happen to have red curly hair or is a woman. Yes, there are people who are completely set in their beliefs, no matter how inappropriate and wrong they are.
|Ellie with her Uncle Mark at Christmas|
Our children have the power to educate. Do NOT ever forget that or underestimate their potential to do so. Their ability to love unconditionally and their never-ending determination to accomplish the tasks that come so easily to others is powerful. So powerful that once someone gets to know them, they realize just how ignorant they are. As for those who do not learn, it is their loss. Yes, it hurts to hear those comments, but it truly is their loss. For you and I know the blessings of knowing someone with Ds, of raising a child with Ds.
|Ellie with her cousins. See the unconditional love?|
|Children love unconditionally.|
Once upon a time, I had this fabulous cousin (Brendan) and he left us for a far-far away unknown land (England) where he settled down, married a fabulous woman, and had a beautiful boy with the same spunky personality as my cousin.
Far far away, Brendan decides to participate in the Virgin Active London Triathlon. I know, he is a bit ambitious and my muscles are already sore just thinking about it. He had his choice of multiple charities to run/swim for. I shall repeat that, multiple. He could have chosen any charity (ie cancer, etc) at all and he chose PSDS, which is a proper & lovely organization helping people and their families with Down syndrome.
Brendan writes in his sponsorship letter (I bolded my favorite part):
As I rifled through the options I came across the charity, PSDS that has sponsored me. PSDS is a charity devoted to helping families and children with Down Syndrome.
As Down has impacted my family I felt that instead of going for the lowest possible target donation offered by some other charities I would try to actually make a difference to one that mattered to me and provided much needed support to families at a time they need it the most!
My cousin is running/swimming for Aunt Peg and for Ellie and for all of the other people and families who know and love someone with Ds. Now, Brendan has never met Ellie, but he has grown up around Aunt Peg and she impacted him greatly. He loves her and knows just what a wonderful person she is. I also firmly believe that Brendan knows Ellie is just as lovely too.
|Ellie with her Great-Aunt Peg at Christmas|
*I am not asking for money. I promise! Truly, I want to show that family can be an excellent source of support and love. However, if you are so inspired to donate, here is the link
Keaneo 1 pound = $1.59
If you would like to learn more about PSDS: http://www.psds.info/
I apologize for the lack of new pictures as well as the lack of Cousin Brendan pics. You see, we live in a far away desert called Texas and only see family at certain times of the year. Brendan lives in the UK which is quite lovely, but I have not see him in 5? years. However no matter how many states or oceans are between us, acceptance is present.