Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Hope, Possibility & Potential

When Bridget was tiny, I found very little encouraging information--anywhere--about raising a child with Down syndrome.

In the endless hours spent searching, I uncovered a few things, though, that had a big impact on me--that gave me comfort, and more importantly, hope. Images and descriptions of everyday life with Down syndrome meant so much to me then...and gave me a glimpse into our lives now. Seeing other children and their families finding their way gave me great confidence that we, too, would find our own center of balance.

I began to understand that we would all grow along with Bridget, and that she would bloom into a toddler...a child...a young adult...with her own unique interests and personality. At first, everything seemed so daunting. And then, I started to see possibility, and potential.

One of the first websites I found was Alexandra Rose. Easy to navigate and full of useful information, her website was a refuge for me those early days. An adorable picture of her getting busted helping herself to a box of Cheerio's helped me understand that life with Bridget might not be so "different". Check out Pictures of Alex 24 months-age 5.

I also found Emma Jayne, the Wonderbabe, at Lovely and Amazing. One of the first things I read on her blog was: "Emma has Down syndrome, Down syndrome doesn't have her." I liked that statement and have repeated it (Thank You, Emily). Her blog is the most comprehensive one I've seen to date and has a wealth of information, links and pictures--inspiration all over the place. Take a peek at the gorgeous faces on the T21 Photo Gallery. Or read this "Happy Birthday" post, a beautiful example of a mother's love, which describes her perfect and lovable little girl.

I found Maren at Little Miss Magic, who has tons of friends, plays soccer, loves High School Musical, and wears funky glasses. When "Normal" is "Special" begins with mom Carol's thoughts when Maren was little and goes on to describe Maren at age 6. The post is funny and touching at the same time.

I saw the gorgeous and magical photos of Emma Sage, who rides horses, dances, swings and plays in the garden (among other things).

I read Jennifer Graf Groneberg's Perfectly Imperfect, in which she describes how she came to terms with assessments and what they don't reveal about her son Avery. Her descriptions of him still tug at my heartstrings. Jennifer is the author of Road Map to Holland--a must read.

THANK YOU to all of the moms whose writing and photos comforted and inspired me in the early days with Bridget.

I am Paying it Forward...


  1. Thank you for the beautiful tribute.

    I makes my heart sing to know that our sharing our duaghters life on the Internet has helped others along in their journies.

    The main reason I started my blog so many years ago, was to show the 'Normalcy of Difference'....that life does truly go on, and in our case, goes on in a magical and delightful manner.

    When I was pregnant and had 'soft markers' for T21, I went to our local library and there were no books.....just old, out-dated medical references....with pictures that were actually quite horrifying in my eyes [they were b&w and just clincal in nature] so I turned my passion of photography into a way of capturing Emma Sage's life and essence to share with others.

    I am so touched that we were able to touch your heart.

    I love you sweet little Bridget!! and her beautiful siblings and family.

    Peace and love, Tara Marie

  2. All of you are amazing souls!!!. Your beautiful children inspired you to create such wonderful websites that have become the support system to so many of us. Thank you so much for sharing your blessings,love and wisdom. ~

  3. What a great tribute to the families along this road that have encouraged you! Some of those same families/blogs have given me encouragement as well...though they don't even know it.

    I found you on the Gifts website and enjoy reading your blog. Bridget is just adorable! :)

  4. Late to the party, as usual! But I wanted to thank you for including us, like all the others I felt the difference between what I was told and what I experienced firsthand, and I wanted to write to that. To let parents know the stories aren't all told, by any means...that we are all still writing them.

    As you are writing yours. You're doing a wonderful job! Keep up the good, good work.