Ten ways Rosalie has blessed our lives

5 Jun

First of all, there are probably a million ways Rosalie has been a blessing, but in order to keep this post at a reasonable length, I better narrow it down to ten.

1. Rosalie has given my life a new purpose. I now believe that God put me on this earth to be a mother to MB & Rosalie & any other chillins that may come our way (we aren’t stopping just because we’ve had 1 with DS! I’d have 5 more just like her if I could!).

Before I became a mother, I was the director of public relations at a technical college. I loved my job. It was an awesome job for someone my age, especially considering there aren’t a ton of PR jobs in this town. And it wasn’t just a job, it was a career. I felt like I had an active part in the growth and development of our town and I wanted everyone to see the benefits of technical education. I felt like I was doing something good and I learned from & worked with some incredible people. As much as I always wanted to be a stay at home mom, I did not plan to become one so soon or even at all. I spent my maternity leave with MB with a constant feeling of dread. Trying to decide on child care & all of those decisions we make as parents weighed on our minds. It was hard to enjoy those first few weeks with my precious baby girl, knowing that I would eventually have to return to work. I went back to work for a couple of days in July 2011. The morning of the second day, I remember standing in the hallway at home crying…sobbing, hair wet, time to go, no makeup on, literally hyperventilating. I absolutely could not pull myself together. No amount of Xanax was going to calm me down. I did not want to leave my baby. I just couldn’t do it. But God had a plan. Finally that afternoon (or maybe the next day, I can’t remember), Will told me I could quit. I packed up my office & got out of there before he could change his mind. As much as I loved my career, I didn’t have to think twice. But I miss my old coworkers. They were like family to me. Somedays I wish I could go back but I now know I am exactly where I need to be. God was preparing me because he knew Rosalie would need a little extra care.

I don’t want this to come off as me saying that if you work outside the home, then you can’t be a special needs mommy or daddy. Not. At. All. What I am trying to say is I’m not strong enough. You know how they say God won’t give us more than we can handle? I just don’t have the energy, brain power, coordination, or *energy* to work & have kids. God just did not make me that way.

2. Rosalie has bridged some pretty huge gaps in relationships. She has shown us what is truly important and I am so incredibly grateful.

3. Rosalie has changed me and definitely for the better. I am more positive, easy going, and much much more accepting of others differences & abilities. Things that I valued before are not important to me anymore.

4. Because of Rosalie, we are a part of a special family in Valdosta and all over the world, who have been blessed to love and care for an individual with Down syndrome. I have mentioned before, as soon as friends and family members learned of Rosalie’s diagnosis, we were immediately given the names and numbers of other parents with a child or children who have Down syndrome. Because of Rosalie, we have met & become friends with many amazing people we may have never come in contact with in our lifetime.

I remember going to the first Down Syndrome Association meeting in our town. It was held in that same church fellowship hall that I stood in only weeks before, helping to host my best friend’s baby shower, and seeing these families, ‘knowing’ but not knowing (if that makes sense!) we would soon be joining them.

I was so nervous but excited, knowing we were about to meet new friends who understand exactly what we are going through. They know the exact words we need to hear. They have been on the same roller coaster of emotions we were riding and lived to tell about it. They are the ones who paved the road we are traveling.

We went to the meeting and met Erin & Donna, who are absolutely wonderful. Libby and Reagan, Rosalie’s BFF, were there too. And there was a grandmother and aunt of two new babies, boy & girl twins, who were just born a week or more prior. The baby boy was born with Down syndrome and was at Shands at the time of our meeting. We met their parents, Lee and Gregg, a few weeks later once both babies were home and we were at the park for the World Down Syndrome Day celebration.

We also met many wonderful families that day at the park who have become friends and mentors and have provided direction and support in so many ways. It would be a lonely, rough journey without this new “family” we are now a part of. Love them SO MUCH.

I have also become friends with other moms of babies (& grown children) with Down syndrome thru Facebook & Twitter and they are a great source of encouragement everyday. It is so nice to be able to connect with other moms who are going thru the very same thing, feeling the same way, dreaming the same dreams for their little ones. Love them SO MUCH too! 🙂

5. Rosalie is going to give me a huge lesson in patience. I am always prepared, thinking two steps ahead, finding the most efficient way to get a job done quickly. I always talk about how Rosalie is a baby, just like any other baby, but let’s face it…she has Down syndrome. She is going to need a little more time for things. That is something that God obviously saw I needed help with. I am starting now, trying to be more patient with MB & everyone around me. But Rosalie is going to give me a true lesson in Patience 101 & I’m ready for it!

20130604-225836.jpg6. That smile could brighten the darkest day. Rosalie has smiled since the day she was born. Granted, those first smiles were probably gas, but they were still precious smiles. (And never say that to a new mom, by the way!) The NICU nurses would comment on how much she smiled & how it was so nice to see because the other babies they saw didn’t normally smile until long after they were discharged. Now that she is becoming more social & smiling because she is happy…it just takes my breath away. Her smile just makes her entire face light up. It could brighten the very darkest day. I even got a small giggle the other day! That was something I will never forget.

7. Rosalie has changed the way I see individuals who are different or “differently-abled.” I can now say I TRULY truly appreciate individuals with disabilities. No one asks to be disabled and all individuals deserve respect- disability or not. Differences are what make this world beautiful!!! We are all different! It is all about ACCEPTANCE.

People are afraid of what they don’t know. That’s why I have this blog. The more we all learn about Down syndrome (i.e., the more I shove it down the throats of everyone around me!), the more you & I will know about it, & the more likely Rosalie will be accepted in school, in athletics, in clubs, among her peers, among their parents, wherever!

8. Rosalie has made me friendlier, given me more confidence. When I was pregnant with MB, the song “Without You” by Keith Urban would come on & there is one verse that would bring on the tears EVERY time. Never did it have more meaning than it does now:

“Along comes a baby girl
And suddenly my little world
Just got a whole lot bigger, yes it did
And people that I barely knew
They love me cause I’m part of you
Man it’s tough to figure”

The love we have been shown in the last almost 5 months (!) has been overwhelming & it is something we possibly may have never experienced if not for Rosalie.

9. Rosalie has strengthened my love of The Lord. Since Rosalie was born, friends have commented on how strong we are or what an inspiration we have been to them. While it is nice & encouraging to hear those things & I would never want to make anyone feel bad for saying it, I know…I know that it has nothing to do with me. It is all about God’s grace. 1000%. I thank God everyday for guiding our footsteps thru this unforeseen journey. Knowing that He has His hand on us & that He will take care of us, gives us the peace we need to be able to enjoy the ride.

10. We have soooo many blessings to come. After all, we are only 4.5 months in. We have so many exciting times to look forward to. Watching Rosalie & MB grow up and seeing the unique bond they will share is something Will & I are really looking forward to. And I can’t even begin to comprehend the impact she will have on us all. But right now, I am really enjoying this sweet baby!!!

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This week Rosalie has started to not like being held like a baby anymore! All she wants to do is sit up & look around:20130604-225416.jpg

Playing on her side;

20130604-230443.jpg

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Lots of news to come, hopefully I can find some time tomorrow to post a health update.

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One Response to “Ten ways Rosalie has blessed our lives”

  1. Pansy S. June 11, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    Thank you for sharing. There are so many “dis”abilities among us – I hope that people will learn to accept them, whether or not they are visible. Having an invisible one sometimes makes it harder on a bad day.

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