Monday, October 31, 2011

The Son That Never Existed.

I wrote this back when Bennett was just 5 months old.  So in honor of Down syndrome awareness month....


I've been doing some thinking. Thinking about how upset I was when I first found out that Bennett had Down syndrome. Almost immediately a little boys life flashed before my eyes. A boy I didn't even know but I felt I was losing him. Dreams that I had for this boy seemed to vanish, dreams that I had made up, dreams that we all make up. His face that I had envisioned seemed to vanish and even the names I had picked seemed to slip away. It was as if all of a sudden I was given this new child that I was not prepared for and that did not fit into my plans.

Now, I know that all of these feelings I had were normal and I don't think there is anything wrong with mourning the death of child you thought you were having. Because essentially that's what it feels like at first. However, I've come to realize that the child I had dreamed about and that I thought I was having never even existed. There was never a Bennett without Down syndrome. The moment Bennett was conceived, that extra chromosome was there.

When he was first born I used to wonder what he would look like if he didn't have Down syndrome or what he would be doing if he didn't have it. Would his eyes be big and round like Harper's? Would he be a strong baby and holding his head up more as an infant if he did not have DS? But now when I look at him, again I remind myself that there was never a little Bennett of mine without Down syndrome, he never existed. For some reason this thought puts me to tears, like really makes me cry but I don't think it makes me cry because I'm sad that there was never a Bennett without Down syndrome, I think it makes me realize how much of this life is not in my control and how God has his hands on everything and that's a good thing.

In the beginning I struggled so much with whether or not this just happened by mistake or if God knew this all along. Like when I was a little girl did God know that I would one day have two little girls of my own and then something special would happen and Bennett would be conceived? I struggled because I thought why would God cause this to happen, why would he want my son to have something that would cause him to be different or "not perfect"? But now I've come to believe that God allowed this to happen and although I do not know his plans or why it would happen to us, his ways are much bigger than my ways and it's okay to not know why. And for some reason it puts me at peace to know that this child I had in my mind, the child I thought I was having never was meant to be. Bennett, however was meant to be. He was perfectly placed in our family and not because we are special parents that have the strength to handle a child with special needs, because 1) we aren't and 2) we don't but because God has plans. And I'm so thankful I can now believe that Bennett was always the son I was meant to have, from the very beginning, just the way he is.




Saturday, October 29, 2011

Through the years....

 Isn't it fun to look back?  I found these pics and had to share.  They crack me up because of how ridiculous the dogs look and how funny I am about dressing them up as well!  Once Bennett arrived it just got to be too much to get them to stay in the darn picture!  Maybe I can get them back in the Halloween pic this year though....

Our first Halloween as a little family-2005:)


2006
Harper's here!  Pumpkin Patch 2007

Halloween 2007{Please look at Blitzen-the dog on the right-lol}
Pumpkin Patch 2008
Halloween 2008- {again with the dogs!}
Bennett's here!  Pumpkin patch 2009-

I can't find a pic from Halloween 2009 but I know we all had the Swine Flu and it was miserable!

Pumpkin patch 2010

Halloween 2010
Pumpkin Patch 2011

Halloween 2011 will be here in just a few days!  I'm gonna attempt to get all five of them on the steps-need to dig out the dog costumes!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Feeling a little deflated but....

So this month is almost over and I'm feeling a tad deflated right now.

I'm feeling deflated because October is Down syndrome awareness month and I haven't posted much about it on my blog but should have-ugh!  I know, we just moved into our house, we're getting settled, blah, blah, blah-I have an excuse...whatever.

I'm feeling a little deflated because 2 people have used the word "retarded" in my presence this past week and I didn't say anything and I should have.  I can come up with excuses for why I didn't speak up  but still, there should be no excuse for that.

I'm feeling a little deflated because sometimes I can't stand how hard Bennett has to work at something and how mad and upset he gets when we make him work-like just to walk across the room to get to me.  It comes so darn easily for other kids.  I'm over it!

I'm feeling a little deflated because I don't know what the right decision is for Bennett's preschool-as if whatever I decide makes or brakes it for the rest of his life.  And then I think:
 it's been so easy with the girls and school, why does it have to be so hard with Bennett?  Preschool and kindergarten shouldn't be this overwhelming thing.

But...
{I've always got a huge "But" when it comes to Bennett}

And this is with tears streaming down my face, I wouldn't change a damn thing.  I mean that with all my heart.  I may not have posted a whole lot about Down syndrome {but should have} this month because life got in the way but this is the truth:  I may cry in my car after leaving physical therapy once in a while or after walking the feeding therapist to the door because I'm so sick of therapies, I may see a child Bennett's age do things that he's not even close to doing and feel mad, I may get annoyed with the fact that I still have to spoon feed my child, and I may not know if I'm making the right decision with Bennett's future but I wouldn't change a thing because that would mean changing Bennett.  And that's just something that I couldn't imagine.

If you don't get one thing I write, at least get this, this is what I do know:  Raising a child with Down syndrome is not scary.  It is not a burden. It is not a waste of time.  Yes, sometimes I feel deflated because it does seem to take a lot more effort to raise a child with Down syndrome, more emotionally than anything really. But I have always told any new mom that has contacted me about how scared they are to have a child with Down syndrome:

Any hardship, deflation, sadness, jealousy, fear or exhaustion you are feeling will totally be outweighed by the absolute pure joy you will feel from your child.  It is a joy like nothing you've ever felt, maybe because you've been broken down so much (emotionally) and then just when you think you can't take it any more God {at least I think so} steps in.  And your kid does something that makes your heart swell, seriously it's amazing.  Until you've experienced it, it's hard to explain.  But God knows what you're going through, just when you need that lift, just when you're feeling totally deflated, He steps in.

Again, through everything I wouldn't change a thing except for maybe the way people see my son.  And perhaps the way people throw around a word that is very hurtful and don't realize it.  Guess I have to speak up more for them to realize it though.

While I don't plan on changing my son, I do plan on changing how others see Down syndrome.  I hope I've been able to do that a little with this blog over the last 2 years or so, at times deflated and other times totally elated.

So feeling deflated today but I know there's something big {no matter how small it may be to others} around the corner, there always is...

And I'll be sure to share it.  


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkins....

Last weekend we went back to the same pumpkin patch we took the girls to when they were just babies.
I can't believe how much they've grown. I'll have to share those pics another time.  

The pumpkin patch was just as we remembered only this time someone lost a tooth, someone got stung by a bee and someone ate a cheerio {possibly two}. 

Ainsley, Harper, Bennett.  

All events were quite dramatic in their own little way {to have a video of it all would be priceless and hilarious}, just another day in our crazy but wonderful life...









Once we got home I realized I didn't take any pictures of just the kids together.  I thought it was the perfect opportunity to get some pics on our new porch for the first time...


Silly kids.  I ♥ them.

And yes, Bennett was sporting an awesome pumpkin hat;)

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

For our son, his family and his friends....


It was a perfect day.  Thanks to all who joined us.  See you next year!

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Settling In....

It's been a long time coming but we're finally in our house!!  Now, just so you know, the house is full of boxes on the inside...like the upstairs is a total mess.  But I couldn't help myself on the outside {besides, ya'll know by now that I live for this stuff}....



I have been wanting to decorate a front door so badly I couldn't stand it! 

Pinterest inspired me yet again with these stacking pumpkins!
 I saw the witch hats in Michaels and knew they had to be decorated-they were a little "hotel activity";)  
Oh, how I love decorating for fall!  It's probably a really good thing that we don't have a big porch with this house because I know I'd be out there for a week going crazy with decor.  I'm thinking of painting these pumpkins with some funky patterns, hmmm.  Ooh wait, there's a little boy in the background, let's take a closer look....



Why it's Bennett!!  My little love!


He's got a little cold or sinus thing going on but he'll still smile for his mommy...

I think he's a little confused as to where the heck we are because we've been all over the place for the last 2 months but he has all his toys back so he's happy.

I can't believe how blessed we've been so far with the neighbors!  Turns out that next door there is a 7 year old and she was in Ainsley's class before Ainsley got switched to the new class.  So on the day we moved in, they instantly recognized each other and have been playing ever since!  Back and forth to each other's house, like they've been friends forever!  Harper has a great time playing too!   It is wonderful!  And the little girl's parents are sooo nice!  




{terrible pic-sorry} Harper has made very fast friends as well with her new BFF Lily Kate!  So much so that they both cry now when it's time to end play dates and go home-lol.  I just couldn't be more pleased right now with how the kids are adjusting.  And to think I was so anxious about it all...I should not be anxious!

*Therapy Update*  Therapies for Bennett are starting!  Speech was today and he has his first PT session tomorrow!  I'm very excited to meet his new PT and what's really cool is that the therapist has a 3 year old with Down syndrome!  We'll see how B reacts to a man being his therapist.  I'm interested to see because he usually responds very well to men!

So I promise I'll share inside house pics but of course I have to get it just how I like it....and I've got plans so it could be a while;)

Edited** ended up painting the pumpkins!  Bad cell phone pic but I like how they turned out...



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