Monday, October 21, 2013

AN AMAZING LITTLE GIRL....

Hi Everyone! So... my last blog post was about finding balance, and although you have not heard from me since last Monday, I can assure you that even though I have been busy, I managed to find some of that balance I was talking about which is why I set my usual weekend blog aside to spend some much needed time with friends and family. Since last Monday's post, my daughter Abrielle who many of you know through my blogs and social media turned 4 years old. It was a crazy busy week because I had just gotten back from a business trip, but in the midst of all of my scrambling, I found balance and took time to celebrate this little girl's life. She means the world to me, just like all my kids do, and although I don't pick "favorites" I do pick favorite things from each child and I am going to share my most favorite things about Abrielle with you tonight.

As Down syndrome Awareness Month quickly speeds by, I am reminded that October once meant nothing more to me than costumes and candy. I did not know that this month was used to spread awareness of how incredibly inspiring these special human beings; NOT mongoloids as they were once called, truly were. It wasn't until I entered this "world" that I was made "AWARE" of what it meant to have and live with Down syndrome. I had no idea the impact one person could truly have on my life, how incredibly and insanely resilient a little girl could be as an infant, a toddler, until I was surrounded by her presence each and every day, living through each and every milestone she has reached. God brought her into my life during a time when I was sad and empty inside; he knew I no longer needed struggles, I had experienced enough of those... he knew what I needed were miracles, smiles... laughter and something to make me appreciate every single day. I stopped worrying about the things I cannot change and my motto of embracing the journey ahead of me no matter what that may be strengthened through the life of this little girl. Abrielle was the beginning of many, many blessings ahead that I am not sure I would have recognized without her. She truly changed me for the better.

I know I talk a lot about Brie, and I hope that you don't get sick of it. Some people think that those of us with "special" children talk about them all the time so we can convince ourselves that they are worthy of being here... to be included in society just as the rest of us are. I will tell you that we are the LAST ones that need to be convinced, we live these special lives each and every day, we walk the walk, talk the talk, zip up the jackets and lace up the running shoes as we clear our throats and advocate for our children who we KNOW belong in society, who we KNOW should be included in classrooms next to your child, who are a blessing to all who can get past their disabilities and see their smiles, experience their innocent laughter and feel the warmth that pierces your heart when you know a child who is "special". My wish is that people all over the world... not just in "our world" know the significance of this month of awareness and of these people. My hope is that you will help spread that awareness with me so that more people know that these are lives worth living...worth keeping, worth celebrating more than they will ever know. I may be one of the luckier ones whose child has a mild case, but I do not know one parent personally no matter how severe the case that would say that their child is not a blessing, and that goes for my friends that have children with other diagnosis' as well. Sometimes I feel they are capable of teaching us more than we teach them.

You are right when you say we are trying to convince, but it is not ourselves... it is those that think our children still need to be in institutions, that think that they don't deserve a privileged life like we do... the ones that try to convince parents with a prenatal diagnosis to rid themselves of a future burden. 92% of people rid themselves of that burden when Down syndrome is the diagnosis. I can assure you that my daughter has not been a burden to anyone, including me. She is a bright little star that I would not want to live without and is smarter than I was told she could be. TRUST me when I say that I have a little MacGyver on my hands; she is pretty amazing which is why I nick-named her "My amazing Brie."


Earlier this month, I began a fundraiser in honor of my daughter. Our mission is to give back to the Ronald McDonald house in Tampa who gave me a place to sleep so I could be close to Abrielle during her hospital stay after she was born. I have been so busy this month that I have not been able to actively pursue my goal to raise that $2,000 for this amazing place for parents with ill and dying children. The good news is, I have all of  YOU and together WE still have 10 days to raise the money! No matter what amount I collect, I will give every penny to them, but I would LOVE to see us reach our goal. It is so small a number yet will go SO far to help buy food, cleaning supplies and toiletries for the guests that stay there. I will be making my personal donation on the last day of this month but would like to see how far we can get. Will you help me? If I can raise just $196 every day for the next 10 days we will meet our goal. That roughly boils down to twenty people giving $10 for the next 10 days. Not too hard to reach if you think about it like that. How many people do you engage with on Facebook who may find it in their heart to read this blog, be touched and give a small donation to an amazing cause? What about you? Can you spare $5, $10, $20 to help someone have peace of mind that they have a place to stay that is close to their child who is suffering or struggling, who may be simply waiting to breathe their last breath?

At the end of this blog post , I will share with you my daughter's 3rd year of life... we have been posting a birthday video every year since she turned 2 to her Awareness Channel on You Tube, and we have posted several milestone videos as well. Feel free to watch as many as you have time for. We hope it inspires you, touches you and perhaps even changes how you may look at someone with Down syndrome or another diagnosis the next time you see them out in public. As promised in the beginning of this blog, I will now share 5 of my favorite things about Brie....

Her giggle is the cutest thing I have ever heard...
Her smile can turn my bad days around on a dime...
The peacefulness she possesses every day; not a care in the world...
Even when she is being a stinker she can make me smile...
AND
Her determination to be ALL that she can be, which to us and
to her is EVERYTHING and MORE than everyone else around her.

PLEASE will you help us reach our goal?
(click the link below to support our cause)

Here is Brie's You Tube Channel... Go pop some corn and watch a few of our videos! 
The latest being her 3rd year of life


NOW CLICK SHARE !
XOXO
~SHELLS~

Follow me on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

Get a copy of my inspirational memoir