Before the pics...did anyone see Pudge and Biggs most recent post?? *sobs*
Another aside: the next post in the story of our journey so far is the early NICU/diagnosis story. I'm not intentionally trying to put off thinking about that or anything...
Now for the good stuff:
This was our first Buddy Walk and I wasn't sure how I would handle it. I haven't spent a lot of time around adults or older kids w/ DS, except for a girl named Mary whom I worked with at Shaw's Supermarket back in high school. That was obviously waaaay before I had any reason to really think about Mary as being my future. We're also not the most social creatures in the G household (except for Sam...he'll make friends with anyone), so I was a little worried we would just be wandering around aimlessly.
I was wrong! We stopped by the new family tent, and saw our friend Harper. (Sometimes we call her Sam's girlfriend...and he would be SO lucky for this to be true!) Harper's mommy gave him a "Harper's Heroes" sticker, which he proudly wore on his stroller strap.
Then we saw our EI coordinator, Jackie, who brought us to meet her daughters, Olivia and Natalie. Olivia is 12 and has Down syndrome. She LOVES babies, and pretty much kidnapped Sam as soon as we met her. Lucky for us, she didn't get far. We know Sam would be in excellent hands, but we would miss him terribly. Natalie was running a "Spread the Word to End the Word" tent, as I mentioned in my recent Confession. I was so happy to finally meet Jackie's girls after hearing so much about them. I got a sticker for that too, which Sam proudly sported throughout the day on his other stroller strap.
We got to hang out with Stephanie, a friend of mine from the hospital where I used to work. One year ago she adopted two boys from Ukraine through Reece's Rainbow, and she is already working on her third paper pregnancy! She's also a nurse practitioner and mom to two biological teenage children. My husband asked if she had an unlimited supply of energy. (I thought he was going to say "money.") She and her family, including her two Ukrainian princes, Cole and Caden, were at the Reece's Rainbow tent.
Before long it was time to start the walk. We walked our lap around World's Fair Park with Team Harper (Daddy pushed the stroller, I took the photos.)
When we were done, Sam got to go across the stage to get his medal. Daddy took him to do that, too.
I have mixed feelings about the guy giving out the medals (no, not Mr.
Brickey). I mean, his House is awesome, especially for the families whose babies have heart surgery. I have a friend whose family lived there for an entire year while her brother had a bone marrow transplant. I just wish he weren't playing such a big role in childhood obesity.
After that, we saw our other two friends, Elly (aka Gorgeous) and Liam with their Mommies.
What a great day!