Dreams Matter! Christi and Austin are Coming to Memphis!

I have a confession to make. The day ME was baptized, I cried. I tried to hide my tears, because I did not want this day to be remembered as the day that Diane cried. But I have to be honest, I could not stop the tears from running down my cheeks.

The tears started when the priest handed my brother, ME's Godfather, along with the other Godparents who were standing there, the white garment. The priest explained how this white garment will go with them throughout life, for communion, and then later, marriage, or what ever their vocation. 

That was it, the tears were welling and there was no containing them. I looked around at the other parents standing there with us, with their sweet little babies, and thought, "Yes, this is true for you. But this is not true for us. I do not know what will be true for us."

I  thought this way because I did not know what was going to happen in ME's future. I cried because I was letting go of the dreams I had for MaryEllen.

Later, I learned that the reality is, you can't know what is going to happen in any child's future. 

However on that day, because of my ignorance, (much that came from outdated information that was given to me) I cried tears of sadness, and letting go of dreams. That day, I was frozen in grief for what I did not know. Paralyzed.

Well, time has shown me that those were wasted tears. ME made her First Holy Communion right on time, and loves to receive when we go to church. 

Will she marry? I do not know. Her siblings say no. lol However, we are more open to it today than we were the day she was baptized because of others who have gone before us. Including one family that is very special to us. 

Early on in this journey I met a mom, Judie Hockel, who I came to look to as a mentor and a dear friend. Judie's daughter, Christi, was significantly older than MaryEllen, so this friendship was like a guide book for me as well. I could see all the possibilities for MaryEllen, by watching Christi.

Christi had a boyfriend, worked in a school, and had a very full life.  It was inspiring to me to watch her live her one and beautiful life!

Judie and I grew in our friendship, and she helped me a great deal with the early days of the IDSC. Mentoring me and teaching me about the ins and outs of advocacy, about good advocacy, and believing with me that I had a message that was worth listening to. 

I got to meet Judie and Christi at the National Down Syndrome Congress convention, and put names and faces together. Yep, just as inspiring in person as they were through emails and messages. 

Life rolled on, and I continued to learn from them both.

Then it happened. Judie let us know that Christi and her boyfriend, Austin, got engaged! I cried tears as I read the articles and watched the video about their engagement and wedding. Make sure you click on that link and watch it. I have issued the tissue warning. It is beautiful!

Let me tell you, this was big news, and I felt very lucky to be able to hear about the journey directly from Judie. She and I exchanged many emails about this experience, and what this would look like to their families. I loved and appreciated so much being able to hear, and learn, while this was happening in real time. 

Dreams do matter. Knowing that you can continue to dream for your child that anything is possible matters too! 

Christi and Austin are living their dream, and sharing that with others! 

In fact, they will be here, in Memphis, this Saturday, April 11 at 9:30 for an event sponsored by the Down Syndrome Association of Memphis and the Mid South. If you are within driving distance, this will be worth the ride for you. For more information, click here

You do need to RSVP, which you can do by calling 901-547-7589. Hope to see you there!

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 and is filed under ,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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