Monday, October 24, 2011

Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Team Sophie! Thank you Maureen, Ras, Samuel, (and baby to be) for joining us for our 2nd Buddy Walk at VU.

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. For the past few years this blog has participated in the 31 for 21 challenge. 31 for 21 is when bloggers commit to post every day in an effort to raise the awareness of Down syndrome, otherwise know as Trisomy 21. Although our lives are too busy this year to participate, you can find a list of bloggers who have taken the challenge HERE. You can also do a search on this blog for 31 for 21 and find around 100 posts from previous years.

Once again Team Sophie rallied for our local Buddy Walk. Here is Alexander with the Star Wars character Boba Fett (he's going as Boba Fett for Halloween this year). Seeing his favorite characters in person proved a bit scary, so all of the pictures are of Alexander with the Star Wars guys in the background, a safe distance away.

Grandma Paula flew in to spend the week with us and walk with Team Sophie. We are so blessed! While we celebrated near Philly, family members who could not make it once again rallied and attended the Buddy Walk in my hometown. Pictures forthcoming (hint, hint Liz!) We are touched beyond words to see such an outpouring of love and support from our family and friends.

We are grateful for our wonderful friends. I met Melissa in the C2P2-EI course that I took through Temple University - Institute on Disabilities. She brought her sweet family and signed each of them up to different teams as so many of our friends had teams participating this year. Melissa and her husband were on Team Sophie. Thank you so much!!!
This is my friend Kim representing her son Nolan & Sue representing her son Sylas. Mara, Nancy, and Cecilia were busy bees as they worked the auction tent and shot photos. If any of my C2P2-EI friends have a picture of us together, please send it to me.

I got up close in personal with these guys for Alexander. Note to self: Stuffing the sweatshirt front pocket with cameras, kleenex, etc. WILL make you look 7 months pregnant. D'oh!

Team Sophie and Alexander as close as he could muster.

The Buddy Walk at Villanova Stadium is a big event. We have bounce houses, live music, cheerleaders and football players cheering on the teams, face painting, food, exhibitors, a silent auction and raffle, games, Star Wars characters, Berenstain Bears, Elmo, a Tot Lot play area, and more. It truly is a great family fun event.

We even had a chainsaw ice sculpting artist make this right in front of our eyes.

Here's Sue and Sylas. Sy is currently hospitalized with Croup (mama has it too). Please send up a prayer for healing.
Buddy Walks are always a highly emotional time. There are great joys to be sure and each year there are fewer tears. Yet old wounds that never fully heal can easily be broken open. Memories of past events collide in my head with thoughts about our family's future, about Sophie's future. I wonder about her siblings and when the day will come when one of them asks why we have a Team just for Soph. We don't hide the fact that their sister has DS, but our discussions are purposefully age appropriate. To them, she's just "Sister."
We had a prenatal dignosis of our daughter's DS. We were scared and hadn't a clue as to how incredibly lucky we were. We needed the gift of time to see with new eyes. Having a child with DS has its challenges (as all children do), but the overwhelming joy far exceeds the hard times. Sophie is a gift and our family is blessed. Life is good. Go Team Sophie!


Anonymous said...

Go team Sophie and Go team Schrad!!!
Miss you you guys...wish I could have been there!!!

the prairie

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention how the cost of that last cute picture was one smashed iPhone.

suebs139 said...

Thanks for the prayers, and for including us on your beautiful blog!