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Monday, March 21, 2016

A Very Important Post (World Down Syndrome Day)

I didn't notice this until I went on Reece's Rainbow to grab "Adam's" picture (see previous entry), and then I decided this topic was so important it deserved an entry all its own, so I am posting again.

TODAY, MARCH 21st, IS WORLD DOWN SYNDROME DAY.

I'm not really sure what to say about that.  I've seen Down syndrome up close and personal twice in my life.  "Emily's" younger sister (let's call her "Jordan") has Down syndrome and autism; the Summer that "Emily" took me and "Julie" home with her every Sabbath (because the college was basically closed, and "Julie" lived about two and a half hours away, and I five hours), I interacted a little bit with "Jordan."  I definitely have one very sweet story.

I was alone in "Emily's" bedroom, sprawled across the very big bed, reading a book, and "Jordan" came in.  Very vaguely, she said, "Hi."  Naturally, I turned around and responded, "Hello."  Jordan then kissed the back of her hand, saying "Mwha," and laid it against my cheek.

The other sweet story comes from when I was in high school.  My high school always hosted the local Special Olympics because we had good athletic facilities, and all the students volunteered.  One year, I think my senior year, my job was to put the medals around the necks of athletes who had won medals, and hand ribbons to the others.  (It was guaranteed that there would be enough medals/ribbons for every athlete who competed to win something.)  It was after a competition with five athletes; I had put the first, second, and third place medals around the necks of the corresponding athletes, and handed ribbons to the other two.  I was about to turn away when I noticed the boy who came in fifth holding his ribbon against his chest, and trying to get my attention.

I turned back and asked if he would like me to pin the ribbon on his chest, and he puffed up with pride and nodded.  Gingerly, very carefully (remember this was my first ever up-close experience with Down syndrome), I pinned the ribbon to his shirt, and he just looked so very proud of himself! Naturally, then, I was proud of myself.

If you've been following this blog for any length of time, it goes without saying that I now consider myself close to Down syndrome.  Three out of my four Reece's Rainbow assignments have had it! ("Grady", my first, is the only one who didn't.)  I am committed to one day adopting a little girl with Down syndrome; she will need me, and in some way, on a gut level I don't understand, I will need her, too.

So that's my connection to Down syndrome.  Sorry this is not a more universally meaningful post; it's the best I could come up with.

Now, to share a Reece's Rainbow aging-out girl.  For this entry, I had wanted to choose someone with Down syndrome, to fit the theme of the day.  However, I can find no more girls with Down syndrome on the aging-out page, and this beautiful child is calling to me, so to speak. So, please meet "ALISSA," aging out in the next EIGHTEEN MONTHS, HIV+ and no other disabilities! HIV is so very very manageable; please someone see her, and take a leap of faith!







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I am a bipolar, Jewish young adult (had my Hebrew birthday, the one I count, and turned 23 this past January) who also suffers from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. I love life and I live for my best friends: they are my purpose and my reason for trying so hard. I remain passionately devoted to those I love; I will not let my disorders make me totally self-centered. I like to read, write, and sew. My Rabbinical school plans did not work out, and I am now hoping to go into the field of Early Childhood Education. Please note: I am currently maintaining only Carried in His Hands. Enjoy!