Saturday, October 2, 2010

31 for 21

There are a group of bloggers that will be blogging each day of October about Down Syndrome.  I thought about trying to join in, but probably won't as I'm not sure I can do it!  Not that there isn't enought to say.  Some days, there are lots of thoughts and then others, not so many.  You see, Down syndrome is a part of our life - but it isn't most of our life.  Yes, Eliana does have Down syndrome, but that is NOT who she is - its just a part of who she is. 

Eliana delights my heart.  She tends to do this to most who are around her too.  Her siblings adore her.  This isn't to say that they don't get angry with her - especially when she dumps yogurt all over the floor, messes up their legos or draws on their wall.  Despite those stinkery moments, we still think she is a doll!

Last night as we were at a volleyball game, Eliana wants to wave, hug or give high 5s to people.  Our friends all really seem to enjoy this.  Some of them even seek out those hugs that are so freely given!  I undestand that as I love them too!

As she was hugging someone last night that didn't ask for one, I pondered needing to work on that.  I need to teach her *not* to hug everyone.  Some people will not want a hug from her.  I know that in my head, though in my heart it is hard to understand.  Her hugs are so full of love.  So pure.  So innocent.

Not everyone can see that though.  I'm so very blessed to be in a place and surrounded by people who can see Eliana's beauty, charm and love.  I'm thankful for those who look at her and don't see "Down syndrome", but instead see "Eliana".  It is part of her, not who she is.  She is so much more!  She is beautiful and perfectly created by a loving God. 

I'm thankful for this precious girl and all she adds to our life.  I'm forever changed by loving her.



PS  On an exciting note - Eliana had her first chicken nugget happy meal last night!  We went to Chick-Fil-A and there aren't a lot of options there.  I decided to try it - and she did it!!!  I'm so proud of her.


  1. I have had the pleasure of getting hugs and having conversations with two teenage ladies with Down Syndrome. Their hugs are exactly what you described ... pure innocence and full of love. :) Both of these girls were very interested in my children and their ages, where they went to school, and the games and toys they liked to play with. It was very refreshing to be in their presence as they brought so much more to our brief encounter than I would have experienced with a "normal" child. Other children just seem to have a certain bias, especially teenagers, but DS children just love everybody!

    Eliana is a beautiful little girl. I love her expressive eyes and her beautiful smile :).

    ~ Kristal ~

  2. I really appreciate all you have to say about your special needs children. We have six kids with no serious physical challenges, and #7 is due in 2 months. I'm 41 years old this month and we didn't do testing, and it has occurred to me more than once that she might be born and we'll find out she has some kind of physical or chromosomal challenge.
    I think my big fear about it is that we'll be overwhelmed with the needs, as we already feel quite stretched with our family as it is. Your blog is such an encouragement to me because you are not only surviving but thriving in the midst of caring for your diabetic son and Eliana. Obviously Eliana is a wonderful, gorgeous child. She makes my heart melt to just look at her and learn about her, and I've not even met her.
    I have to trust that if the Lord brings us a child with a special need, He'll also enable us to care for her, and the other children, well. Of course He will! And we won't just survive, we'll thrive!

  3. What a wonderful post. I so enjoyed meeting your family IRL and Eliana was a delight. Such sweetness and joy came from her very being.

  4. Leslie, this is a post full of love, and your sweet Eliana is full of love too. I love how you talk about her! What a blessing she is to your family, and all of you to her. If only everyone could see her for who she truly is. I am blessed to know her a tiny bit through your blog!

    Pam in SE MI

  5. Thank you friends for your sweet words! I am blessed to hear that my words encourage you!

    Kristal - I loved hearing your story of interacting with two teens with Ds. That gives me joy and hope to hear!

    Laraba - You will be equipped to handle all that you are given. Sometimes it seems like too much. And sometimes it is. That will cause us to fall at the feet of the One who is in control and how will work things together for our good. I never would have thought I could handle all that is on my plate now and it's only through His grace! To Him be the glory! Blessings to you as you prepare for your next blessing!

    Dawn - It was such a treat to meet your family!!! I do hope we'll be able to do it again! Hugs to you friend!

    Pam - Thank you. You are a precious encourager and I'm thankful for you!


  6. she is the cutest thing ever!!! love reading about her!! and i would love to have a hug from her!! full of love is the way all our kids need to be, and yes on the down side I can see how *some* people might not want it but my dear those people dont matter at all!! xoxoxo and i love chickfila!!!!!! we ate there saturday!! lol!! xoxo

  7. Hey girl! I just sent someone to your blog ( she is pregnant and found out her baby has markers for down syndrome and a hole in her heart (I know that's more simple than it really is). Hope you don't mind. I told her that I was sure you'd be willing to answer any questions she has.

    Have a great day! And my word Eliana is sure growing up!

  8. Hi Leslie - thank you for stopping by today. Your comment & reading the note above makes me feel a lot better about our Dr. appointment. I told my husband that I really believe in my heart that if our baby has Downs it will touch us in more ways than we ever knew possible. The heart defect is the really scary part for us, but I know we can get through it together. I'll be back to ask you questions as we start learning more after our next appointment & thank you again for stopping by.


  9. I guess I should pay closer attention to what I am doing. I meant to comment here but did it in the facebook box...which is fine too...anyway, this is what I said,

    Great post Leslie! This is my favorite quote, "You see, Down syndrome is a part of our life – but it isn’t most of our life. Yes, Eliana does have Down syndrome, but that is NOT who she is – its just a part of who she is. "

    So true, so true!


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