Strength for the Climb

My blog is a personal journey of the blessings I have been entrusted with and the strength I have been given to make the climb. I invite you to follow along as I write about faith, family, and Down syndrome.

Our thankful video...

A little over a month ago, many people around the world did not know our story and many like ours.  They didn't know that yes, in 2014, the diagnosis of Down syndrome is still being delivered in an insensitive manner, many families are leaving the hospital without a congratulations, and babies are not celebrated.  But now they do...and I am so thankful for the ways it was featured in the following ways...to God be the glory!

1st story on WCCO

.  This is where it all begins...so grateful!

Follow up story on WCCO

.  Watch us filling the baskets and your amazing donations!

Sunday's Pioneer Press

. This article was so well written and I loved it!

ABC news article

. What a great conversation I had with this writer and it shares how one family felt receiving a basket!

Also, Yahoo news, international daily news, our alma mater's paper, and my hometown paper shared our mission!

A little over a month ago, I didn't know many of your stories.  My inbox has been filled with stories of the amazing ways people with Down syndrome have positively affected them!  I so wish I could personally respond to each of your emails...I'm working on it, but it's up over 200 emails!  I do read them...I just have a hard time responding in a quick reply, so I am slowly trying to get to them all!  

A little over a month ago, I had no idea the response we would get to the baskets!!  Over 150 baskets are funded from all over the US!  Today, we received a check for $800 from some very close friends and tears streamed down our faces, humbled by the generosity, the way people give so freely, the amazing response and love...we can not thank you enough!  YOU are helping us CELEBRATE BABIES!!

I did not know the feeling I would get after getting a chance to personally meet three families that received a basket.  In the past month, 11 babies with Down syndrome (5 in the TC) have been born and celebrated! Two weeks ago, I delivered a basket to a mom that got her son's diagnosis at birth.  I walked into her room, hugged and listened to her, answered her questions, and as I was about to leave I couldn't help but see her gaze at her son with hope.  Hope that her son will change her life for the better.  I promised her that.  I left that hospital sharing with others...I LOVE DELIVERING THESE BASKETS!

Over the past month, I got numerous messages inquiring about how to get this started in other areas in the US.  Emails of people ACTING...and doing this in their area and those wanting to!  What if every baby in the US was celebrated!? PRAISE GOD!!  We have mailed baskets out to those that have requested...states include MI, WV, CT, IL, OH, and NC and we are more than happy to do so!  MAKING A CHANGE!!  

A few of us from the 

Gigi's

medical outreach committee and a few other families gathered and assembled 30 baskets so they are ready for the families.  There are five people delivering baskets to the Twin Cities birth centers.  All the birth centers in the TC!!!  Do you know that this was a dream of mine...I wrote about it

here

in a blog post.  A dream...and you helped it become a reality!  THANK YOU!!  We will be assembling more baskets in February with my MOPS group and also in September at the first annual

DSDN

conference.

I recently had a meeting with the community outreach coordinator for a hospital group, two genetic counselors, and the head nurse to give a family's perspective, information about Jack's baskets, and helpful resources including ways to deliver a diagnosis and connecting new parents.  Two more meetings are on the schedule with other hospitals...CAN I TELL YOU HOW THANKFUL I AM FOR THIS???  Wow, thankful, thankful, thankful!!  

A little over a month ago....we found out we were pregnant!  We are beyond excited about this precious new life...which I could write so much more about...which I will save for another blog post, but we are anticipating the arrival of this beautiful baby in June.  (This would be my excuse for not blogging in the past month as I have been extremely nauseous and exhausted and going to bed as early as possible!  I am very thankful for each of these symptoms knowing the reality is that my baby is growing and my body is responding)

photo by Vick photography

To close out this post...I want to share with you something that I will forever cherish.  

Our thankful video

.  Hear what we are thankful for and what we have learned in the past 19 months.  This is our heart and I am grateful to our church for putting it together.  I hope your thanksgiving was filled with a chance to reflect on the blessings you have been given, the hardships and heartache that has caused growth, and the joy that comes when you surrender your plans for His.

Our thankful video...click the link below...Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!  

http://vimeo.com/112589589