This child. This child that sparked a light in me, turned 8 this week. When she was born we knew that our life would be full of greatness. Don't get me wrong, it is NOT without its challenges, but greatness indeed follows. It was also not without fear. But from the deepest of fear and despair, courage and joy can emerge. Now I fear that WITHOUT this child, we would have never learned this hard, but beautiful truth about life.
This child who taught how to love much deeper than we could have previously understood. This child who has shown us that we aren't all made the same, but we are created equal. This child who has introduced us to a world that would likely still be hidden to us (the thought makes me shudder). It's like we received a personal invitation into this whole, big, world that is full of diversity, difference, and wonder.
These two children who inspire me everyday to see value in ALL things, no matter how insignificant or monumental they may seem. There is no such thing as insignificant, when an effort to achieve has been put in.
Without these children, the call to be active members in the community would not have been so profound. It is our biggest honour and joy to know all of the families in this community that have loved ones with Down syndrome. It is our blessing to call so so SO many of these people friends. It is our duty to keep shouting, and advocating for inclusion/opportunity for all people, especially those who are the some of the strongest people we know - people with Down syndrome.
Happy Birthday to Hazel. I've said this before, I will say it again:
I was born the day you were born.