A letter to our sweet little friends Lauren and Kate,
I've been wanting to write a little bit about Down Syndrome Awareness Month, and I thought I'd share with you two girls how you became such a special part of our lives.
We met your parents when they were walking around the neighborhood, introducing themselves to neighbors and asking if they could pray for us. That right there shows the kind of people they are! We were approaching the open heart surgery of our little boy Steven, and you had already experienced this same surgery yourself. Although we didn't know each other well, your generous parents drove up to the hospital after his surgery, brought us a meal, and showed us around. I remember just how comforting that was during one of the most difficult experiences of our lives.
Now that we have moved back to the area, we have been able to share so many special times with your family this past year. They are what neighbors should be...dropping off a meal when we are sick, watching children on the spur of the moment, lending a hand during our move, and sharing many fun evenings together. Your family has kept us in prayer during difficult seasons and big decisions, and we are so grateful.
You love our two big girls, and our baby Katie Grace with such a fierce love. You have those big girls wrapped around your little finger, and they will often let you boss them around! Your sympathetic heart gets so upset when Katie cries. And your feelings get hurt when the big girls are gone to ballet or doing schoolwork. You love generously and confidently, and you have such a tender heart. We are blessed that you are a part of our lives!
I met your mom when we were both honored at a group baby shower for our homeschooling community. From our first conversation, I was immediately struck by her bright smile and warm words. Even though we hadn't yet moved back to the area, we kept in touch and I started reading your mom's beautiful blog. Her poetic words and spiritual depth always strike me in a profound way. Her commitment to motherhood and making a beautiful, happy home is an inspiration to me. Her texts and encouragement when I need it have been balm to my sometimes-weary soul. Your dad also has a generous heart and has spent many hours helping our homeschooling group in our online communication. I know that both of your parents are committed to faith and family, and they are witnesses to life as they welcome children lovingly from the Lord!
I wish we lived closer, because I'd love to spend more time with your sweet family and I know my girls would thoroughly enjoy babysitting and playing with you and your sweet siblings more! We do get to share time together every couple weeks for homeschooling events and play dates, and I'm very thankful for that time to get to know your family. You seem a bit reserved and take awhile to warm up to the crowd. You and your sister are always together, and you can tell there is a deep closeness between you two, and between all the members of your family. It shows that the heart and center of your family life is your home, which is where you are most comfortable, and that is so very beautiful.
Lauren and Kate,
Each of you has made a special impact in our lives. Although you both have Down syndrome, you are so very different and show us how unique God makes each of us. You have helped my children to learn more compassion and love. My big girls have a heart for children with Down syndrome, likely because of how important you have been to them. Your parents are true advocates for both of you, finding the resources you need to succeed. But most importantly, they are forming your hearts to love others and be a shining light of God's grace to the world. I wish that more families would welcome beautiful children with Down syndrome like you sweet girls. You make our lives so much richer and sweeter!