Thursday, September 19, 2013

Why Down Syndrome?

I love people with Down Syndrome! I am blessed to have an Auntie and three brothers with DS as well as many other people who I consider friends.

I believe that God gives us all passions and desires for our lives. My hearts desire is to serve people with DS (and their families). I want to spend my life loving them and pointing them to Jesus. I believe that God calls us all in some form to care for orphans and I know that God is calling me to live this out through adoption and providing respite. I have seen the difference adoption has made in my siblings lives and in others lives around us and I want to be apart of what God is doing there.

Because of my family I have taken disability studies in college as well as work and volunteered in the field for half my life.

Some pictures of my friends and family who rock an extra chromosome.

Auntie Shirley and Maggy

 My family had the honour of running bible camps for people with disabilities for around 9 summers. Camp AMASA holds memories that are dear to my heart and I think of those as my most memorable summers of my life so far. I learned so much about serving and leading as well as caring for people. I had the opportunity to be a cabin leader, camp speaker, program director, shower expert, lice picker, kitchen help and anything else that needed to be done. I am so thankful that my family was able to run camps as it taught us to work as a team even more than we did before and it made us rely on God and each other for strength.

Auntie Shirley and I
My Auntie Shirley is amazing! She is the best Auntie anyone could ask for. She is fun, encouraging, forgiving, best dancer, loves schedules and has a heart of gold. She is known as "Auntie Shirley" to all my friends and the camp staff. She welcomes anyone to her birthday parties as long as you bring her a nice gift (her chocolate bar of choice, pop, tea, gift certificates to the restaurant of the year, etc).
My baby brother David

My family adopted David when he was a baby. He was the cutest little guy with crazy hair. He was so quiet and loved to be held. He is still cute but isn't quite as quiet. He adds much spice to our lives and loves spending weekends with Andrea and I.   
Aiden- our Bulgarian brother
Aiden became a Keno four years ago this October. He is from Bulgaria and is the most thankful person you have ever met- he thanks Mom and Dad daily for adopting him and bringing him to Canada. He has a great sense of humour and is very expressive-he has the ability to make people laugh everywhere he goes. 

Brent and I at his graduation this year- I am so proud of him and thankful to God for granting him health and life!
Brent joined our family as baby as well. I will never forget the day we found out about him. We were so excited to have a baby in the house and the best part was he stayed little for years. He is a guy of few words but when he does speak people listen. He loves Jesus and those around him.

Norman and I
Norman is a friend who I met at camp and then he moved to Port Alberni. You see him cheering on the Bulldogs every game and whenever you see him around town he gives the best smiles and hugs. He is my friend of few words yet he lights up the world around him. My favourite memories are from camp- he would play jokes on the counsellors and would tell me the next day all about them. He was famous for draping his dirty socks over people's mouth while they were sleeping.

So why Down Syndrome?!? I am so blessed to have been raised surrounded by people with different abilities and challenges and I want to carry on the legacy of my parents.  I want to spend my days serving others and using my experience to better the lives of people around me. I know that God has called me to adopt a child with Down Syndrome and I cannot wait for Gotcha Day!

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