Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Spread the Word

Throughout my entire life, I have always been one of those people who have been very emotional, over everything....good things, bad things, and all of the in between things. In fact, [warning...embarrassing story] when I was younger and my family and I were all hanging out in the living room one night, a fart slipped out. Of course everyone laughed because it was silly and funny, but I ran to my room crying because I was embarrassed and that emotional.

I truly feel great moments like weddings, accomplishments, soldiers coming home stories, babies being born, love stories and so on and feel and hurt over the not so good moments (I don't even have to list those). I was so happy when Colin was born because my baby was finally here and then came all of the stuff that at first I thought were not so good. I have never cried more in my entire life than I did when I found out that Colin had Down Syndrome. Obviously. We've all been there. However, with time, I slowly realized through the tears that it was actually a blessing in disguise. Once I realized that, I couldn't be more thankful for Colin.

I thought I was emotional before he was born? Man, these days you can find tears streaming down my face at SOME point in the day every. single. day because I feel happy or sad or just read something touching, or witnessed a proud moment, etc. I am so thankful for Colin because he has brought so much to my life with Chris that I never thought was possible. I think all of the time about the fact that if it were not for Colin, I would never have been so lucky to find my blog friends out there (love you guys!) whose lives have become so integrated in my own that I can't wait to hear about what your kids have been up to. Seriously, Chris makes fun of me at night because he loses me for a little bit so I can get caught up on whats been going on with your kids! I am thankful for therapists and doctors who are extra special because of the love and gentleness they show with Colin. I am thankful to belong to a new community that I would have never even known existed if it weren't for Colin.

Of course, there are lots of challenges and setbacks and hard times mixed in there too that are certainly NOT always easy. I have cried and been emotional becomes sometimes things are just so frustrating...we may think this journey is a blessing, but never said it was an easy one!

Like when someone uses the R word. Oh how this hurts me and makes me cringe. I have tried really hard to spread awareness about the use of this word but it's not always easy. However, I stumbled across this article today and I was amazed (and teary!) over how the efforts of 2 college students can cause a little seedling to grow into something big and amazing!!

I'm sure you have all heard about the campaign "Spread the Word to the End the Word" and may have even been to their website. During the Down Syndrome awareness month, I was even referring people to that website to make their pledge to end the use of the word. However, I never even knew how the campaign got started!

The National Down Syndrome Congress had this article posted on their facebook page about Kari Jo Johnson's love for her brother, who has Down Syndrome. One day, she decided to set up a table in the student union of her college to spread awareness how the use of the R word can be very hurtful for people like her brother who have intellectual disabilities. She recruited another student, John Busch whose brother also has Down Syndrome and their campaign grew and grew to become what it is today...the "Spread the Word to End the Word" campaign!

Wow, simply amazing.

Read the article by clicking here.
You can also watch their original public service announcement, which they used on their campus as a way to also spread awareness.


Rochelle said...

I had heard that that campaign was started by youth. So awesome!

I am sure your Chris and my Jason would get along well b/c Jason laughs at me too and says how are all our friends today in blogland. =)

Sweet Pea's Mommy said...

Well said!

I'm glad I'm not the only silly mommy who is emotionally tied to all the other blogging kids and families!

Jenny said...

LOVED this post!! Its funny cause today I had a long drive into town and I was thinking about the EXACT same things!! I was thinking of how incredibly sad I was when I found out about Russell, I had never cried more...and now six months later I cant thank God enough for this beautiful, perfect little boy! He makes me happier than I ever, ever imagined possible...and I feel things so much more deeply than I did in the past. Instead of my world falling apart the way I thought it was going to, it has been so greatly enriched.
Loved the video, what amazing young people!

Emily said...

Isn't it amazing how these sweet angels really put things into prospective?! Love my boy. What a blessing it is to have him in my home to teach me. To help me to grow and become a better person. Thanks so much for sharing this and your feelings!

Derek, Kenzee and Gage said...

So true and so well said! How blessed we seriously are. I have a whole new way of looking at life, and the friends I have made through this journey are amazing.

Melissa M said...

I love, love, love all my blogging friends! I think hubby hears more about them than what our IRL friends are up to. :)

I love the Spread the Word campain and can't wait to read the article!

Kelly said...

Thanks for sharing this video, Kelli! I did see it back in March when I made my pledge.......for some reason the tears flow, no matter how many times I've seen it! Boy are our kiddos such blessings. Look at them just teaching the world!!