happy world down syndrome day!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Today marks the 8th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day. 3-21-13. It is on March 21 every year because Down syndrome is a triplication of the 21st chromosome. Hence the 3-21. Last year we went all out and made T-shirts and a video to spread awareness and to CELEBRATE. It was interesting to see a couple of different reactions to World Down Syndrome Day by people who had never heard of it before. Some of my friends shared the link to my blog post and captioned it, "Happy World Down Syndrome Day!" Then in response to their post, I saw a few comments like, "seems like a strange day to celebrate..." or "Isn't that like an oxymoron?" (Implying that Down syndrome was not a happy thing) and the last one, "I don't think that's how your supposed to say that.." (Meaning that you shouldn't be so happy or excited that it's Down syndrome day....as if it's supposed to be a sad thing).

Well, to those people I say:

Today is absolutely a day to celebrate. We celebrate our friends who rock the extra chromosome; The brand new babies with Ds in our lives and their amazing parents; The little ones from all over the world who were initially tossed aside and deemed worthless, who were given a second chance at life and are now in loving homes.

We celebrate our son. Without his extra chromosome, we would have never found him. And our lives would not be near as full as they are today. The joy that he brings to our family is truly indescribable.

I asked the kids the other day what they wanted to do to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day this year. And Ace let me know, "we just wanna dance." Archie agreed.

So dancing they did.

Happy World Down Syndrome Day from our family to yours!

the next lisa ling

Monday, March 18, 2013

Ace is kicking off her investigative reporting career with an interview with Archie that she would like to share with you all.

She actually wanted to re-do the entire thing after watching the final cut. She was thrown off by a couple of unexpected answers that Archie gave to her questions: "but his favorite color is not red...it's pink! And I thought he would say macaroni and cheese...not pasta!"

But I assured her that her fans would love it just the way it was...

Lots of Love!

a message from my friends

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Last Wednesday was "Spread the Word to End the Word" Day. A day to raise awareness about the hurtfulness of the R-word in hopes that more people will take the pledge to eliminate that word from their vocabularies completely. I have done a couple of different posts about my feelings on the R-word.

But I often feel like my voice is not really being heard. Almost as if people are thinking, "oh so all of the sudden she has a kid with Down syndrome and she's some vocab police..."

But the truth is it is not only Archie who I am concerned about the use of this word affecting. It is also my good friends, and teammates who I have known for several years.

There have been a couple of incidents in the last few months that have made me want to fight even harder for my friends in regards to this issue:

I recently had a conversation with a friend who had been throwing the R-word around left and right. Calling various people "retarded". When it was finally pointed out to her that she could probably find a better word, she defended her use of the word. "It's just a word". What I found most ironic about the situation was that said friend was also a special education teacher and in fact used that as her justification for using the word. She went on to explain that people needed to chill out and realize that it's just a word and it doesn't matter..

More recently than that, I saw a post from an old high school friend on Instagram that really got me heated. It was a screen shot of a text conversation between he and a friend. I don't remember the exact words but the gist of it was that he was talking about his training for some athletic event and his friend said to him, "yeah that's great, I am sure the Special Olympics can always use more retards." 
So this dude not only thought that was funny, but thought it was so damn funny that it was screen shot/instagram worthy. Well I was definitely not LOL'ing. But were other people?? It made me sick to my stomach to imagine other people seeing that post and laughing. Was that actually what was happening? I hope that there were at least a few others who were disturbed by that post. I immediately thought of my Special Olympics friends and how something like that would make them feel. They work SO HARD. They fight battles every day that you and I will never have to face. 

So I decided to give them a voice here. My rants may or may not change your mindset on this topic. But I hope that their words will make you think twice...

Lots of Love!