It seems so crazy that we are just 10 days away from Rachel's 1st birthday and only 4 days away from our very first Buddy Walk in Greensboro, North Carolina. I will be honest to say I am a little nervous about the walk, not the physical walk itself, but being there among so many down syndrome individuals and face to face with what Rachel's future could be like. You see ever sense Rachel was born when ever my husband and I go out in public places and see another DS child of any age, it kind of stops us
in our tracks for a moment, especially an older child, because we see the future. For me it almost always makes me cry and it takes me a few moments to gather myself, and so I am really afraid of how I am going to respond this coming weekend. HOWEVER, I also know that not only will God give me strength to face this, but my extended family that is coming to support us will also provide David and I strength on this amazing day and moment in Rachel's life.
Rachel is almost 1 and we are planning a big birthday party to honor the occasion, we are using this party to not only mark Rachel turning one, but also to celebrate those who were there to help us through the day she was born and the three weeks that followed while she was in the NICU. So we had Tom Kat Studio design a custom Halloween birthday style invitation for us.
wish list for the Ronald McDonald House and ask that guests consider bringing a gift for the RMcD house to be donated in Rachel's name in place of personal gifts for Rachel. We feel like the family will give Rachel personal gifts and that will be enough for her, we would rather try to serve others as so many others served us when she was born and the RMcD house really provided us us shelter during a BIG storm.
I have been thinking of those days alone with Rachel in the NICU a lot lately and my feelings the day she was born. It's strange, but an old collage roommate of mine recently got in touch with me and we had a little bit of a play date to re-connect, and I found myself telling the story of Rachel's birthday and I literally started to cry. I hadn't seen Natalie since 99' and I was sitting in her living room floor crying, that is how fresh today the emotions of Rachel's birth still feel to me sometimes and how I feel about her future with down syndrome. I think Natalie understood how I felt, even if she didn't, she allowed me to tell my story and get it out.
So here we are on the cusp of a huge celebration for Rachel's 1st birthday and our very first Buddy Walk and I am not sure which direction my emotions will take me and I am a bit afraid.