Correction, my sister started this blog for me to record my "Joshua stories."
Because there are just some things about our lives...living with Joshua right now...that are just so fun, and so funny. Over the past few years, he has turned into our resident Jay Leno. Most of the time, he doesn't realize how funny he is.
But sometimes he does.
Now that he is out of school, things are easier in many ways. We don't have to wonder every day how he's doing...about the kids in his class...if he's able to keep up with the work. We don't have homework and notes sent home and professionals telling us what we should and should not do.
But I mean..it's still hard.
I told someone the other day that I haven't had a carefree breath in 27 years. That's something I rarely say in public...and I have only, up to this point, said to just a handful of people. I'm no martyr...and I'm no victim. Just stating a fact. Joshua is constantly on my mind. That has not changed. And while I no longer have to worry about kids in his class, I worry more now about the world...people in the world who might take advantage of him or harm him in some way. I can hardly let my mind go there. I never want him to experience fear. I think about how he will be as he ages. I think about how he will feel when his grandparents die...or if Jim or I die before he does. I think about who will take care of him...we have planned for that, but I don't want anyone, even a family member, to ever feel like he's a burden. We have the best families...and they could not be more supportive, but, no one on this earth can love and care for Joshua like Jim and I...because we've loved him from the beginning. But you know, it might come to that.
Constantly on my mind.
But right now? I call these years the Years of Blessing. God has been so gracious to allow us these fun years with Joshua...sandwiched in between the hard times he had in school...to the hard times that are sure to come later. We are loving experiencing life with him. He is happy every day. He is caring and kind (usually). He sees the good in others. He speaks his mind no matter who is around to hear it! He is sensitive and insightful. He is excited with the little things.
It's not all funny...not all fun and games...but mostly, that's what I write about. I had someone say one time, "oh, I love your stories...I would just love a child with Down Syndrome!...I have always said that if I had to have a child with a disability, I would pick Down Syndrome."
I love writing about the fun stuff, but if you read around on my blog, you will see that I write about some of the difficult stuff, too. I just want people to feel encouraged...to know that Down Syndrome is not a death sentence for your life, your child's life, or for your family. It's a different path for sure. Difficult for sure. Uncertain, scary, frustrating, sad...blessed, joyful, rewarding and happy.
But guess what? We have 3 other kids and some of the same emotions could (and have) be said about them.
I am so very thankful for this man-child. He makes my day every day. He's for sure made me a better mom. In the beginning, I questioned whether God should've given Joshua to us...we sure didn't want to mess him up. We feel so unworthy.
And so blessed.
"For this boy I prayed, and He has granted my request. So I have dedicated him to the LORD; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the LORD..." 1 Samuel 1:27-28