Posted by: Susan | December 19, 2010

Sunday and our kids with down syndrome

Our Sunday is winding down.  April is on the phone talking to her boyfriend.  Sam is playing the Wii and Jake and the Hunk are at a party!  Our day started by going to church.  We do this every Sunday week after week only missing if someone is sick.  We had to teach all of our 6 kids how to act in church.  A process that has taken years but all have learned.  We arrived at church after a …hectic time of getting ready.  Our family was asked to do the Advent reading and lighting of the candles.

I admit I wasn’t quite as focused as I should have been.  I had to gather the kids together and tell them no you can’t sit with your friends until after we light the candles and who was going to light what candle when.  Up we all marched to the front of the church and Jim began reading about Advent and what each candle meant as each of us lit a candle.  I looked out into the congregation and saw all the faces looking at us and thought, these are people who really care about our family.  I saw the bright light of all 4 candles and when I closed my eyes for the prayer I felt the warmth those candles gave out.  It only took about 2 minutes but it changed my perspective for the day. 

At the end of the service Sam came in and joined his father on stage.  Notice the box in his hands.

Sam has Celiac disease and can’t eat most Christmas cookies.  His awesome Sunday school teacher Dana had made him a box full of gluten-free chocolate chip cookies!  Sam shared them with the Praise Team, a friend, the pastor and even his sister.

Before we left church the kids put gloves and hats on the giving tree.  These will be given out to children in need.  Sam of course had to model the hat before he hung it on the tree.

After lunch we were back at church so Sam could attend the monthly Kids for Christ activity.  The craft was going to be making salt dough ornaments.  But wait, Sam can’t make these because he has Celiac disease and flour is one of the main ingredients.  What’s a mother to do?  Not to worry Dina, who runs the program, bought rice flour to make the dough for Sam’s ornaments.  Awesome Dina and awesome Mike are in the picture with Sam.  These wonderful people accept and help my Sam have a great time at every activity…….

At 4:45 PM it was time for Jake to head back to church for the Youth Group Christmas party.  The party features an international dinner.  The kids are asked to bring a white elephant for the gift exchange and a $5 donation.  It took  a little explaining to Jake about that white elephant gift.  The money collected will go to help pay for a well for clean drinking water in another country.  The awesome youth minister had sent each teenager home with a bottle of dirty water to emphasize the fact that most people in the world don’t have access to clean water like we do.  Very visual with a big impact that dirty water bottle.  The picture below is Jake with Landon the youth minister.

Landon goes the extra mile to make youth group work for Jake.  It takes a little extra because Jake has diabetes and we have to work around meals and insulin.  He always feels included and part of the group. 

Life lesson:   People don’t need to understand every little nuance about down syndrome.   Like any other family we thrive on love and acceptance.   We are so fortunate to have this every Sunday with our church family. 

Life lesson:  Sometimes you just have to use the word ‘awesome’ multiple times in a post to describe the awesome people in your child’s life!

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