Now that you have read Nella's birth story. I want to explain how this story changed me.
I've always believed that one of our greatest commandments is to love one another. Matthew 22:36-40 Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
I'm one of those crazy gals who tries to fight and stands up for people who are different. I love people who have different ethnicities, races, genders, social backgrounds, religions, and more. 1 Corinthians16:14 Do everything in love. Out of love...we should be able to love those different from us. What about someone with down syndrome? What if my own child had down syndrome? I've never really thought about this. Kelle's video celebrating Nella's third birthday and asking for people to raise awareness for individuals with down syndrome made me stop and think.
I went to high school at Edmond Santa Fe - home of the wolves. There were many students with special needs and they were affectionately called the "Special Wolves". This was the closest I have ever been to someone with down syndrome before this video. I wish I could say that I remember specifically fighting and standing up for these people who are different from me. I can not say that. I do remember purchasing some Christmas ornaments from the Special Wolves one year to help them raise funds. Every Christmas I still hang those ornaments on my tree. This year I remember telling Kaitlynn, my daughter, about how the ornaments were handmade by special needs students in my high school. She thought that was cool. I don't even know if I'm using the politically correct term here "special needs".
Now I'm an adult and my own nephew has Short Gut Syndrome. I'm not going to lie when my sister told me she was going to foster and one day adopt this little boy I was surprised. I'm
often squeamish around people who are sick or hurting. I want to love those hurting but sometimes my fear gets in the way. My sister's willingness to care for this little boy without fear will always perplex me...yet inspire me. I love my nephew. I went to visit him in the hospital (THAT was hard), I've babysat him, I've caught myself glancing at his scares on his tummy (just trying to understand him), we've shared many hugs, and I'm becoming more and more comfortable around him all the time. I guess these personal stories are leading me to my goal which I've formed after reading Nella's birth story and watching the video above... I will be more sensitive to people who are different from me whether the difference is in mental state, in physical handicap, or simply they have an extra chromosome.
I find it perfectly appropriate that Kelle asked everyone to "Be the changes you want to see in the world" - Ghandi. I've loved this quote for a very long time. You can see it's even on my facebook! But you know this statement has so much power. To change the world we just have to change ourselves. So here's to change!
Create a world where love flows freely to those different from you. Love those who have down syndrome. Support Nella's Triple Crown and donate to the National Down Syndrome Society.
Be the change.