Friday, August 7, 2009

Ties that Bind, Connections in the Down Syndrome Community

I have used the internet for more that 12 years now. I used it before my first daughter was born, probably more after my second daughter came along, and then probably alot less after my son Elijah came around. Three children kept me busy enough I didn't get on but a few times a week if that.

THEN my twins came. I can honestly say that I am on the computer several times each and every day. First it was for research. Researching twins, then prematurity, then Down Syndrome, then PDD Autism, and certain therapies, and many..many..many other things that go along with life with twins with Down Syndrome. The best part of all of this is the connections I have made online with several families who have been blessed with children with Down Syndrome as we have. I have found families with identical twins with DS, I have found families who have adopted multipul children with Down Syndrome, I have found families dealing with health issues as we have, I have found families who share what works for them in a specfic situation, I have found more love and support from others all over the world via the wonderful thing we call the internet. I have found my second family online. I say its sometimes sad that I have to find resources and support from people hundreds or thousands of miles away from me, let alone from people I may never meet face to face EVER. Yet we still have the common connection that makes us treat each other with respect and love through our cyber chat rooms.

A great project one mom put together is called the T21 Traveling Afghan Project. Its a great idea and I enjoy following this project as it goes one. Here is a bit of information about them taken from their blog:

There is a very special blanket making it's way from one family to another all over the world.

The common tie? Down syndrome.

Each family who receives the afghan for one week has a member with T21.

They get the blanket, take photos with their family and pass the blanket (and an accompaning journal) on to the next recipient.

One blanket. Fifty US states. Many countries. Hundreds of families. One common thread!

If you have never heard of this project, I'd encourage you to check out the stories, see the happy faces, and share in the excitment of a small afghan that will bring joy to so many families knowing that we are all in this together, no matter where we live, no matter what our race or gender, how much money we make, what our beliefs or outlook on life is, we all are bonded by Down Syndrome. It's simply a true blessing from God above. (In my case, I've been doubly blessed!!) Those who aren't here sometimes just don't understand.....

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