February is Down Syndrome Consciousness Month and a friend had this awesome idea to create posters of our kids with facts and sayings about Down syndrome. Allow me to share one that she made of Noah and another one that she made of Tomas, her little boy and Noah’s kumpare. We’ve all changed our FB profile pics for this month just so in our own little way, we are able to raise awareness and to also be proud of our children.
This one was taken during Noah’s baptism. He had a tuft of brown hair on top of his head that made him look like a kewpie doll. Look how bochok he is!
This is Tomas. He hails from Bacolod and is our batch’s largest baby! His dad is a chef and a triathlete and his beautiful donya mom cares for him full time which means lots of sun and sand as they live near a beach. What a life!!
I was thinking about “awareness” when I was in the shower (because that’s the only time I can make drafts in my head nowadays haha) and if I am doing enough to spread the word about DSAPI, Down Syndrome, the challenges, the blessings, etc etc. It got me to thinking how this blog is doing its part in raising awareness. I started this blog because I wanted to write about the people and the things that matter to me. I live, breathe and write about Noah, about David and Dan. Noah has Down syndrome and so I write about it. If raising awareness is telling our family’s story and also of other families who continue to guide and inspire us then maybe I am doing my part.
And then I thought about it some more (it was a really long, relaxing shower hahaha) and it has always come back to what I’ve written before that what I really want my posts on Ds and our family to do is to reach out to that mom or dad who has discovered this blog by googling “down syndrome philippines” or “down syndrome manila” to know that everything will be ok. That yes your child has Down syndrome but Down syndrome does not define your child. There will be tough times but there will be small victories to treasure and savor — always. Raising a child with special needs is hard at first but you will find your groove eventually. Give yourself time and enjoy loving your little one. Gather a support group. You can definitely find one when you attend the Early Intervention Seminar of the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines. I will be there, my fellow parents are there. We have batchmates who go to meet the new parents every quarter. Most parents in the DSAPI FB page share pics of their kids, from babies to ates and kuyas, to debutantes to prom dates. My favorites are pics of family vacations in Manila Zoo, in Hawaii and of course videos of their kids’ silly antics. That’s one part of awareness that I want to raise. The message I want to spread: Things will turn out fine.