Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Another Connection

I've been wanting to get my girls into swim lessons. My dear friend, Jen, put me in touch with a local college girl who gives private swim lessons to kids over the summer. So I called her last night and signed all three of my girls up for three weeks of daily swim lessons for this summer.

That in itself is exciting. To add to the thrill, though, is this: this swim teacher? She's one of six kids in her family, and . . . (drumroll . . .) she has an adult brother who just happens to have Down syndrome. Jen had told me that when she gave me her contact info, so when I talked to the swim teacher last night, after we covered the business of swim lessons, I took a deep breath, and said, "Can I ask you about your brother?" I told her that I have a little boy who has Down syndrome. She was very open with me and told me all about her brother. She said that he's almost 25, and that when he was born, the nurses told her mom that she may as well leave him at the hospital and give him up for adoption, because he'd never walk or talk or do anything and would just be a burden. Man, oh man. She said thank goodness her mom thought differently, because here he is 25 years later, graduated from high school, with a part-time job doing landscaping, healthy and happy. I asked her what it was like for her growing up with a sibling like him (she is younger than he is). Know what she said? "I've never known any different. When I was little, I thought every family had a kid like him, and when I got older and realized that not every family does, I thought the families that don't have a kid like him were strange." She said that some day when she gets married, she would like to adopt a child with Ds.

It was just really, really neat to talk to her.


In other news, during the feeding portion of OT yesterday, Emily got Finn to eat TWO entire cheese puffs. She thought cheese puffs would be good because they dissolve fairly easily. Okay, it's junk food, but seriously, folks, I'm up for anything at this point. I'd be thrilled to see him eat candy and pizza. Anyway, it was a sloooooowwwwww process, feeding him those cheese puffs - it took a good 20 minutes for him to eat the two - but he took bites off of them, and he chewed (!!), and swallowed, with nary a gag or spitting out.

Progress, people. Progress.


Kristin said...

Thanks for sharing that story. How neat. And yay for cheese puffs!

Elizabeth said...

I also have an adult sibling with Down syndrome - my sister Annie who is 28. Anyway, I am super proud of her and love talking about her so if you ever want to ask anything - I am happy to answer. (I would write more about her but I'm trying to keep specific details of her life off the internet.)
Anyway, I don't think I would go so far as to say my life is "blessed" because of her because all that "god chose your family" stuff makes me ill, but I will say that I shudder to think who I would be today if she were not my sister.

Lisa said...

what a great conversation! and on the feeding front: try veggie sticks (sometimes called veggies straws). you can find them at Whole Foods and they dissolve SUPER quick and aren't awful on the health side :)

Mel said...

Great story, great on the eating front. Luke loves to take a bite and throw the rest at me. He has an amazing throw- I blame the dog and her ball fixation! Way to go Finn.

Brandie said...

What a happy story! I know where you're coming from with the junk food. At this point I'd give Goldie Mountain Dew if it meant she would drink it!