Tuesday, September 18, 2012

So Thankful!!

Last Saturday, our little family received the greatest outpouring of love and support, and for that I am so thankful. Shortly after Bryce was born, my sister-in-law asked Mike if it would be okay to hold a beer bust in Bryce's name. I think the original plan was to donate the money to a Down syndrome organization. It suddenly turned into a benefit to help us out with our medical bills (having a baby in the hospital for 24 days is not cheap--even with good insurance!). Before I knew it, it was a big affair with a silent auction, raffles, all you can drink beer, a bags tournament, a band....I couldn't believe it! Actually, I felt really guilty because there are families whose children are actually sick who I felt deserve it more than us. It is really hard to accept help like that, but I had to surrender to the fact that people just really want to help us out. It's just so humbling.

One of the things I was most looking forward to was seeing who was going to show up. Thanks to facebook, we had some idea of who was coming, but I knew that word was spreading in other ways too. I was so surprised by the number of strangers (friends of friends, co-workers of family, etc.) that showed up. I also saw some people I haven't seen in YEARS, loyal friends, co-workers and family members. There were even a few members of the Down syndrome community there. A woman from Special Olympics had seen the flyer with Bryce's picture on it and decided she had to come. She brought a friend and invited a few other people. Both she and another gentlemen each had children with Down syndrome who have unfortunately passed away. It again made me feel so fortunate that Bryce has a good heart and is so far very healthy. They both just sung praises about their children and gave us so much hope. A young woman with Down syndrome and her mother also came to "welcome us to the club".  It was touching and made us feel so welcome.

The first thing that struck me was the sheer number of silent auction items that were donated. I walked those two long tables twice and still don't know if I saw all the items. Thank you so much to everyone who donated and bid on those items. There are so many great people out there.

I have been reading a lot of stories written by parents of children with Down syndrome. It is shocking to me that even 10 years ago (maybe it's still happening, I don't know), doctors, nurses, family members, etc. would just assume you would abort or abandon babies with Down syndrome. We have received nothing but absolute love and support from everyone--I can't believe how far society has come in accepting people who are 'different'. It gives me hope that Bryce won't experience as much hurt and discrimination as I sometimes fear he will. Maybe by the time he's old enough to work there will be very few doors closed to him.He is certainly very loved...our biggest problem will probably be making sure he isn't spoiled rotten.

I need to give the biggest thanks of all to my in-laws for all the hard work they put into the benefit. Mike's whole extended family was responsible for putting it all together, and some of my family members donated and helped at the event. Mike and I are the luckiest couple to have the families we have.

I was absolutely horrible about taking pictures (and I swore I was going to do so well!), but here are a few.

Okay, this was before the benefit, but it's just cute, so I put it up :)

Silent Auction

List of all the donors for the silent auction

Thanks to everyone for their love and support! Unbelievable!

xoxo, Julie

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