So, it's been over a week since we returned from the National Down Syndrome Convention and I am just now feeling ready to write about it. Well, not really, but I feel I need to even if I'm not ready.
First, let me say we are glad we went to the convention and will go again. We learned great information and met some terrific people (loved meeting some fellow bloggers). When we first returned home, I thought I just felt neutral about the experience. Plenty of good and also plenty of reality check.....but, as I've processed more, I've realized it was really harder for me than I expected. It was our official induction into the "Club" we never wanted to be part of.
The hardest parts for me were the speakers and seeing a lot of adults with DS (I still love seeing children with DS) in one place. Yes, those who spoke at the general meetings were impressive and inspiring, but some were also still tough to understand. And if these were the "chosen ones", would this be the top of what we could expect for Nate? And then there was the really broad range of adults with DS we saw throughout our conference experience. Some were well-spoken and took pride in their appearance while others looked like they'd given up and simply shuffled along with their caregiver. So, how much of this is the direct result of their upbringing? I have a hard time believing that all of those people who "shuffled around" were not given the opportunity to succeed - yes, maybe some of them, but not all. Does that mean that we could give Nate every chance to succeed, spending a lot of time, energy and resources on him, but his ceiling is already determined?
When this day started, I had resolved (AGAIN) to focus on today - to look at Nate for the sweet little guy he is and try not to get bogged down in the worries of the future.
But then, during naptime, I had to make phone calls for appointments (hearing aids, 2nd echocardiogram, cancel OT because it seems redundant right now) and do some research (are there any speech therapists in our area who practice the kind of therapy I learned about at the convention?) and those just sucked me right back out into the concerns and "what ifs" I have a hard time escaping.
So, for those of you out there who are praying for us, this is my ongoing prayer request: That we would live in the present and be hopeful for the future.