Welcome!

This blog was inspired by 31 for 21 & is about my wonderful family.

"As a mother, my job is to take care of what is possible & trust God with the impossible." ~Ruth Bell Graham

"Never look down on someone, unless you're helping them up!"

Friday, February 25, 2011

Something extra to love

     Last night, I gasped while watching Grey's Anatomy.  I couldn't believe that a medical show, my favorite show, was depicting Down syndrome (yes, it's Down syndrome, not Downs) as a burden.  Then, as I began watching Private Practice, I thought "maybe they'll do a positive show."  That didn't happen.  I can not believe that the writers of these shows did not research Down syndrome before airing an episode about it.  I have emailed ABC about this & I've also written on the facebook walls of both fan pages.  I'm hoping that the writers will receive an outpouring of responses & will make a positive episode about Down syndrome.  Perhaps they could allow Callie's baby to have Down syndrome & she could keep the baby, not abort it.  The way the media & society portrays Down syndrome is completely out dated & inaccurate.  I think this is exactly why 90% of parents that discover their child has Down syndrome has an abortion.  If they were able to spend one day with my son, I know they'd reconsider.  How can we, as viewers, allow this to happen?  {This isn't the only incorrect information that I've noticed on Grey's Anatomy.}  I'm seriously considering changing my viewing choices on Thursday evening.   
     I know having a child with any kind of special needs is a little different, you have to work a bit harder sometimes, but the rewards are so sweet.  Having any child is challenging at times.  As the mother of a teenage son & a toddler with Down syndrome, I understand.  But being their mother comes naturally, it's easy.  I wouldn't change one thing about either one of my boys.  God chose me to be their mother & I consider it a privilege, a blessing.  Maybe one day, the rest of society will see Down syndrome as just one extra little chromosome, because that's all it is.  One extra little chromosome that gives you something extra to love.
    

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

SOAP BOX!

     I guess I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.  Everything is either pissing me off or making me cry.  I wish I could shake this horrible mood already!
     It all started when I had to scream at Chancey to finish getting ready for school for the 3rd straight day this week.  Either Mack or myself go into Chancey's room every morning to wake him up at 7:00 or just before 7 a.m.  He gets his shower then goes into his room.  We always remind him of the time around 7:30 that he needs to brush his teeth & finish getting ready.  This morning I was a tad late reminding him, it was 7:40 a.m. when I yelled to him.  He opened his door & he wasn't even dressed!  The bus runs at 7:50 a.m., so he had 10 minutes to finish.  I knew he'd be ready in time, but it's so frustrating having to tell him EVERY DAY to get going.  I was already frustrated when Troy started banging my arms & legs HARD with his toy car while I was trying to watch last night's episode of 'Parenthood.'  I'm usually forgiving & know that he's just wanting my attention because he doesn't have it at that moment.  But I just went off.  I threw the truck on the love seat & he looked at me like I tore his heart out, which broke my heart into a zillion pieces.  I wasn't trying to take it out on him, but I'm just feeling a bit overwhelmed.  I know I shouldn't complain, but I'm just tired of feeling like I'm the only person trying in this house.  I am the only person that does Troy's therapies.  He receives PT twice a month, but I have to keep it up daily or he loses what he's learned & will never progress.   NO ONE tries to help me out, knowing that I have titanium rods in my back & a crushed vertebrae in my thoracic region, & not to mention my illness.  I guess no one realizes that Troy weighs nearly 24 lbs & lifting him constantly is torture.  Then I am his sole provider of OT & speech.  I work with him constantly.  It's not that I can't tell he's learning, because I can.  It just gripes me to my soul when I work SO hard to teach Troy the correct way to do something & a few people DELIBERATELY do it incorrectly & I have to spend weeks trying to teach him the correct way to do it all over again.  Example:  I have worked so hard teaching him to wave "hey" & "bye."  He would do it at first.  Then some people started blowing him a kiss as soon as they saw him.  So he associated "hey" with blowing a kiss.  So I taught him to say & wave "hi" instead.  He had it down pat for weeks.  Then he saw these people again, & guess what, instead of "hi" they blew him a kiss.  Now EVERY TIME someone stops to speak to us when we're out, he blows them a kiss when we tell him to say "hi."  He saw them on Saturday, briefly, & I've been working with him ALL week to reteach his brain "hi" without blowing a kiss.  I know, it sounds cute, but it's really aggravating when you've worked so hard.  He'll get it one day, I suppose, but I guess I see it as he HAD it, don't ruin it.  They haven't been around him very much & really do not understand how hard it is for him.  I don't want to hurt their feelings, but he's MY son.  They should respect my feelings & respect the way I'm raising him.  Others get it, why can't they? 
     After my meltdown this morning, I decided to let Troy watch "Your Baby Can Read" while I checked my facebook account real quick.  Then as I'm scrolling down reading people's status updates, I see that one of my friend's status said: facebook is retarded!  I just gasped & simply went to her profile & unfriended her.  I have told her a million times not to use that word & she hasn't listened to me, so I had to remove her from my friends.  I supposed I shouldn't be trying to change people, but if you want to be my friend, you'll be respectful of my feelings.  Especially when you KNOW that I have a son that has been diagnosed as mentally retarded.  When you use the "R" word in that fashion, you are disrespecting my son, me, my family, & everyone that loves someone with special needs.  These days, that word is used to describe something that is stupid & people with special needs are far from stupid.  So the misuse of that word is very hurtful & when you use it, you look stupid!  I realize that I can not banish that word from every one's language, but I was hoping that my posts on facebook would make people realize that misusing that word is wrong.  I guess all of my campaigning for the Spread the Word to End the Word isn't doing one bit of good.  It's times like these when I just feel like I should just delete my facebook account & be done with it all.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Update

     Troy's coordinator from Babies Can't Wait just left.  She wasn't able to see Troy because he was napping.  But she said that Troy is doing amazingly well!  She's going to try to get a speech therapist to come out with his PT & do a coaching visit.  This should help me to teach Troy more appropriately.  I think he could & would talk so much more if he had someone that knew what they were doing in charge.  But we have to wait for that to happen.  I wish that my insurance would cooperate & realize that Troy needs these services, we aren't trying to rip them off.  Troy had a recheck from his cardiologist on Thursday.  We found out that his heart is unchanged since his surgery in December!  :)  He says that it's possible that Troy's heart could grow & not need a valve replacement, but that he thinks it's not probable.  We're still praying for a miracle, because we know that God that He can preform one.
     Chancey is doing better at school.  I think he's finally adjusting.  I told him a few weeks ago that we would do our best to let him go back to his old school next year.  Then I mentioned it again to him on Thursday when we had the parent/teacher/student conference & he said that he wants to go to JHS.  They have a medical program there & he knows that he wants to be in the medical field when he grows up (I'm so proud).  He's also loving that he can play baseball.  He hasn't played since 5th grade because every time we signed him up at his old school, they haven't had enough players to make up a team.  That's the case at his old school again this year, too.  I can't wait to see him on that field again.  The last time he was on a baseball field I was deathly sick & couldn't enjoy the games, but I still went to every game.
     Mack found out that he has to go through some training courses & learn a few more things before topping out (pay wise) at his current position.  The team leader on 1st shift put in for a job at the new Wind Power plant & we're praying he gets it because if he does, Mack can take his position.  This 3rd shift is killing me!  He found out that a friend/co worker's girlfriend has lung cancer in both lungs.  We're praying that the doctors can cure her...she has a young daughter.
     We're trying to have another baby.  We were hoping that we were successful last month, but that's not the case.  That's okay, we can always keep on trying.  We were all a little let down, but this disappointment is much easier to deal with than a lot of things we've dealt with in the past.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

RESPECT

As you may know, a teacher/coach (& a member of our church) at Chancey's school has called a few of his students the "R" word & "special" two weeks in a row.  I have called him out on this & today, in lieu of having enough guts to actually call me & speak to me, he emails me.  This is what the email said:

Mrs. Forrester,


I apologize if I have offended Chancey and you and rest assured that I will do my best not to use either of those words any more in my classroom.  I have several extended family members who are special needs and do not use either of those words as disrespect.  While teaching Health we talk about some pretty intense yet interesting topics and sometimes students will respond in inappropriate ways to get attention.  It is during these moments where I have probably used one of these words trying to deflect the comment and quickly move on while staying on the task at hand.  I will try to find other ways to do this and once again I meant no disrespect to you or any member of your family.  On another note I would like for you to talk with Chancey about his recent disruptive behavior.  He has started talking a lot at inappropriate times even to the point where I have had to call him out several times during class.  I'm sure you expect better of him and so do I.  Thank you for your help in this matter and for emailing me with your concern.  Thanks.


Really?  At the end of the email he bashes my son for being disruptive?!  Then he has the gall to ask me to talk with Chancey?  He has the guts to ask me to help him after that sorry excuse of an apology?  How can HE complain when he's in the wrong here, just 'deflect'ing, I suppose.  I find the entire email absurd & just a useless waste of time.  Nothing was accomplished, period.  ~However, I will speak with Chancey about his behavior in class.  It's my job as a mother to make sure that my son is taught correctly.  And I must go on the record here in saying how proud I am that Chancey tells me that this is going on.  It shows great character for him to be such an advocate for people with special needs.
I know that no matter how much you explain to some people that they really don't understand why these offensive words are wrong to say.  But, he is a public school teacher & he has civic duties here.  His job is to teach our kids, not demoralize them.  If he uses these terms in class, I can only imagine what kind of words come out of his mouth at football practice.  He must not have used these particular words this season or Chancey would have told me about it.  It just makes my blood boil to know that he is allowed to do this.  As a Christian, I can forgive this man for being so rude & callous.
I just really wish that people would see how hurtful these words really are.  I suppose that until you have been in our shoes, you don't really understand.  People with special needs aren't the "R" word, stupid, slow, or dumb.  They don't deserve to be degraded.  They deserve to be viewed just as they are, a person with feelings...along with their parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, friends, & peers.  So the next time you want to call someone "special" make sure you mean the are special to you, not stupid.  And vow to never use the "R" word ever again.  Because you never know, the person next to you, behind you,  or in front of you, may be a person with special needs or their loved ones.