Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Who would have known...

This post has been on my heart for the past week or so and today seemed like the perfect day to share it with you for a reason I will explain in a minute...

I grew up dancing since the age of 3 years old until after college.  My Mom and I (I'm an only child) spent most days after school at Dellos Dance Studio where I not only grew as a dancer, but also as a dance teacher, and it didn't take long to develop friendships that I never would have dreamed would have such a profound impact upon my life.  One special friendship that has always held a special place in my heart (but never more special than how I feel about him right now) is this amazing little boy that I met when I was of elementary school age.  He and his mom would spend hours at the dance studio, while his older brother took dance class.  This little boy captured my heart with his infectious smile, joyful spirit, and unconditional love that he so freely gave.  This little boys name was/is Keith and he just so happens to have Down Syndrome.  I can so vividly remember the joy I felt in my heart when ever I would see Keith.  One day in particular stands out in my mind, the studio was selling dance clothes and Keith and I were sitting inside of the clothing rack where the clothes were hanging.  We sat in there and laughed for quite some time and I will never forget the love I felt for that little guy at that moment.  He was only 5 years younger than me, but I loved him like a little brother.  After spending time with Keith that day I remember saying to my mom in the car on the way home from the dance studio that "I want a little boy like Keith some day."  I don't even think that I knew what Downs Syndrome was at that age, I just knew that there was something so special about Keith and it didn't need a name.  As life would have it, I got more and more involved with dance at school and went to Dellos less and less, so I eventually lost contact with Keith.  In the years that would pass, I apparently became more and more worldly (caring about my own comfort and allowing the world to dictate what "good" is) because 20+ years later God blessed me with a little girl "just like Keith" and I was scared to death, not realizing (at the time) that He had spent decades preparing me for such a time as this...  To be the mother of Grace Astrid Ross, who just so happens to have "Up's."  It is with great humility, joy, and gratitude that I can say that I'm SO honored to be her mom.  Isn't God good, how He prepares us for His perfect plan in ways that we could never imagine?  The reason I felt that today was the perfect day to share this post is because it just so happens to be Keith's 29th birthday!  Oh, what I would give to wrap my arms around his neck right now and thank him for all that he taught me and probably didn't even know it!  I pray that Grace will impact someone's life like Keith did mine.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY KEITH!

Check out our little honey sitting up in her bumbo, playing with one of her best friends (her favorite toy).  Grace was on sternal precaution (she couldn't lay on her tummy, get picked up under her arms, etc) for 6-8 weeks after her first surgery, therefore, she wasn't able to do tummy time until she was 10 weeks old.  Since she got a late start on practicing strengthening her neck muscles it has been a much celebrated milestone as she has started really holding her head up well!  Way to go Little Doo!!! BTW-  this little stinker has the sweetest, most precious, and infectious smiles when you are talking to her and the second you pull out a camera she turns it right off!  This is why there aren't many pictures of her smiling and while I have a lot of videos with her smiles, I still can't figure out how to upload them without investing a great deal of time... Sorry!

Just because I can't leave out Abigail and Andrew's sweetness, here is a picture that our friend, Dionne, took of them a few years ago...

4 comments:

The Keierleber Family said...

great post! I love looking back and seeing how God prepares us while we don't realize what He's up to! :)

Kathy A. said...

Isn't it amazing how God's timing is PERFECT? The one good thing about being older is looking back on God's provision over the years.

Grace is such a little doll, wish I could run down there and give her a hug.

Love to you,
Aunt Kathy

Suburban Stitcher said...

Amazing indeed! Love seeing this little peanut!

kimk said...

I had a little cousin, Scottie. I was 5 when he was born. I loved him dearly. I was told he was sick, and weak. But I remember him holding my finger so tight, and I thought, everyone is wrong, he is strong. Baby Scottoe passed away at 6 months old. in the 70s, a baby with heart defects didnt have much hope, much less a sweet baby with Down Syndrome.
Growing up, all my baby dolls were Scottie, i wanted a baby just like him. I didn't know his sweet face showed all the characteristics of Down syndrome, until I came across a picture of him while I was in high school. And it clicked, why he was "weak".
Then years later I looked into a sweet precious face, just like my Scottie. This time it was my own son. I felt blessed.
We are blessed. Thank you God for Scottie, preparing my heart, thank you for Keith, preparing Grace's moms heart, and thank you for Grace and Will as they steal the hearts of many, and open them to true love, now and in their future : )