Sunday, October 18, 2015

Who's excited about Gigi's Playhouse SUGAR LAND?!?!

I feel like I have finally been able to take a breath this week after the whirlwind of suspected leukemia diagnosis (praise God, we got confirmation the Grace doesn't have it at this point); Grace got a nasty tummy bug that was miserable; so we watched and prayed that nobody else would get it (after all, Abigail's mommy instincts kicked in when Grace started throwing up, she caught it in her hands while sending Andrew to come get David and I); cardiology appointment that ran the risk of telling us that we would have to head back to Boston through the holidays (remember it was 2 years ago at this exact time that David and Grace were heading into a 2 and a half month stay in Boston because Grace's heart was so sick, but we got to be reunited in Boston as a family for Christmas with the generous support of so many of you), but we got a green light to wait another 3 months to recheck her heart, which means we can spend the holidays at home, together!  God's grace once again proved to be sufficient as there were days that I felt like I was drowning over the past couple of weeks.

I can't think of a better way to celebrate the end of an overwhelming week than to have participated in an amazing Gigi's Playhouse Sugar Land fundraiser last Saturday.  The event was more than I could have ever expected as I watched friends, family, and our community join together in the vision that the sky is the limit for children/adults with Up's (Down Syndrome).  Not only are these kiddos lives valuable, but the willingness of people to open their hearts, give their time, talent, and money to give all children and adults in our community with Up's the opportunities (various therapies, tutoring, social interactions, exercise programs, opportunities to raise awareness and facilitate inclusion, FREE OF CHARGE) to be all that God created them to be is truly priceless!  The opportunity to get to be a part of the start up committee and board is really a dream come true.  I'm inspired daily by this lady's (and her sweet mom) commitment to the vision.  You see, Gigi's Playhouse has been in my heart since we got Grace's diagnosis while I was about 32 weeks pregnant.  I couldn't begin to wrap my mind around what our life was going to look like until Aunt Kathy sent me a Gigi's Playhouse calendar that was full of the most beautiful black and white photos of children with Down Syndrome.  It was at that moment that the almond shaped eyes that plagued me for so long as I feared ever having a child with Down Syndrome (this irrational fear was in the back of my mind since the moment we conceived Abigail, our oldest daughter who is 8 years old) became beautiful, full of hope and life.  It was an overjoyed google search for our local Gigi's that turned into the sadness and disbelief that the great state of Texas had ZERO Gigi's Playhouses in the state.  While I'm not a native Texan and California will always feel like home, one thing that I've learned since living here for almost 10 years is that everything IS bigger in Texas and Texans take great pride in their state (as they should :-).  We had plenty of other things to distract us from the lack of a Gigi's in Texas as we fought for Grace's life, but in the middle of that fight I met one of my dear friends and hero, Ammie.  She had just had her daughter, Sadie...

a few weeks prior to our Divinely appointed meeting (thanks to our mutual friend, Ashley) at a Mexican restaurant in our neighborhood.  While I was just excited to meet her and encourage the daylights out of her by sharing with her that her life wasn't just going to be ok with this unexpected Down Syndrome diagnosis, it was going to be awesome!  Little did I know, that as I was there to encourage her, she would be the one to lead and encourage me by taking the lead on making the dream of Gigi's Playhouse in Sugar Land a reality.  It was at that meeting she said that her and her mom had heard about Gigi's and wanted to start one.  If you are anything like me, you have a lot of dreams, but many of them seem unrealistic, but not for Ammie!  Her and her mom... 

Her momma, Amanda

...had a dream and despite not having experience starting a nonprofit organization, being a wife, and a busy working mom of two little people she has led the charge in making this dream a reality.  Her drive (through blood, sweat, and tears) and can do attitude inspires me daily.  I have never felt like this dream was more of reality until last Saturday's fundraiser...  I'm humbled to be among so many incredible people who are on the committee, board, or support the Gigi's vision in one way or another.  I pray that everyone who has invested in Gigi's Playhouse Sugar Land will know they are literally changing the course of history for generations to come, leaving a legacy of hope and belief in children that are genetically enhanced.  

Dear friends that are all in on Gigi's!

Great music...  I finally learned the Nae Nae, just in time to realize that it's now out of date and now I need to learn the Quan!

Love these two who happen to be Cruz's parents...

Of course there was BBQ...

And boots...

Ammie's precious parents!

Paddles used for the paddle raise...

The giving tree (or ladder, remember it is a construction theme :-)

If you're still reading this, thanks for sticking with me!  One last thing...  There are only 7 days left to order your Grace's Village shirt to support Gigi's Playhouse Sugar Land!  Please join the team and help us meet our goal, we are just over half way there with only a week left.  Here is the link for easy access


1 comment:

Kathy A. said...

Hi Rosses!
Isn't it ironic that I knew about Gigi's Playhouse long before Grace was born? Through my friend in Chicago who has two Down's daughters. And this friend telling me just how special this place was. Now Gigi's has spread across the country; we have one close to me here in Iowa.

I pray God will bless your project and through it bless all the sweet children who will be able to benefit. ESPECIALLY GRACE OF COURSE!

Love, Aunt Kathy