25 March 2015
The past two days have been frustrating and difficult and amazing all at the same time. Adele's picture was used on Disciples of the New Dawn, which is a Facebook page that promotes hatred and ignorance. At first, I found it to be slightly comical because it was so far fetched and ridiculous. It didn't make sense, it was absurd and completely false. I thought that I would share the picture and ask the community to report it to Facebook as well as send the administrator of the page private messages, requesting that it be removed.
The community stepped up and I was floored by all of the support that we received. I sent the administrator a message and told him that he was messing with the wrong group of people; this is one community that you don't want to **** with; not our children. Yesterday, he replied to the first set of messages, then he decided that it would be better to read them but not give any response. Yesterday, he thought that this was all fun and games but now he is starting to feel the pressure from all over the globe. The amount of messages and screenshots and posts sent to both of my pages has been overwhelming. This is the time to make a difference. This is the time to let people know that we will take a stand and we will defend those we love. We will not back down.
This is not the only Facebook page that is associated with 'Father Embry.' He has at least two others; The Dawn Guard Militia and Junior Disciples. The pages all promote violence against children, it is vulgar and is making a mockery of our loved ones. Adele's picture was not the first one that was used on his page.
The page has been reported by hundreds, if not thousands of people over the past two days and every time, Facebook states that it does not violate their Community Standards. It is perfectly acceptable to post pictures of child abuse, violent punishment, posts that bully others, posts that target a certain group, posts that attack those of varying abilities.
A picture is shared of a woman breastfeeding and it is immediately removed because is it inappropriate and pornographic. This confuses me and angers me.
I have been told by a couple of people that I should let it go. He wants a response. He wants to stir the pot. He loves the negative attention. This is the thing, her picture was used not as intended, which is illegal. He altered it, which is illegal. He does not have the rights to the picture. It belongs to the photographer and the clothing company. Will I sit back and ignore it? No, I would never do that. Is this feeding the animals? No, it's not. This is defending my child, my family and others who have been negatively affected by this low life. Letting it go, which so many do, this is telling him and others, that it's ok, it's acceptable behaviour and we will allow you to discriminate against our children. I would like to see the reactions of others, when it's their child being exploited. When we post pictures on Facebook, people can share them, they can post them on other sites, I get that it is a public forum. The picture of Adele is not his property. He is not allowed to alter a photo that belongs to the photographer and the clothing company; he has no rights. The clothing company is reaching out to their intellectual property lawyer to seek advice and legal counsel.
A while back, Tom Leykis shared a vulgar post. The community came together and after numerous complaints and messages, he removed it. He did this not because he had a guilty conscience, not because he felt bad, he got a verbal lickin' from the Down syndrome community. We do not tolerate ignorant and hurtful people. We do not tolerate those who disrespect our children and families.
Please continue to send him messages and report the pictures and page to Facebook. Keep fighting for what is right.
I choose my battles wisely. I do not let everything bring me down. I know what needs to be fought for and pursued. Letting an animal unlawfully post pictures of our children and use them to mock and degrade is the lowest form of humanity. Let's take a stand. Let's work together as a community. Please sign the petition and help us create change.
22 March 2015
There's this girl Holly, I consider her my friend. She has a wife, Alex, who I also consider my friend, although we are not Facebook buddies yet. :)
A year and a half ago, they decided that it was time to start a family. As they filled out their adoption forms, they got to that little box that asked if they would consider adopting a child with Down syndrome. That little box got one big tick. It was meant to be, this plan had actually been in the works for a very long time; this was their destiny. A baby with Down syndrome would be a blessing. A baby with Down syndrome would be a beautiful gift, a welcomed addition to their family.
BUT WAIT!!! You are gay!
Recently, Holly was approached by ABC Online and asked if she would be willing to share their story. This was their chance to show the world that adoption is giving a family the chance to raise a child. This gives families the chance to love unconditionally and with a love so deep and true. This gives families the opportunity to save a life, to care for a child who would otherwise be put through our system.
“Whether your children are yours through biology or adoption, they are yours through love.” - Sadia Rebecca Rodriguez
“We loved you before we knew you…even when there was just HOPE for you – we loved you.” - Unknown
“Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.” – Oprah Winfrey
BUT WAIT! You are gay!
As I read the article, my heart swelled for Holly, Alex and Jaxson. It was beautifully written, it was touching and filled with love. The article ended with "He is our perfection. And he has Down syndrome."
Such a wonderful ending to a beautiful story.
I continued reading.
"Because there is a constant glorification that it's okay for a child to be raised without a mother and a father - and it's not okay. Children need both a mother and father to thrive. Other arrangements should not be encouraged or glorified."
"Drown all three of them..."
"They're angry, "in-your-face" types who needed to top simply being a lesbian couple in order to compete in the "more accepting than thou" crowd.
I just hope the little boy is treated well and doesn't suffer from being employed as a prop."
"Reminds me of dog parks in the city where all the hipsters hang out and try to one up each other on who's adopted mutt was the most destitute prior to being adopted."
"Also reminds me of the old Modern Family episode where the gay couple tries to get their adopted Asian daughter into some elite, selective preschool. They're thinking it's a lock because they're gay AND they adopted foreign, and then they see a lesbian couple roll up with one in a wheelchair and an African baby for the next interview.
Lesbian wheelchair couple with an African kicker.....how can you beat that??" I lolled, that was a funny."
"I don't understand, why did they adopt and not just have a child naturally?"
"The child's physical limitations are nothing compared to the unnecessary emotional damages of being raised by two mommies and no father. These two are selfish people."
Not too long ago, a lady from a religious group showed up at my door. Although I was polite and took part in the discussion about God, I don't agree with others selling their religion. It bothers me. I told her that I was a catholic school teacher for ten years. This did nothing to dissuade her. She continued to sell her religion. She asked me if I read the scriptures and if she thought that our world was in danger, would it come to an abrupt end.
I remember looking at her and feeling confused by her comments. I recall sitting in religion class with my students. I clearly remember telling them to be a good person to others. Be kind to others. This is what God wants from all of us.
I talked to the lady at the door about Adele. She wasn't very responsive. She talked about her scriptures. I stopped her. I told her that my friends Holly and Alex, who are gay, adopted a child with Down syndrome. His name is Jaxson. She took a step back. I told her that this adorable miracle has been welcomed into the most loving and beautiful home. I told her that all God wants is for us to be good to one another. Be kind to one another. She left.
As I read the comments under Holly's article, I was disgusted and appalled by the lack of support, education and was wondering how others can be so ignorant.
"A family should only consist of a mother and father." I have been in many homes; homes that are filled with hate, abuse and neglect, but there was a mother and a father. I guess this is ok. A child will thrive in an unhealthy home because there is a mother and a father. A child will find their way and succeed in an unsafe home because there is a mother and a father.
Jaxson would do better in foster care? When you read Holly's blog, when you look at pictures, when you hear about the trips; you know that this child could not have possibly been placed in a better home. I know that Holly and Alex focused on the positive and supportive comments, but it's difficult to look past those who lack knowledge and awareness. It's hurtful.
Two wonderful women adopted a boy with Down syndrome. Two beautiful women opened up their home to a boy with Down syndrome. Two women have filled their home with love, respect and joy.
The definition of a family:
15 March 2015
This week you found out that your son has Leukemia. Your world came crashing down and your worst fears came true. You are staying strong for your family and friends but I can see the worry and hurt in your eyes. As a parent of a child with Down syndrome, this scares me. I worry about my child's future and if we will travel the same road as you. The day you found out, you reached out and the response showed me that you are surrounded by an amazing community. A community who loves you. A community that wants to hold you, protect you and lessen your heartache. In the midst of all of this, you continue to be a good friend to others and you continue to be supportive of those travelling their own journeys. My heart hurt for you this week and because of Grayson's diagnosis, I have decided that Adele's Over the Rainbow Baskets - Down syndrome LOVIN will now make baskets for families who have a child diagnosed with cancer. I delivered two this week and realized that I have the opportunity to bring some comfort to families who are grieving.
I am your friend and I will always be your friend. I will support you and Roger in any way that I can. I will cry with you, I will laugh with you and I will listen.
Seeing you today you looked so sad, so worried, so tired and so beautiful. You looked like a momma who would do anything for her boy and is so scared of what is to come. Although our journeys differ I know those feelings and the fierceness of them. After losing one baby and almost losing my eldest, I wish I could protect every momma from ever feeling those feelings but that is not life. Instead I hope I can lessen the feeling of isolation that comes with those fears.
From a mom who has feared what the future has to hold for her baby, or if there would be one, you are never alone.
From a mom who has held her tummy, telling that baby I will protect and care for you through all this stress the best I can but it might get rough, please stay safe.
From a mom who felt angry that I should be enjoying this baby that is coming but I needed to care for the child that is so sick and sometimes I didn't know how to do both.
From a woman who wanted to be surrounded by friends and family in one moment, and in the next, left alone with my child, to hold and smell and feel them without interruption, and in the next wanting to run as far away from that room as I could get, and yet you can't imagine ever leaving their side.
As a wife I didn't know how to share my thoughts and fears with my husband.
It is all part of the journey...along with so many other experiences and emotions....and you are not alone.
Our journeys vary but most test relationships. Lean on those you know you can, forgive those that can't be there the way you'd like them to. Yell, scream, cry and laugh when you need to. Be kind and gentle and forgive yourself when you feel guilty....maybe not right away but eventually.
I will think of you, Roger, Grayson and that little babe every day. I will send prayers and loving, healthy vibes. And if you ever need anything I will do my very best to be there for you however I can.
We come into this world, not knowing what the future holds, but what I have come to realize, is that we all need to support each other. We will meet many people along this journey, some will remain friends and some will continue on their own paths. What's important, is that we take care of one another, respect one another and know that sometimes the journey takes us in a direction that we never expected. With the help of those around us, we will prevail. We will become stronger, We will make it. It will be ok.
Krista and Chrissy xo
*** If you would like to donate any new baby items or special items for mom and dad, please feel free to send me a message or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our two fundraisers....Please check them out and help us continue to make baskets for very deserving families.
Stella & Dot
9 March 2015
It's almost World Down Syndrome Day!
On March 21st, we will celebrate differences, we will celebrate being unique, we will celebrate all abilities and our wonderfully made children.
21 reasons why I love my daughter and how she has made our world a more beautiful place.
1) Her infectious laugh.
2) Her beauty; inside and out.
3) Her gentle ways.
4) How she has inspired others to do good.
5) How she has impacted so many lives in her short 19 months on earth.
6) Her ambition and drive.
7) The way she makes others feel. She is full of light and love and the world sees and feels it.
8) The joy and happiness that she brings to her family and friends.
9) Her brains.
10) She has taught us to not judge others, but to listen and learn about their journey.
11) She wakes up smiling and this has set the tone for how the day begins. It's beautiful.
12) She has shown us how to love. How to love the right way, deep and with raw emotion.
13) She has taught her family that we don't always need to be in a rush, but that we should enjoy the moment.
14) I love that Adele, since day one, has pushed her family to be better people.
15) Her love for her sister. It's a love like no other.
16) I love Adele because she naps. I love napping children.
17) Adele has inspired me to give back to the Down syndrome community.
18) She appreciates snuggles and I love to snuggle.
19) She has brought the most amazing people into my life. I wonder how I've made it this far without knowing some of these amazing women and men.
20) She dances. It makes me smile. It makes me laugh. It brings me so much joy.
21) Adele has this way about her that makes my world a perfect place. She grew inside of me for 35 weeks. I worried. I cried. I didn't know how to raise a child with Down syndrome. When I met Adele for the first time, I was overwhelmed with emotion. What I soon came to realize; she is not Down syndrome. She is my child. She is my heart. All I see is her love for life. It's a beautiful life.
“When you look into your mother’s eyes, you know that is the purest love you can find on this earth.”