25 March 2015

WARNING: Vaccines Cause Autism. An Open Letter To 'Father Embry.'

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.

Thank you,

22 March 2015

You're Gay AND You Adopted A Child With Down Syndrome?

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:
  1. a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not
  2. a social unit consisting of one or more adults together with the children they care for
Where does is say that you must have a mother and a father?

A family is a unit where children are cared for, loved, they feel safe and respected. A family is any sexual orientation, any race, any religion, any socio-economic status.

As I travel on this journey with Adele, I have met some incredible people. I have been fortunate enough to become friends with Holly and Alex. Shame on those whose views are clouded by ignorance and a lack of education. Shame on those who can't see that loves comes in all forms. Love is love. The love that surrounds Jaxson is overwhelmingly perfect.

I never wanted to stoop to the low levels of those who wrote the above comments, BUT.....
I just wanted to end this post with something that I told Holly last night.

Why are some people so weird and unhealthy and unhappy and assholes and rude and disrespectful? Why oh why? Don't judge others. Take the time to learn about their journey. Be kind.



15 March 2015

A Cancer Diagnosis

Dear Belinda,

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 krowland23@hotmail.com
Thank you!

Our two fundraisers....Please check them out and help us continue to make baskets for very deserving families.

Stella & Dot

Jamberry Nails

9 March 2015

21 Reasons.....

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.”
Mitch Albom


20 February 2015

An Open Letter To Tom Leykis

Tom Leykis,

Yesterday as I was scrolling through Facebook, I came across a post that you shared on your wall. I remember looking at it, thinking that the person who added the words "This will go DOWN in retard history", must be one of the biggest assholes on the planet.

I was right.

A handful of friends told me that I should let it go, don't focus on another person's ignorance, just move on. The thing is Tom, it hurt, to the core. When it comes to my children, my family and my friends, I don't just move on and sweep revolting, disgusting and uneducated comments under the rug. I fight for what is right.

I thought about not sharing your post, not asking my friends to report your post and page to Facebook, but I realized that people like you need to be taken down. This is not the first time that you have publicly attacked those with special needs.
You have attacked the wrong group of mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Your ignorance and shameful words have made their way all across the globe and people won't stop fighting for what is right until action is taken against you, against your Facebook page and against your radio program.

I read a handful of comments on the post that you shared; your response to those who left messages, expressing their upset and concern was that of a very shallow man. You attacked back. You continued to bash and use language that only an uneducated person would use. You went to google and copy and pasted inaccurate statistics off of the web. Your comments about how only old women give birth to retards couldn't be farther from the truth. Did you know Tom, that 80% of babies born with Down syndrome are to women under the age of 35?  No, I don't think you knew that. The word retard Tom gets used by those who are uneducated and ignorant. You fit this category. You fit it very nicely.

After a lot of thought and reflection, I just wanted to tell you a few things.

1) Adele is my child, she was born with Trisomy 21, that is Down syndrome.
2) She has positively impacted more lives in her short 18 months then you will in your entire lifetime.
3) She doesn't drool as you said in a previous post about Special Olympics but I would be curious to see what your pillow looks like in the morning.
4) Adele is beautiful and smart. I will not comment on your looks.
5) Adele has feelings and so does her friends and family.
6) Adele and her friends will grow up to be productive members of society, you on the other hand, have not grown up and I fear that your maturity and IQ are stuck at the level of a toddler. But wait, I do not want to insult toddlers all over the world. I fear that your way of thinking will be stuck at that of a worm, yes, a worm.
7) Adele has a sense of humour, whereas you do not.
8) Adele makes the world a better place, you Tom, have embarrassed the human race.
9) Adele also has a Facebook page and is by far way more successful than your page. Your amount of followers shows me that you are not a role model, you don't share information or stories or post articles that the world cares about.
10) My child is a miracle. She has taught people all over the world to be kind, patient and to not judge others. You have done the opposite.

My emotions are running high right now and some of my words are harsh. I try not to judge others. I try to find the best in people. I am just so repulsed by you and to be honest, it's really difficult to be any other way at this point. I do not want to stoop to your level, but at this moment, I am angry and enraged.

Your post on Jamie Brewer was removed by you or your admin. You removed all comments pertaining to the post. Where is your public apology? Where are your producers in all of this? My daughter and her friends deserve a formal apology by you and your team.
You know what Tom? Although I think that you are a major douche bag, my child would forgive you. Her friends would forgive you. Our children have beautiful hearts and beautiful souls. You do not deserve forgiveness but to be as shallow as you, it is not in my nature.

We all make mistakes. You are a public figure and your voice carries some weight. Do what is right.


15 February 2015

I Have To Love My Children, My Friends, Not So Much

The other night as we were all laying in bed, reading books, I looked at James and said "it's crazy how we still love our children at the end of the day."

He laughed.
I sort of fake laughed.

I turned the tables and thought about if our friends acted this way, we would be ending a lot of friendships. I think I need more fresh air. ;)

Wouldn't it be funny if we all acted like toddlers and our friends still loved us? The world would be so different. All of us, acting irrationally, childish, innocent and naïve. If we all acted like toddlers.....just think about it.

It's 5:30am and Brinley yells "Mommy, daddy, potty." We jump up, hearts are pounding and realize that the house is not burning down.
I still love you.

A friend is sleeping over, "Krista, James, potty." We jump up, hearts pounding, toss you your jacket and kick you out of the house.
I don't have to love you.

We make our way downstairs for breakfast, I make you oatmeal, you refuse to eat it. I make you two others delicious and nutritious meals and you ignore me.
I still love you.

I'm excited to make my friend breakfast, it's going to be good. You refuse to eat your scrambled eggs. I make you two others meals and you stare at me with a look of confusion. I toss you your jacket and kick you out of the house.
I don't have to love you.

It's time to get ready. I am looking all over for you. We are working on potty training; I find you in the closet taking a poop.
I still love you.

We are hanging out, watching movies and you head to my closet, open it, close it halfway, crouch down and take a big poop. I toss you your jacket, but first, I rub your nose in it and kick you out of the house.
I don't have to love you.

It's time to get dressed. I pick out something beautiful, just for you. You turn it into a wrestling match, I try to sit on you, pin you down, sweet talk you, offer candy. You kick, you scream.
I still love you.

We are getting ready to go out, it's girls' night. I lend you an outfit, you ask me if I can dress you. This is just weird and uncomfortable. I toss you your jacket and kick you out of the house.
I don't have to love you.

We are at Target, you decide to roll around on the floor, you kick, you scream, you pull random items off of the shelves. You open up packages and start eating the food. You yell 3 year old obscenities at me.
I still love you.

We are at Target,  you decide to roll around on the floor, you kick, you scream, you pull random items off of the shelves. You open up packages and start eating the food. You yell 38 years old obscenities at me. I slowly back away from the cart and run as fast as I can out the door.
I don't have to love you.

We are at a school celebration, you start undressing yourself. I am wondering where this behaviour came from. Your father? It doesn't matter what I say, you want to be naked.
I still love you.

We are out at a school mass, you start undressing yourself............
Handing you a jacket would be useless. I pretend that I don't know you.
I don't have to love you.

We are driving home from the zoo, you are moody and tired. You yell that you want your DVD player turned on, you yell that you want a juice box, you kick the seat.
I still love you.

We are driving home from the mall, you are moody and tired. You yell that you want the DVD player turned on, you yell that you want a juice box, you kick the seat. I'm thinking WTF?!?!? This girl is whacked. I toss you your jacket and kick you out of the car, while it's still moving.
I don't have to love you.

It's bed time and you refuse to go on the potty, you want the IPad, you won't read books, you will only wear your Minnie Mouse dress to bed.
I still love you.

We are out at a hotel, just getting away, you refuse to go to the bathroom before bed ;), you want the IPad, you won't read a good night story and you will only wear your super hero costume to bed.....with me. I feel a little weirded out, worry about my safety, try to giggle about it and go sleep on the couch.
I don't have to love you.

The amount of stress, worry, tears and heartache that children cause their parents, but we still love you. It's truly the craziest thing. You spend all day and night with your children and they do so many things that drive you nuts, but you love them. You forgive. You move on. You  love unconditionally. The commitment that it takes, the hours and the patience. How do we do it? Seriously parents, give yourself a pat on the back, stop being so hard on yourself, be proud that you made it through another day. You are a champion, a hero, an amazing person. Good lord, this parenting thing is the hardest job in the whole world.


9 February 2015

There's Gonna Be A Smack Down!

Well, I took the plunge and attended my first WWE event. (http://www.wwe.comJames has always enjoyed wrestling and when he was younger, he had the opportunity to take in some events. We took our nephews and were hoping that it wasn’t too rough or out of control for the boys.

When we walked into the Saddledome, the first thing that we noticed was that it was quieter, it seemed as though it would be a more intimate event, which in turn made it more family friendly. There was lots of excitement and a buzz in the air. We got our hot dogs and slurpees and sat down, waiting for the announcer to introduce the first set of wrestlers.

The crowd went wild. People really get into this wrestling stuff! I looked around and saw kids of all ages, spending quality time with their dads, uncles and grandfathers. There were smiles and laughter, people rose to their feet. Our nephews were full of anticipation and enjoying their first WWE Live Event.

WWE is a PG family friendly brand with a strong appeal to boys ages 2-17. The brand is multi-generational as their shows have been around for over 30 years and as such are very much a family co-viewing experience. I was concerned about the language and whether or not the boys would be subjected to a bunch of wrestlers who took it overboard. There was no need for concern. There was no swearing. There was no inappropriate language used. I have to admit, I was a bit surprised. It was a time for laughter and getting into a wrestling event that the boys would remember for a long time to come.

For families who are unsure whether or not taking their children to a WWE event is suitable, it has a multi-lingual parents’ website that provides information about WWE’s programming, products and corporate social responsibilities: http://corporate.wwe.com/parents/overview.jsp

The event lasted a few hours, which in my opinion, the WWE offers the best value in entertainment, with tickets starting at $20. With the price of concert tickets on the rise, this was an affordable and engaging afternoon for the whole family.

Since having Adele in our lives, we are more aware and look for events that support community outreach programs [https://community.wwe.com/].  It’s important to our whole family that we become involved with those who provide activities and mentorship to our children.
 This is the WWE’s commitment to us, to our community, to our children:
 WWE is committed to leveraging the power of its brand and platforms to help address important social issues worldwide including diversity and inclusion, education, military support and providing hope to those in need.  Through partnerships with Ad Council, GLAAD, Hire Heroes USA, Make-A-Wish, Pearson Foundation, Special Olympics Connecticut, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, The Creative Coalition and USO, WWE supports programs and initiatives that positively impact children and families around the world.

Knowing that the WWE is committed to helping our youth and getting involved with our children, this has reassured our family that we can trust their values, policies and beliefs.

An outstanding company with superior and exceptional morals. Yes, I just said that about the WWE. It’s funny how we all have this preconceived notion of what wrestling entails, then you attend a show and read up on the company and you are blown away by their principles and standards.

The only downfall was when the girls’ dad got home, he whipped out his wrestling moves (which could use some serious work), on all of us. Thank the lord he didn’t buy any tight fitting garments while at the event. The thought of James wearing some lightening patterned speedos in our living room, would make anybody shutter in fear. J
It was a great afternoon spent with family. Thanks WWE for the smack down!
This post was brought to you by WWE, however, the two live images and opinions are my own. For more information please visit http://www.wwe.com