Yesterday Rabbit, Joe, and I took a trip to the Families First Network to get our fingerprinting done for background checks because we’re becoming spies or something. We’re perfect for this because nobody would suspect a family of 12.

For real, though, this is the next step to becoming foster parents and was so much easier than the mountain of paperwork that we had to fill out and get approved through some magical chain of case workers and we only have the home study part to complete now.

While we are familiar with the process because we’ve already completed our home study for adoption through the foster care system, it’s a little different when the children aren’t being placed with you permanently and the home study will have to be slightly more involved.

Anyway, this post wasn’t supposed to be about fostering. It was supposed to be about Lanie but apparently, I can get sidetracked before I even start something.

We took Lanie to the office with us and I was so surprised when it didn’t seem to register with anybody that she had Down syndrome.  I wondered if it was because she was more friendly and curious than usual, or because she had her thumb in her mouth…

Maybe these were just unusual people. I don’t know. It really did appear that nobody saw it.

Either way, I was so relieved. Relieved that I didn’t have to wonder what they were thinking when they looked at her. Relieved that I didn’t have to concern myself with the inevitable moment that I would have to say Down syndrome. Relieved that I didn’t need to steel my heart for when this light hearted interaction would change after those words were said. Because that’s what happens. Whether intentional or not, that’s what people do when they suddenly realize what is different about her.

And then I felt so guilty because why do I care? We love her. We love her as she is. We love her because of who she is. I wouldn’t change anything about her except maybe that her natural lenses would magically grow back perfectly without cataracts because putting contact lenses in a baby’s eyes does not get more fun as they age.

But I do care. Does that say something bad about me? Or is this normal because the more I think about it, the more I think that wanting others to value our children the way we do is normal for any parent of any child ever. Unrealistic? Sure. But true nonetheless.

While it would be great if everybody’s reactions were as perfect and normal feeling as they were yesterday, I am reminded that people have more growing to do. That I have more growing to do. And we all need to extend each other a little more patience.  A little more understanding. And a lot more grace.


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Filed under: Down syndromefoster careLanie

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