Monday, April 16, 2007

Speaking of perspective

Ever have one of those seemingly simple experiences that leaves you thinking long after its over? Well, that's the case with our little porta-potty experience. No, I haven't been meditating on porta-cans...thankfully! But, God is using the whole perspective-thing to make me think. I've found myself being reminded that our approach to life is based in our reaction to it. Our perspective. Our circumstances and situations don't determine who we are. But, our reactions to those circumstances sure do.
Do you remember this guy? His name is Chris Burke, but you may know him better as "Corky" from the TV series "Life Goes On" from the early 90s. He has Down Syndrome. But, is he what you picture in your mind of someone with Down Syndrome? Honestly, its not what I picture. But it should be. Chris is an example of what IS possible. All too often, the focus, where DS is concerned, is what is NOT possible. All children have amazing capabilities. Its up to the adults in their lives to believe in them and open doors for them. Do you think Chris would be the person he is today (an actor, writer, singer and above all an independent adult) if his parents had listened to the doctors when he was born (telling them to put him in an institution)? Remember, he PLAYED a mentally challenged person on TV. And, he did a great job. He is smart...and talented.

I went to a DS support group meeting yesterday. Not my usual gig. I'm honestly not a big fan. I don't feel the need for a group of people to "support" me in being Jordan's mom. I don't mother her any differently than I do the other two. DS doesn't define our family. But, someone reminded me recently that one responsibility that comes with having a child with DS is to educate people. Not about DS necessarily (there's enough of that if people want it), but about what is possible despite DS (perspective!). There's certainly not enough of that. So, anyway, what a blessing this meeting was to me. There was a panel of parents discussing life with a DS child. These parents had children that ranged in age from 5 to 33. And, the 33 year old was there. She was a spark of hope for me. She's totally independent, has a career, etc. Her parents talked about knowing other DS people with not only college degrees, but PhD's as well. Wow. Now we're talking about possibilities! This is what we envision for Jordan, by God's amazing grace.
So, we're joining the support group. If its all about perspective, then we need to share that with the rest of the world. God has given us the perspective He has so we can share it.
As for Chris Burke, he is 35 and continues his career. "Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the goal," he says. Now, THAT'S perspective!


Dara said...

Wow, that is awesome. You know it applies to anyone that is a parent - that what we expect is what we will get. We have to open those doors and allow our children to walk through them. May your children all have the favor of God and Man and go the places that God would have them to because of the Awesome Parents that you are!!!

Lori Eilers said...

I do believe the Lord knew what He was doing when He placed Jordan in your family! Jordan is in her way to success, independance, and a happy, full life. Keep on educating others with your great perspective!

Rays Family said...

Thanks for your post Angela, even though we have always tried to keep positive and have the highest dreams for Joe, sometimes we slip into moments of panic and doubt. I really needed your post today!