It really is true! Being in the Down syndrome club ADDS MORE to life, it doesn’t take anything away.
At first, I wondered if we’d made a mistake in going to this particular banquet, because I am not a big fan of crying in public, and I could feel the tears rise to the surface shortly after arriving.
We shared a table with four ladies of the down-to-earth, sensible sort, and we had no trouble finding things to talk about together. Of course they asked about my obvious coming baby, but my emotions were so unsteady that I knew they’d spill over if I told them our real reason for being there.
Derrick is a stand-up comedian who walks with a limp and whose left arm is paralyzed. He kept everyone laughing. He also stressed how important the pro-life issue is for him and Julie, considering that many people would have aborted them before they were born because they would have seen them both as “damaged goods,” as lives not worth living.
I was sitting at the complete back of the audience when Derrick called Julie up on stage with him, and I’m pretty sure nobody noticed my gallons of tears!
Afterward, we went to the table where she and Derrick were selling their t-shirts (Julie’s source of income), in order to meet these two in person. I picked out a little 6 month size onesie to ask them how much it would cost. I was still choking up (I know, I am a hopeless case!), so Joe told them why we especially wanted to meet Julie. Derrick immediately told us our t-shirt was on the house, and Julie immediately started crying, so that made two of us! We shared a teary hug and I told her that we only came to that banquet to meet her! I showed her Verity’s smile picture.
Why were we crying? I’m not sure why she was, but my tears were of joy to see this tiny, spunky, funny, sweet, happy lady surrounded by people she loved and who clearly loved her.
Julie, Susanna, and Verity (and yes, I left that tear-spot on Julie’s shoulder)~
On our way out the door, we saw one of the ladies we sat with, and since she had been so positive about our big family, and had just seen a sparkling example of a lady with Down syndrome, we told her about Verity. Then SHE got teary-eyed (poor Joe!) and spoke words of blessing over us and our baby girl.
We are left thinking how much RICHER our life is already because of the EXTRA chromosome that God has given Verity.
P.S. We are also very thankful for Joe’s parents being willing to have the children there for supper so that we could go to this banquet together! Especially for his mom refusing to allow us to provide the meal! That was a wonderful, restful break for me!