Monday, May 15, 2006

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KENNEDY!!!

Another year has flown by and here I sit on the eve of Kennedy's second birthday. Wow. What a year! This tough little girl continues to amaze me every day on every level. She has endured several surgeries and illnesses and has overcome issues that shocked even the medical community. As she faces more in her near future, she continues to be my source of strength and determination. I see her beat all the odds stacked up against her and I just marvel at the wonderful gift the Lord has given me in my daughter.

Just as last year, I'm finding Kennedy's birthday to be bittersweet. Excitement over her turning two is mixed with the sadness I felt the day she was born and along with that comes inevitable guilt over that sadness. Will it be like this every year? Maybe. But it serves as a reminder of how Kennedy has changed me... how she's made me a better person and a better mom. Also with the excitement of turning two comes the sadness of turning two! My baby can't be two, can she? As she sits here tearing things out of my drawer and throwing them onto the floor, I can’t help but realize that... yes... she's definitely two!

One of the common misconceptions about kids with Down syndrome (that parents in the Down syndrome community love to joke about) is that they are so sweet and so happy. In the last few weeks Kennedy has shown me that she is stubborn and defiant and ornery... you know, two! But she is also loving and funny and, yes, sweet and happy... just like every other two year old! She is asserting her independence more every day and letting us know her likes and dislikes. She loves other people and loves attention (I'm not sure where she got that from); she dislikes wearing socks and eating olives. She loves baby dolls and books and playing ball; she dislikes stacking blocks... especially when someone else wants her to do it! She loves to be chased by her brother and cuddle with her sister. She loves to try to scare people and make them laugh. She loves to be loved.

Kennedy's birth was surrounded by uncertainty and fear, but because of her we've learned to rely on God for peace and understanding and assurance that He really is in control. He knew what He was doing when He made Kennedy... for she is fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14). She is perfect in God's eyes and in ours, and I am so thankful that God trusts us enough to take care of her and love her.

Happy Birthday my sweet Kennedy! I am so excited to go through the Terrific Twos with you!