(The babies in our bellies are now 4, sob)
Saturday, October 3, 2015
On Down Syndrome Friends
Trying to make friends that get you after have a child (or fostering a child or adopting a child) with a disability is so much like dating. I am so glad it's over! "look at those two, they are so awkward, here's to never dating again, cheers."
Listenting to stories over the years there is a common beginning, something like, "We had our baby with Down Syndrome and then most of our friends disappeared and also a bunch of our family couldn't handle the life change." Nate and I would have probably been in this boat no matter what sense we decided to start parenting like one and a half years after being old enough to legally consume alcohol, babies. Virtually none of our friends were married or dating let alone parenting. We didn't have one foster parent friend, crazy babies.
I know some of my disappointment in not finding my DS mama sole mate was my own unrealistic expectants, well now I know. I secretly wanted to be with this new friend forever (and that's a lot of pressure to put on a relationship). I just don't want to be alone anymore! Lets grow old together! How long do you wait to call them? Do you text them every day? Is it weird to like pictures of their child with Down Syndrome from three years ago or does that just make me a Facebook stocker? Getting stood up by a DS friend hurts so mad. Why don't they like me? Saying goodbye: hug, shake hands, awkwardly walk away... I just need a hug people.
Thank the Lord Sammi came into my life. A sole sister and fellow foster parent who literally saved my snotty. Unfortunately I still thought I should find this elusive DS mama BFF. All the cool DS moms had a DS mom BFFs, why not me? If you could only go back and shake yourself, you know? I met so many amazing DS moms! You gals blow me away with your advocacy, resourcefulness, creativity, hospitality... I wish I hadn't waisted energy and most likely hurt you by forcing relationships, not giving them a chance to grow organically. Take the pressure off Tami, this isn't match.com!
Over time I have learned that you absolutely do not need to have a child with Down Syndrome to be an amazing friend to a DS mama (thank you Sammi, my first mama friend)! Can I take a minuet to brag about my friends? We are constantly amazed by the how loving, supporting, wise and understanding our friends are. I could not wish for better people to grow old with and for my children to grow up beside, honestly. Claire has a community of people who see her and are for her. We have friends that sit down and ask us hard question and live through hard stuff with us. We are so blessed with friendship I just want to share them all. Seriously, come be friends with my friends, there are rockstars and loving people!