Brew Ha Ha Reflection 2022

It’s been 4 years, 6 months, and 11 days since Lael Joy took her first breath and forever changed my life.
It’s been 4 years, 6 months, and 11 days of me becoming a new person, really living through a rebirth of myself. And like all new life, there are seasons of wonder and beauty and pure joy, and there’s the hard. Everything must be learned: how to feed, how to rest, how to communicate, how to relate to others. You learn boundaries, often by testing them. You make mistakes, fall down, and have bad days. But through it all, you grow and change and learn. Rocking an extra chromosome makes all these things harder. Our kids are major over-comers! And it’s no different with parenting. Each phase brings on new challenges, in different, harder ways.
I am so humbly honored to be welcomed into a community of people at GiGi’s Playhouse Cleveland who not only understands that my daughter is an amazing, smart, capable, worthy human being, but who also understands that I, as a parent, have been growing into my new role in life as her advocate, and sometimes not so gracefully.
I have failed. Oh so many times. My relationships now do not look the same as they once did. I grieve that. I grieve so much. But last night at GiGi’s annual Brew Ha-Ha, I sat in a room full of other people with similar stories.
I sat with mama bears who have strong, loud voices born out of fierce love and grief. I sat with women broken by the unexpected but at the same time resolute and laser focused on unconditional love. I sat with adults who have lived every day with an extra chromosome, overcoming challenges that I’m not sure I am strong enough to overcome.
I sat with SO many people who do not have a child with Down syndrome, but who instead have a passion for these people. I watch as these servants endlessly pour out their entire lives into sweet souls who most of the world turn away from.
I sat in a room last night where people got it. Unconditional love. Pure joy. Light heartedness. Quick and easy forgiveness. Grace. Empathy. Understanding. And it was electric. I don’t think anyone can leave there unchanged.
I am so thankful we found a place for my Lael who is my entire world. I am so glad we found a place that has widened our own understanding, paved pathways in our hearts for more love, and taught us to sit with the treasure that is all around us rather than chasing what the rest of the world sees as valuable.
GiGi’s Playhouse is the closest thing I’ve seen here on earth that gives us a glimpse of heaven. Immense amounts of grace. Tangible love. Unrelenting patience and kindness. So much joy that there is literally bursts of singing and dancing. Faithfulness. Faithful to the simplest things that are the hardest: to commit to someone else to walk with them in their journey, even when that journey gets hard. And a display of what the image of God really looks like.
We’re always so afraid of different. But different is what really teaches us the good stuff in life.
Thank you GiGi’s for another reminder of all the good that still exists in this world. So much of it was right there in this room last night.
Thank you to Lael’s mom, Amy Stack, for this beautiful impact reflection!

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  1. Erin on November 17, 2022 at 8:04 am


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