Today we welcome one of our favorite bloggers and moms Beth to share why everyone should join us on April 7, 2018, for the ‘i have a Voice’ annual gala!
Favored, blessed, fortunate, charmed and prosperous…. all synonyms for lucky, all synonyms for how I feel about a life with Down syndrome. While there are only a lucky few who get to live this privileged life, (where we see the world through the eyes of, gentle, and silly kindness, ) there is good news…
All of you can step into this imperfect perfection.
GiGi’s Playhouse ‘i have a Voice’ Gala. Ahh. It is magic bottled up into an evening. There is no ill feeling about giving… especially when it pales to what you’re getting. I loved the Gala 2 years ago when I was a rookie in the racket. I listened to founder Nancy Giani and Gigi herself proclaim their passion. It made you want to be better and do better. It also made you feel like you already were just by being there.
Self-advocates danced and posed and effortlessly reminded me of their worth. GiGi’s gives them a place. It gives us a place…to celebrate the good. There’s so much good and us lucky ones all know it. Sharing that in the midst of gluten-free cooking, meeting families or watching our children sing their hearts out is essential. It builds us up. GiGi’s builds our desire and drive for even more acceptance. It builds us unstoppable.
GiGi’s cannot survive on our drive alone. I’m committed to the cause, but my dedication does not deposit dollars. It does not make it possible for families to congregate and share: hopes, dreams, and that dis in ability. To do that we must put our money where our mouth is. I did that in the most literal sense last year. I despise public speaking; abhor it. Heather convinced me in two emails. I did it for Judah, for the kids, for our serendipitous soldiers, for the ones who need a little back. And let me tell you, I am someone who trembles, feels flush and easily scares in a sea of crowds, yet, for me, this was easy. It was easy to stick up for a cause I believed in. It was easier than parting with hundreds of dollars in an auction to take home a wagon of wine…. but hey, someone had to it. In all honesty, though, the money and time that we donate to this cause, pays for so many with something extra in the feelings department who also sometimes have a little less in the wallet. I feel good about putting money in their fold to enrich their lives. I hope people support Judah that way forever.
Before I had Judah I would have considered myself: sarcastic, edgy, a bit wild. Actually, I am still all those things but having Judah has added the layer of “sweet” to my tiramisu. I am a bit gentler, more empathetic, more forgiving and charitable. Kindness comes easier when you are placed in a world full of wonder. The connection to others who share our journey is undeniable. I have met so many families who want to make the world better FOR, and because of, someone they love with Down syndrome. The ‘i have a Voice’ Gala is an open invitation to come and be a part of that world for one charmed evening.
I, for one, can not wait. You see, for me, the internet is a beautiful thing. I follow hundreds of people on social media like me. Ones who advocate and swoon and are captivated by all things Down syndrome. There are so many families out there paving the way for their incredible little loves. It is an awe-inspiring privilege to watch. This year, I get to hear one of these forces speak in person. Heather Avis is a mom of three. Two of her three have Down syndrome and all of her children are adopted. She has recently written a touching tale called “The Lucky Few” where she humbly chronicles her path to explosive love in unlikely places. I cannot wait to hear her. I am eager to see, hear and feel all of the Gala’s fascination. I am in desperate need of an antidote in the form of inspiration.
I hope you’ll join me, if not at the Gala, then in solidarity with me to be generation G: be accepting. be generous. be kind.