Although Seattle is familiar to us in many ways, we are new to our local Down syndrome community. Fortunately for me, I reconnected with a friend, Sara, who coincidentally has 5-year-old twin boys who just started kindergarten, including one with Down syndrome named Lukas (Luke). Small. World. Many believe there's no such thing as a coincidence...and the longer I live, the more I agree.
The first time I met Sara, we were paired together on a wish for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Sara was so likeable -- warm, creative, engaging and always so outgoing and authentic -- I wanted to be her friend. Little did I know this casual friendship would blossom when we found each other again after both becoming mothers to kids with DS.
Sara's generosity knows no bounds. She has been the gateway to all things Down-syndrome related in our new-old city, from including us in events, to welcoming us into her circle of friends to connecting me with moms willing to share their experiences with the public school systems in the area.
Most importantly, despite juggling twins and managing her own interior design firm, Sara has always answered my call. More than just tirelessly lending a supportive ear, she is genuinely invested in helping ensure Lucas has the resources he needs to be all he can be. I couldn't ask for a better friend.
Like so many parents who get a Down syndrome diagnosis, when Lucas came into the world, we were numb, frightened and felt helpless. In those early days we never could have anticipated the many blessings awaiting us. The gift of friendship and community is near the top of the list.
Admittedly, there are days the load is more than I can carry, but I get by with a little help from my friends...
Thank you Sara and the Down syndrome community (in life and online) of courageous, generous, tenacious, supportive parents with whom we share this incredible journey.