Each of us makes choices, sometimes daily, about how we categorize life’s twists and turns. We can get overwhelmed by disappointments or get inspired by the possibilities that adversity affords us.
If I had one piece of advice to give parents when they get a Down syndrome diagnosis, it would be to view this news as the beginning of a fantastic adventure. If you dwell in a mind-space of disappointment and fear, you’re setting yourself, and your family. up for sadness unnecessarily.
Instead, I would argue, after allowing yourself a brief period of adjustment, change your internal compass. Point toward the adventure that is learning new things and allowing your child to define himself (herself).
That being said, I think some of my more notable adventures involved periods of geographic change in my life. When my son who has Down syndrome reached 13 he “aged out” of the daycare he had attended since kindergarten. He was not able to stay home alone and there was no easy alternative. It was a frightening prospect. I decided that the answer to this conundrum required a serious change in priorities on my part.
As a single mother, I worked hard to provide for my son. I had a fifteen-year career in the medical insurance field and sometimes worked additional hours as a waitress. Now that Josh was a teenager, he was showing some behaviors that made me think that he needed more of my time rather than material things.
Insert adventure here:
I decided to go back to college to finish my degree. I took classes that would allow me to be home when Josh was. The life change involved moving from where we had both grown up in Maryland to Tennessee where we had no support system. Friends and family thought that it was a huge mistake. They saw the ordeal, not the adventure.
After six years in Tennessee we moved to Toronto so that I could pursue a master’s degree in disability services. Three years later we moved to Syracuse for Ph.D. courses. Each move was a new adventure!
The ability to see and respond to new adventures requires a certain amount of faith – in yourself, and in your higher power.
My life has been a series of adventures and each one seems insurmountable when I first encountered them. I’m in the middle of one of those adventures right now. My faith that it will be resolved in a positive way carries me from day to day. My son is my great adventure partner. We have taught each other to embrace what life sends you and make it fun.
Which brings me to the reason for this post. A new movie is being released this week that features adventure and faith.
A heartwarming family film is releasing this week. Distributed by AMBI Distribution, BEYOND THE SUN, is a modern day tale of hope, faith and courage based on stories from the Bible. This delightful family movie chronicles the adventures of four young friends in search of God.
The film features a very rare special appearance by Pope Francis. In support of the film, AMBI Media Group is holding a special contest where one lucky winner will win an Exclusive Private Tour of the Vatican and Front Row Tickets to an Audience with The Pope For Four!
For anyone who has ever wanted to visit Italy and The Vatican, this is your chance! For additional details about the contest and to enter, please go to: www.freetriptorome.com.
BEYOND THE SUN will be available for purchase across multiple platforms including iTunes, Amazon, and TUGG on May 15th.
I hope you’ll take the time to see this film and let me know about your own adventures and any leaps of faith you’ve taken with your child.