Monday, March 28, 2011

Wrestling, People with Disabilities, and the NCAA

Ok so if you know our family at all, you know we LOVE wrestling!! We have lived and breathed it for way too long! :) Our 2 oldest sons, who are now almost 23 and 21, have wrestled for years, through pee wee wrestling and beyond. They were both 3 time Colorado State placers in high school and one of them was a Colorado State Champion! Now he is wrestling for the Colorado School of Mines and qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championships this year! So cool!!! :)

And.....if you know anything about our family, you will know we are an adoptive family and that we have 3 little girls with Down syndrome as well! Just in the last 2 years, our family has grown by 4. To be more exact, between April 17, 2009 (Madalyn's birth) and October 14, 2010 (our girls' Gotcha Day), we added 4 kids to our family!! Wow!!! That is really only a year and a half! (I don't normally think of it that way and no wonder I am sooo tired!!). hee hee!! We gave birth to our precious peanut with DS, adopted our little pumpkin (our youngest son through foster care) and then proceeded to go to a certain Eastern European country to adopt 2 more sweet girls with DS. Wow! Geez!! & Yikes!!! :))

Anyway... all our other children are pretty "typical" and the world of people with disabilities was basically new to us. We got a crash course pretty fast, though, and I have to say that I am soooo glad we did!! What a crazy, busy, always interesting life!!!!!

But that is actually not the point of this blog post.....

I saw
this article about a young man who won the NCAA Division I National Championships in wrestling and I was automatically interested! This young man is doing this with a disability!!! He only has 1 leg!!! It was just so cool to me and I just had to share his story!!! A combination of all things wrestling and disabilities! I just think it is awesome and I hope you will too!!

Here's a little video of one of our younger sons wrestling! His older brothers will be quite proud of him!! Daniel is in the purple.

This is a video of our son, Jordan, during one of his matches at the NCAA Division II championships in Nebraska a couple of weeks ago. Jordan is in the blue and the other young man is from Belmont Abbey. Not sure where that is, but it is another Division II school somewhere.. :)) Oh, yea and please ignore the stressed out mom of the wrestler comments you can hear in the video! hee hee You can turn the volume down on the media player.

My point from showing you the above videos is so you can see how hard they have to work to wrestle with 2 legs! If you watch their legs, you will realize how much they use them during the match. Both legs!! I can't imagine this young man winning a national championship with only 1 leg! Truly Amazing!!! I wish I could see a video of that!!!!!

Here's a pic and part of
the article....

PHILADELPHIA - Anthony Robles finished his NCAA wrestling career in history-making fashion. Robles, who was born without a right leg, took a 7-1 decision from Iowa sophomore Matt McDonough to win the 125-pound title at the NCAA wrestling championships Saturday. The Arizona State senior got the only takedown in the first period of the match and worked a pair of tilts to secure five back points. "I had a lot of butterflies going out there.," said Robles, who admitted he's most likely done as a competitive wrestler but wants to remain involved in one facet or another. "This year I think that was the biggest difference in my wrestling, was my mental game. Going into every match I was real relaxed, real calm. But before that, before this match, it was nothing but butterflies. I felt like I was going throw up, I was so scared I almost started crying. "But it's just the atmosphere. It's the true athletes that are able to just overcome that." Pretty neat!!

So to end this post....above are the pictures/videos of wrestling and the NCAA.....

Below is a picture of the sweet, cute, amazing, smart, wonderful, and did I mention cute and amazing " people with disabilities" part of this post?!

If these 3 are a "picture" of people with disabilities, then where can a get some more?? :)) Oh yea, at the
Reece's Rainbow website! That's where we found 2 of our precious treasures! You better go look, you might find your little precious one there too!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Looking Back and Something Huge

Do you recognize these faces?

Look familiar?

These are the sweet little faces that we prayed over and stared at and hung onto while we worked and waited during our adoption process last year. So so precious!!

But they almost don't even look like the sweet faces of today!!

Victoria (Magda)

Anna (Arianna)

What an amazing difference!!

Looking back on this day, 2 years ago (March 17, 2009), the day we found out that our first and only little girl after 6 boys would be born with a heart defect, duodenal atresia, and Down syndrome. As you probably can guess (or in some cases, you know), that kind of news is quite a shock. Especially when you are not expecting it! It was a crazy few months of our life.

We did not realize it then, but that little girl would turn out to be one of the biggest blessings of our life! And she would be the inspiration for something else to come, something huge!

I don't need to go into the details of all the feelings that come when you are handed that diagnosis of DS, because I think most people either know from experience or can probably imagine what it feels like. I do think you can never really know how it feels unless you've experienced it, but I also think that is why the abortion rate in this country is so high for babies who are prenatally diagnosed with DS. People are just so afraid of it I guess...

Anyway, what most people don't know about is the love. And the joy. And the most amazing wonderful blessing they would have, if they would just allow it into their lives!! There is something very special and unique and wonderful about a child/person with Down syndrome!!

Fast forward to March 18, 2010 -- a year ago tomorrow. All of our paperwork had been sent in to Reece's Rainbow and it was finally official that we were committing to adopt "Magda" and "Arianna".

One year ago tomorrow!!!

Wow that is just amazing to me! And just 7 short months later almost to the day (it actually seemed very long at the time), we were stepping off an airplane after just having crossed the great Atlantic, with 2 brand new daughters in tow. So cool and so amazing and so huge!! And so very much a God thing!!

We are so very thankful for the blessing of our sweet daughter Madalyn, who opened our eyes to the world of Down syndrome. Thank you Jesus!! Without her, we would not have our little Victoria and Anna!!

Also for the ministry of Reece's Rainbow who showed us where our daughters were. (And who work tirelessly to find homes for so many orphans with special needs). What an wonderful organization which is helping SAVE the LIVES of orphans!!!

My 3 little beauties

Toria and Madalyn getting tired of picture taking

Anna telling a big story. She's always "saying" something! :)

And now here I sit, 5 months later, with my little girls playing on the floor beside me! What an amazing journey this last 2 years has been! I am one busy Mommy right now. 7 kids at home...ages 12,9,7,3,2,2,23 months. (Madalyn will be 2 exactly one month from today). But I could not be happier and I wouldn't trade my life for anything!!

Our family is so blessed!!
And your ears will hear a word behind you, "This is the way, walk in it", whenever you turn to the right or to the left. Isaiah 30:21

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Psalm 139:13-16

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.