Sunday, March 1, 2009

Meet an Advocate: Riley, Age 8

My oldest son, Riley, has become an advocate for individuals with special needs. He first found out that his baby sister had Down syndrome while I was pregnant with her. For anyone who hasn't met Riley, you must know that he is a very sensitive, gifted child. He has a beautiful heart. Riley's response to hearing that his baby sister, Quinn, had Down syndrome was excitment and happiness. He said that then his sister would be like this little girl from our church, Grace, who also so happens to have Down syndrome. Riley always loved Grace and saw all of this as a good thing. He said we could learn a lot. See things a different way than most people. Doesn't Riley have a beautiful heart? Remember my post about Jeff Daly and his little sister Molly? Maybe we adults should take a lesson or two from the children. Sometimes they seem to have it more together than we do. While I was crying and thought my world was going to end, Riley was excited about this new possibility. He is my hero, and I have certainly learned a lot from him and will certainly continue to learn.

Recently I heard a very cool story about Riley. He has been all about educating his classmates about Down syndrome. He has talked to them about his little sister, the Buddy Walk, and even had his teacher read a book about Down syndrome for story time. One day I was talking to my friend Maria on the telephone and she told me wonderful news. Maria's daughter (who has only seen Riley a couple of times) was in her Sunday School class, where there just so happened to be a little girl who was from Riley's elementary school, Hallie. Hallie shared with her class that she wanted to pray for Riley and his little sister who has Down syndrome. Riley's message of love and acceptance went all the way to this new group of children he never met. Riley is indeed my hero and if he can advocate and get his message to people he never even met, I certainly can do that too. Maybe I am doing that right now? I hope.


1 comment:

  1. That's just awesome Karyn! Thanks for my moring tears!!