Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas From Our Home to Yours!

Merry Christmas.....from our home to yours! I hope everyone has a wonderful time with family and friends!

We spent our Christmas Eve morning enjoying a tradition Luke started 4 years ago. Our sweet 89 year old neighbor next door "gifts" Luke some of his loose change from time to time. Four years ago Luke received a huge bag of change from Andy around Christmas time. Later that day without saying anything to any of us Luke snuck tissue paper and tape into his room and wrapped up several "packages" of loose change. He then announced that he wanted to give these packages to the homeless. So, four years ago he started a tradition of putting packages together that we distribute Christmas Eve morning. It was such a beautiful morning as we drove about to find our "friends". A few years ago there was someone we had given a package to that stuck out in Luke's mind, so we went back to that particular area to see if we could find him...and we did. I think he was surprised when Luke called him by name to wish him a Merry Christmas. As we drove about it felt so good to know that this was something our son had instigated, and I could only imagine this being something he does with his own children some day.

Below is Luke putting change into little baggies that he then put into Christmas stocking type bags...he also added some granola bars, water, and toiletries.

Reid enjoyed the morning too.....but was ready for a nap so he could be all rested up to go to his grandma's this evening....and then wait for Santa's visit!

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Conversation Between "The Me Then" When We Just Learned of Reid's Diagnosis and "The Me Now"

When we received Reid's diagnosis three years ago on the day of his birth 12/28/06, I wanted so desperately to know about things that were absolutely impossible for me to know at that point...I wanted to know if we were going to be okay, if he was going to be okay, would he die because of his heart defect, when would he walk, would I love him the same way I loved Luke, how was this going to affect Luke and what would their relationship be like, will he have friends, will he be invited to birthday parties, would Reid be able to go to the same preschool Luke went to, would I always be sad that he had Down syndrome, how would this affect my extended family, why me, why us?

Back then there was just no way I could have had answers to any of those questions, the only thing I could do was put one foot in front of the other and trust that all would be okay as I inched forward and learned about this new world I was placed into. However, now that I am three years out I have some of that knowledge I was craving for. If I had been able to have had a conversation with the "Me Now" back in those first few days or weeks and given myself a pep talk or straight answers knowing what I know would have looked something like this.

The Me Then: They just told me Reid has Down syndrome, this has to be a mistake...I keep waiting for the doctors to come tell me they just checked the blood work and there was an error, but no one is coming in here and telling me that, everyone looks so sad. Why aren't they telling me it is a mistake??

The Me Now: Cheri he does have Down syndrome, in a few weeks you will have some tests run to see if he has a type called Mosaic but the answer is no, he has the traditional form of Trisomy 21.....but it is okay, you are going to be okay, I promise you. People in the hospital are quiet and seem sad because they don't know how to respond, and they are trying to let you digest the news I suppose.

The Me Then: But, no one has even asked us his name or congratulated us other than family

The Me Now: Sadly, you are going to find that most of your new friends you will be making who also have a child with Down syndrome experienced this same thing when their child was born, it is another thing you will have in common. But, you are fiesty and though you can't imagine it now at one point you will speak with hospital staff to make sure things change. In a few months a book is going to be coming out called Gifts written by moms who have children with Down syndrome and how much their children enrich their lives....your mother-in-law, fiesty in her own right ;), is actually going to become the "Gifts Fairy" at the hospital she is a labor and delivery nurse at....she purchases these books in bulk and keeps them in her locker and makes sure families are given these when a child with Down syndrome is born there....she wants to make sure no one has the same experience you had and wants to make sure these families know right away what blessings their babies are.

The Me Then: A cardiologist just came in the room and said they were going to take Reid down stairs for a chest x-ray and echocardiogram...what is going on?

The Me Now: You will soon learn that nearly 60% of babies with Down syndrome are also born with a congenital heart defect. Your cardiologist is amazing and is going to take good care of Reid....he is going to come back in here and tell you that Reid has two holes in his heart and a defective mitral valve. What this means is that Reid will need heart surgery to correct these. Reid will need to have surgery when he is 7 and a 1/2 months.....and don't freak out on me but he will actually need a second heart surgery just before he is two as there are some complications with his mitral valve....but he comes out of both surgeries just fine. At this point I can't tell you if there is a third but he is doing great and no longer requires any heart medicine.

The Me Then: How is Toby going to handle this?

The Me Now: Cheri, seriously how can you even ask this...remember it is Toby that you married, the man with the biggest heart you have ever met. Toby is already 5 steps ahead of you in accepting this. Do you remember when you were dating and you were sitting out front of your house in his big red truck...and you asked him where he ultimately saw himself in his career in the coffee industry and he responded by saying he wanted a coffee roasting facility where he could employ people with disabilities? Well, today with Reid's birth and diagnosis a new course has been set and that dream is realized for Toby and your family in Maranatha Import Export and very soon he will be able to bring on their first employee with special needs. In a few days from now you and Toby will discuss that dream and how amazing it is that that was on Toby's heart long before you two even knew you were to be married let alone know that Reid would be in your future. Toby will whisper to you, "We need to move forward with that dream, because Reid and his friends need jobs some day". You will both cry and hold each other, but deep inside you both know that something bigger than you is being set in motion.

The Me Then: What about Luke...will he be disappointed that his brother has Down syndrome? Do we tell him right away or do we wait?

The Me Now: Luke is so amazing with his brother, he is perfect for Reid. You and Toby decide not to tell him for awhile, actually you don't tell him until right before Reid's first Buddy Walk at 9 months. You were afraid it would burden Luke and worry him, in a way I think you were protecting him by wanting him to love Reid wholeheartedly before you gave him the news....but even if you had given him the news earlier Luke would of still felt the same way about Reid....absolutely crazy about him! In fact Down syndrome doesn't bother Luke in the least, he actually acts like he has met a movie star when he sees someone else with Down syndrome and shouts out to alert you....umm yeah, you might want to talk to him about that one. ;)

The Me Then: What about our families, how do they handle it?

The Me Now: Well, let me put it this way, when you first bring him home from the hospital and a neighbor tells you they heard the bad news about Reid's diagnosis your father-in-law steps in and says, "No, there's no bad news here, this little guy found just the right family and we all have a lot of love to give him". And that is the case, your families love him and are excited with each new milestone he achieves. Early on your family asks you what they can do, if they can bring dinner, if there is anything you need... and you decide that what would help you the most is if they each read the book Babies with Down syndrome so they all had a resource on Down syndrome and knew what you were dealing with. You purchased the books and gave them out as late Christmas presents. You had the book too, but your mom is amazing and when she came over one day she brought something up she read in the book and you realize she is way farther ahead than even you. And your mother-in-law, she sees to it that you are stocked with every book on Down syndrome out there and purchases the most beautiful sign language cards and kit to get you started for when you and Reid are ready. No, no need to worry about your have the most incredible extended family and support, not to worry a bit.

The Me Then: Will I always feel sad?

The Me Now: You will feel sad for awhile, you will actually feel a lot of very tough raw emotions and my best advice is to let yourself feel them, it is a natural part of accepting this diagnosis for your son. But, I have to tell you that you are mostly feeling these things because you are scared and don't know what to expect for yourself or for Reid. But no, you will not always feel sad. In fact, you will find yourself saying at one point, "If I knew then what I know now I would not have shed a tear". As I am writing this to you with knowledge of three years under my belt I can confidently tell you how much you love and adore this little guy and there isn't room enough for sadness. Though you feel so sad about his diagnosis now, you will soon see that his extra chromosome becomes a non issue....he is such an incredible blessing Cheri. You are about to gain a new perspective on life as a result of this diagnosis, you are about to become a stronger, more loving and compassionate you....a better you.

The Me Then: One thing that is making me sad is the fact that Reid won't go to the same preschool that Luke goes to....and we love it so much. It makes me sad that Reid won't have the same experiences as Luke.

The Me Now: Again, your assumptions are based on the unknown, remember you don't know a lick about Down syndrome yet! But, good news is.....your little Reid does go to the same preschool Luke did. You actually shared with Luke's preschool teacher right after Reid was born with tears in your eyes that he won't be able to go there, her response to you was, "You never know....". She reminds you of that on the first day of school as Reid wandered in to sit with the other kids and she gave you a big, "See, he did it hug".

The Me Then: When I look at him it is hard for me not to see the Down syndrome, will I always feel like this?

The Me Now: In about a month you are going to meet a family who also has a child with Down syndrome. Their child is a few years older than Reid and they will tell you that there will come a point that you will not even see the Down syndrome. You come to find this to be true as well a few months out, in fact you find it amazing when people come up to you at Disneyland or the grocery store and mention they have a neice or nephew or friend with Down syndrome and you wonder how they knew to say that to you.

.....I need to throw one other thing in, there comes a point where you find such beauty in Down syndrome, the features that once scared you you find absolutely adorable. In fact, I am not sure when this occurred but even though Reid's nickname is Bubbas you always greet Reid with arms stretched out and by saying, "Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii beautiful!!!!!". No, you don't see Down syndrome, you see Reid...and an absolutely beautiful little person that you feel so incredibly lucky to call your son.

The Me Then: Is all of this my fault? Reid was an invitro baby and I am feeling so guilty that maybe I brought this on?

The Me Now: Cheri, no invitro had nothing to do with it. It is a genetic fluke that can happen to anyone. However, you come to believe that he is not a fluke at all. Do you remember going through the process and praying that if you were to get pregnant that God would choose who you were to trusted then that He would choose the child you were to have and you have to choose to believe that now as well. Your infertility specialist confirms this to you in a few ask her the same question and her response will be to you that she can't explain why he made it and not his twin who you carried early on. She told you the only way she could explain it was that he was suppose to be here.

The Me Then: This isn't how I pictured my life, I don't know how to be a parent of a child with special needs.

The Me Now: No one pictures this for themselves and chooses least not at first. Cheri you will fall so in love him with that you don't care about his extra chromosome and you wouldn't want to change a thing about him. You will be so in love with him and his friends that it will absolutely break your heart when you learn that babies in other countries born with Down syndrome are cast aside, put in orphanages and institutions where their outlook is grim if not adopted. Seriously, you who is laying here so heavy hearted and worried would choose this again, you'd choose Reid and his extra chromosome all over again, and you'd adopt every baby out there in those orphanages if you could. And, interestingly enough most of the people who adopt children with Down syndrome already have a child with Down you are about to learn what others parents already know, these babies are not burdens as society may indicate they are beautiful souls with so much love and life to give to this world.

The Me Then: Will I love Reid the same way I do Luke?

The Me Now: Cheri, I completely understand that question because I think it is more common than not to wonder if you could ever love another child as much as you love your first....but if you are asking me that because secretly what you really want to know is if his extra chromosome and the hurdles he will have to overcome will in some way inhibit you from loving him as much as Luke........then without hesitation my answer to you is, No, no way, you absolutely love him every ounce as much as Luke, so much so that at times it takes your breathe away. Your little Reid, the baby you have in your arms who is just hours old is actually going to teach you so much more about love and depth and beauty than you can even imagine at this point, but trust me.... he is an amazing teacher, and ohhhhh soooo cute!

The Me Then: Will he be invited to birthday parties?

The Me Now: Yes. The truth is he is actually invited to more parties in his first three years of life than even Luke was. He is also really popular around Luke's friends....when you are out on the playground after school picking Luke up, Reid tootles along and gets hellos, high fives, "knuckles", and hugs from so many of the kids. He gets a lot of positive attention and this little ham of yours eats it up.

The Me Then: I will really be okay with this?

The Me Now: Yes, so much more than okay.....go snuggle your new love and take a deep breath. The road you are embarking on some might call the road less traveled, but the ones who have gone before you will tell you, as I am confirming now, that it is beautiful..... enjoy the view!

<span class=

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Christmas Angel On Our Tree

We have a new angel ornament on our tree and his name is Andrey, he is just precious. He is one of many little ones who have been placed in orphanages because of their extra chromosome. I look up at him on my tree and I just sigh every time I pass by knowing he doesn't have a mom or dad to love him. He looks like such a combination of my boys. I learned of Reece's Rainbow Christmas Angel Tree Project last year but it wasn't until this year that we participated. Earlier in the month I pulled up the site and told Luke to look through and see if there was a little one he thought we should support. Right away Luke picked out Andrey by saying, "Awwwww, Mom I like this little guy!" in the sweetest of voices. I had actually seen him several times as well and felt the same way so that was it, we sent off our money and we received an ornament with his picture on it. A few days afterwards I went back to the site to check on Andrey to see if there happened to be any information on him. There was some information regarding his health but what got me the most.......was when I noticed his birthdate. Insert watery eyes here. This precious little boy was born on the exact same day and year as Reid. They will both be three on December 28th. It got really personal for me at that point. The last three years have been so heightened for us as we've navigated this new road. It has been full with therapy and surgeries and adjustment and much love and snuggles and laughter and just so much joy. When I think of this sweet Andrey being born that same day with such a different fate, well it makes me just cry. If you have thought about sponsoring a child please consider this sweet little one or one of his friends found here. The deadline to receive an ornament with the child you sponsor is Tuesday December 15th, though you can still sponsor a child up through December 31st.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Change In Plans & Feeling Contemplative

Well, this evening we are suppose to be at one of our favorite Christmas parties of the year....and this year's theme is Polar Express where all the kids come in their jammies and listen to the story read by the host, and then Santa comes with toys for everyone. But, our boys are both under the weather so unfortunately we needed to keep them home. So, my alternate plans? out the fridge and freezer...somehow this just does not compare to getting all dolled up and heading out for Christmas cheer and celebration. What a bummer!

Well, with this unexpected opening in my evening and with the house being quiet with feverish kiddos and with the rain tapping outside on my windows I figured maybe I would use this time to put a few thoughts down that have been swirling around in my head. I have been thinking a lot lately about Reid's upcoming birthday. Reid will be turning three in a few weeks, so hard to believe on so many levels and yet I am really glad to be here, three years out. Don't get me wrong, I love the baby stage and savor each milestone and I actually love diapers...I'll be sad when diapers are gone forever around here..... but somehow Reid turning three is just so sweet for me and I have been feeling very contemplative and reflective lately on those early days and very raw emotions we experienced. I am working on a couple different posts and hope to share in the next few days... so many amazing things actually happened those first few days after Reid's birth that I have not shared yet on my blog that we took as signs that we would be okay, and, of course three years later we are so much more than okay!! But, I am working on sharing those stories....

Until then, here are a few pictures from earlier in the week when my guys were feeling better and decorating some Christmas cookies.

I just love to see the love these two boys have for eachother!!


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Nooooooo, MINE!!!!!!!! Celebrating 2 Word Sentences, Even If They Are These 2 Words :)

In speech therapy we have been focusing on getting Reid to string two words together. This has been slow going getting him to do this consistently on his own. However, this morning he clearly said, "Noooooooooo, MINE!" while whisking a book away from Luke. Hooray......we'll take it, even if it is a phrase that poor Luke probably would have been reprimanded for had he been the one to say it :). But, for Reid, we'll take those two words as a celebration! This means something is triggering and perhaps we are on the verge of several two words connections....

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I Can't Believe It's Been A Year... Heart Update

I can hardly believe it was a year ago today that our littlest guy came out of the operating room looking like this.... For those new to our blog, this was Reid's second open heart surgery. The first was to fix an ASD, a VSD, and his mitral valve when he was 7 months old. The second surgery, just before his 2nd birthday, was to further repair the mitral valve which had some moderate to severe leakage. The surgery seemed a success at first but then things went a little south and it was thought he would need to go back into the operating room for surgery # three to replace the valve altogether with a metal one before he would be released...which quite possibly could have caused more complications and more surgeries down the road. However, long story short (or read here for posts from that time) over a course of several hand wringing days his swelling and excess fluid had dissipated and they decided to send us home to see if we could get a few more years out of his own valve before needing to completely replace it. But............ drumroll please...........I have not updated on his heart (shame on me) until now and as of last month he is now completely heart medicine FREE......AND his last echo showed a near perfect heart. The cardiologist said that if he keeps on like this there will not be a need for another surgery. Makes this mom's own heart very, very happy!!

Reid's surgery happened to be scheduled on Toby's 40th birthday.....which means TODAY is his birthday.....Happy Birthday Toby! We love you!

Below are pictures of what his little "zipper" looks like today, Reid in his "I did it" shirt because it just seems appropriate, and then him just being his little hambone self!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

This Just Has to Be Shared....Such a Beautiful Thanksgiving Miracle

What a way to wake up on Thanksgiving Day and learn of this beautiful miracle, this beautiful heart of an 11 year old, and the goodness and awesomeness of God to make this all happen. My words cannot give what has occurred justice so please first read here to read the beginning of this amazing story and then read here to hear what has occurred just 8 days later. I am just so humbled by this family and their willingness to act upon the whispers and tugging on their heart for an orphaned child with Down syndrome. And...I am so encouraged by a community that helped make it financially possible. How many times do we ignore those little tuggings and never know what could have been.... and yet when we do act, or more appropriately "respond"....look at what true beauty can take place!

By the way.....what you are about to read happened because 300 people donated a small amount. 300 people......that's it, just 300 hundred. That number resonates with me because as big as our world is it should be so easy to get each and every one of those precious children out of those orphanages if only we would all act upon those small whispers and nudging.....I so hope we can!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving...From My Favorite Little Indian

From where I sit it is 7:00 pm Wednesday evening and as far as I am concerned......the long holiday weekend has begun! I LOVE, LOVE this time of year. I love turkey and stuffing and all the trimmings and I love the warm aroma that just envelopes the house. I love the time with family to reflect on the year and share what we are thankful for. Actually, I just asked Luke what he was thankful for and his quick response was,"My friends and family". Truly, what could be better! I too am so thankful for my fact each Thanksgiving Toby reminds me of a little story that occurred before we were even a family....and my fingers keep typing so I guess I am going to share that story :). Before Toby and I were engaged and he and I were "ring shopping" we came across a ring that I thought could be "the one" so I put it on my finger and stretched my hand out in front of me to take a look at it...and I guess I had a dreamy look on my face so Toby asked me what I was thinking. I laugh now thinking about it because it is such a "Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus" moment as I am sure he was thinking more about how much $$ it was going to cost him, but my response to him was, "I am trying to picture myself stuffing a Thanksgiving turkey with this ring on, for our future family". LOL. And, yes, I will be stuffing a Thanksgiving turkey for my family and my beautiful boys that I absolutely, absolutely adore....with THAT ring on my finger! ...and yes Toby will remind me tomorrow of the story and we'll laugh and look around at our little family that we could only have imagined back then....and we'll be ever so grateful and thankful!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone
from the Foreman's and our cute little Indian.

These pictures were taken at his school "corn feast parade".

My favorite little Indian

This was when he first spotted me, lol,...I tried to hide at first so he would walk in the parade.

Reid's "cheesy" smile.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"I'm Sweating Through My Eyes"

Yesterday's game was an emotional one...and it turned out that we would only play the first game. The boys were heartbroken and even though they are 8-10 year olds most of the boys were crying by the end of the game when the coach huddled everyone together. I stood back to listen and could tell the coach was getting choked up too.... which meant so much. As I mentioned yesterday, this team was one of those teams that you just have to treasure because you know it is not going to be the normal experience. It was truly a love fest last night as we had our final party, all the parents were so grateful for this particular season and so grateful for such genuine men who really took the time to truly coach these boys in such a meaningful way . Luke was "gifted" the goalie shirt to keep, it melted my heart when I saw the surprised and touched look on his face when he understood what they were doing. This morning I asked him how he was feeling and he said he missed his coach and his teammates already......and after a few quiet moments he said, "Mom, I'm not crying....I'm sweating through my eyes". What a little character!! :)


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Soccer Season Must Come to an End....

Boo hoo, I am sad to say today will end the best soccer season we have experienced yet for Luke. We were so fortunate to have landed on such a a great team with really great "teaching" coaches. The boys learned a lot about playing strategically, and you could certainly see their growth over the last few months. Luke was groomed into the goalie position and he LOVES it. At the beginning of the season I dreaded when they would put Luke in the is so hard on a mom to watch her little guy under so much pressure! But, over the season he grew in skill, was given the nickname "titanium wall" (which he eats up by the way ;) ), and this mom screamed so loud last game she lost her voice...yes I have become one of those crazy soccer moms! But, it was an intense game (actually two) that lent this little team who had actually only won one game to play today in the final championships. We potentially have 3 games today depending on how they do, concluding with our end of the season party. So fun!

You know what else I love about this team??? These boys...all on their own, decided to make Reid their mascot. They surprised us by having a little jersey made for him just like the team players. Every half time they call Reid over into their circle and they chant his name while he dances. It's made me cry a few times...sooo sweet these boys are!


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hey, What's Going On Around Here??? =)

Hmnnnnn, apparently I am having some technical difficulties with my blog background and signature, so I 've sent an email to the gal who created it for hopefully we'll be back up and running without the crazy messaging on the sides...don't know what that is all about. Orrrrr maybe it is time for me to go "Christmasy" like some of my favorite blogs have done. We'll see.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Benefit Dinner...for the Newest Special K!

In my last post I mentioned that we were going to see a documentary called I-Heart Revolution. It dealt with highlighting social injustice in this world and definitely stirred emotions to move a person to action. I think one thing I walked away with was a more heightened realization how young girls, particularly in India are trafficked for prostitution, it just broke my heart. Then the very next day I was reading a blog I love to follow of a family who are in the process of adopting several children internationally when it came to their attention that it is very possible these children's biological parents do not know what is happening, they do not realize they are being adopted out. So the adoption is at a stand still obviously....and now a new fight is on their hands to protect these children, but how? And how does one do anything to help when the social issues are all so much bigger than ourselves?

As a family we decided that we would all do "something"...even if in the scheme of things it is a small something, it is still "something" and for that we feel good to be apart of a tiny sliver of hope. For each of us it looks a little different but after having Reid... and learning about Reece's Rainbow and the many, many children with Down syndrome cast aside with a grim future... that has became our passion. A person cannot help but be pained when perusing the site, knowing these little ones are without a family....all because they have an extra chromosome.

A while back I mentioned on my blog about a benefit dinner we were trying to help organize for Reece's Rainbow, but was postponed. Well, it was rescheduled to last Saturday and it went so beautifully!!! I am so grateful for the heart and generosity of our friends who a year ago began hosting benefit dinners every other month where the proceeds would go toward a different cause. We had mentioned Reece's Rainbow once as a possible charity and they were on board from the start... They left it up to us how we wanted the funds to be used and we decided more than anything we just want these little ones home with their "Forever Families" as soon as possible and so we decided we wanted to help a very special family, The Garcia's, get closer to their fundraising goal. We are so excited to say that we were able to raise $2,o51 for their family and their newest Special K. Many of you who follow this blog are also very familiar with Renee and Life with my Special K's....if not you can click here to find your way over to their adoption blog and follow the beautiful unfolding story for yourself as they are right smack dab in the middle of the process of getting their little girl.

Our hosts Mike and Nancy were so generous to open their beautiful home and Steve who is our favorite IT guy by day and favorite "chef" by night created the meal from scratch.....and as you can see from the pictures it was not just a was truly art, the most delicious art ever! :) It was simply... elegantly delicious! Can you see from the pictures the pumpkins he used for serving dishes?! So creative and fun! (BTW, Steve and his beautiful wife Meghan are expecting their first baby....and they found out just today they are having a little boy!)

As part of the benefit dinner it is suggested that each person donate $35 toward the cause at hand. However, to raise additional funds for the Garcia's, Nancy mentioned having a raffle of items....and it was so fun!! Below you can see several people adorn with oodles of tickets! Nancy provided beautiful gift baskets, a tower of toys (see pictured below that the children were all putting their raffle tickets toward), wine, ....and we even had a beautiful blanket donated by Heather, Zoey's mom, that was a hit amongst the girls in the group! (Thank you Heather!) You can click here to read about the incredible heart behind these blankets. But wait that's not was also casino night, so lots of chips were being traded....and guess who raked in the most chips at the roulette table??? Luke! :)

I am sorry this post is long...but so much to share! I wanted to point out that in the pictures below Nancy and her two daughters are wearing Reece's Rainbow shirts! Adoption is something very dear to their hearts, as both of their daughters were adopted from Russia....and can you see that the youngest's shirt is written in Russian?! How cool is that?!!

To open the evening Toby and I shared a bit of our hearts and shared the newest Reece's Rainbow ministry video with the group. Afterwards we had many people, including men, share with us that seeing these orphaned children brought tears to their eyes. I love that we also had an opportunity to share this cause with those unfamiliar with it! Mike, Nancy, Steve, and Meghan...............THANK YOU, from the bottom of our hearts for making this beautiful evening possible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Toby and I had the opportunity to share about Reece's Rainbow and our precious ones with Down syndrome....and share via the TV the newest Reece's Rainbow video
Our amazing chef for the evening

..and his beautiful wife Meghan

...and we can't forget Mason! :)

What a little flirt Reid is!!!!!!
We've created a new gambler I am afraid! :)
Gifts baskets, blanket, and "Tower of Toys" for the raffle
A few of our ticket purchasers :)
and Vanna....oops I mean Danielle!

I was so excited that this sweet young lady won Zoey's blanket!
Little Reid at the end of the evening...absolutely konked out!
...and poor Steve was absolutely WIPED out by the end of the evening, and understandably so!