Hey, 19!!

Brian will complete 19 times around the sun in a few days and I’m still trying to wrap my head around it…Where have the years gone? As much as time seems to stand still, (especially in those challenging moments of raising a disabled son) it has truly flown by! There have been lots of wonderful moments, memories, and joy over the past 19 years, as well as heartbreaks, heartaches, and disappointments. As a result, I have mixed emotions regarding Brian’s birthday: it’s a wonderful milestone, especially of how far he has come along, but his birthday is also an annual reminder of just how much has remained exactly the same and always will, despite the progress. It’s bittersweet for sure…

To Brian, his birthday is just another day: gifts are irrelevant, but cake and ice cream are new favorites this year. He loves his life and his activities /routines which are the best gifts as far as Brian is concerned, on his birthday or during an ordinary day. That is what is most important and for which I am extremely grateful…But I still have birthday wishes for my Joy Ambassador. It is important to have dreams for our children no matter who they are or how old they are. At the end of the day, parents just want their children to experience life to the full and for them to know how much they are loved. Isn’t that true for all of us? My husband and I try our best to expose Brian to different experiences and demonstrate our love. Brian is generally a happy and a very loving young man, so it appears we have been successful in our endeavors, at least most of the time. Here are the birthday wishes for my Beautiful Boy:

Dearest Brian,

Here are my birthday wishes for you:

1. Son, may you always know how much you are loved- which is to the moon and back!! 😘😘😘😘😘😘❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

2. May you be blessed with good health- Brian, you have had your share of medical challenges over the years and have faced each one with great resilience and courage! Dad and I pray that you always remain strong, no matter what comes your way…💪🏻 💪🏻

3. May you be open to new experiences- I know this is not easy and takes time, but you benefit in so ways from new opportunities…

4. May your lonely moments be very few- No one likes to be alone and I know that you especially love to be in the company of others!

5. May you remain joyful! Brian Michael, you have been blessed with a sweet nature and a happy heart, which is your hallmark and gift to the world . This has been true since your arrival, despite the challenges of Down syndrome and autism. Sometimes your disabilities threaten to take away these beautiful qualities. It is not easy and you have a lot on your daily plate, but ultimately you prevail!

6. May you continue to bless those who are put in your path- Everyone who knows you speaks of your beautiful smile, big hugs, and loving personality. You appreciate many things that most of us take for granted. Dad and I look at life through a more appreciative lens because of you..

7. May you continue to learn and progress to the best of your ability- We wish progress, not perfection, in all that you do. It doesn’t matter what it is, or how long it takes, as long as “it” makes you happy and enhances your quality of life. We will do everything to support you. You are amazing! ❤️😊👍🏻

8. May you always have a “voice” to communicate what you need, how you feel, and what is important. This is tricky, and while augmentative communication is helpful, we don’t always know exactly what is on your mind. It is our wish that with time and practice, we can empower you more with the necessary words, for your “voice” matters!

9. May you always know how much Dad and I love you, no matter where life takes you or what happens..Brian, you have forever changed us for the good and are etched deeply in our hearts, our bond is complete and unbreakable! ❤️❤️❤️

10. Dearest Brian, may you continue to be in the palm of God’s hand, exactly where you need to be! He created you and sent you to us from Heaven. It’s hard to believe, but God loves you more than we do and knows His plans for your life. I know you trust Him for all of those details by your pure heart and trusting nature, even when Dad and I waver in our faith. Sometimes, we do find it difficult to believe in the midst of your trials, but your courage and perseverance tells us to do otherwise. We will continue to ask for God’s wisdom/ guidance, follow your lead, and take huge leaps of faith with you into the future, while living and loving with you in the present. I believe this is the best birthday gift we could give you.❤️❤️❤️❤️

All of our love, hugs, kisses, and hopes…

The Joy Ambassador ❤️❤️❤️

Mom and Dad 😘😘😘😘❤️❤️❤️❤️

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