It is hard for me to believe that it has been almost 14 years since my life changed drastically—for the better—when through the miracle of adoption I, Jill Stephenson, became a mom for the first time! Two years later I adopted my second child and it has been a rollercoaster ride ever since!
Both my son, Mac, now 14 and my daughter, Kit, now 11 have brought much joy, pride and meaning to my life. Of course, we have also had some difficult times and definite challenges, but that’s the same for any family. Mac and Kit both have Down syndrome, along with a variety of other health and/or behavioral issues, but more than anything they are fun, loving, intelligent, beautiful individuals. Of course, they have their moments when it’s not pretty—but, overall, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Mac is now a very proud high school freshman at Danbury High School. He has been active in school and community activities his whole life, participating in t-ball, baseball, soccer, basketball, play groups, theatre camp, leadership camp, church activities and a other things on a regular basis. Mac is currently a member of the golf team and is looking forward to basketball season as basketball is his favorite sport. Mac enjoys and thrives on being with his friends and being part of a group. In his spare time, he enjoys listening to music, hanging out with friends, checking his Facebook and watching videos. In the future, he wants to get a girlfriend, go to prom, get two jobs so he can buy a car and graduate. I hope those dreams become a reality for him.
Kit has just entered middle school at Danbury. Kit has also been involved in a number of activities over the years, but her favorites by far have been dance camp and cheerleading. She is in her second year of being a Stonecrusher cheerleader for the pee wee football team and she does a great job. Kit is also an avid animal lover. She spends a lot of time with our dog, Rosemary, and her new rabbit, Cheer. She enjoys grooming them, feeding them, reading to them and dressing them up! Kit likes to do “work” and will draw/write/doodle for hours, she also likes to do homework and play on her iPod. Kit is very interested in working and doing jobs; in the future, she would like to work in an office type environment or at Dairy Dock. She will definitely bring a spark of energy and enthusiasm to her job on a daily basis.
We have been involved with the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Toledo and their Buddy Walk for 13 years. Although, we LOVE attending the Buddy Walk we will miss this year’s due to a prior commitment. The DSAGT has been a wonderful resource to me and I have made some great friends through the group. I highly encourage anyone who is interested in enhancing the lives of individuals with Down syndrome to get involved. You will be glad you did! If you would like to learn more or to register for this year’s Buddy Walk go to www.dsagt.org. Ottawa County Board of DD will be joining this year’s event, so be sure to stop by their booth and say hello!