We came home late this afternoon after a very long car ride due to construction, getting lost and crazy rain. I am glad to be back in our own space and the kids are too. We had a wonderful weekend at the Hudson Valley Resort with Yachad- the National Jewish Council on Disabilities. We met many wonderful families and professionals. The kids had a blast in daycamp while my husband and I attended many (too many? It did get a bit intense) great sessions. Some were more informational, others more personal where we had a chance to express our feelings and challenges.
In one of the sessions I had a chance to share something I had been struggling with for a while now and it was incredibly validating to have others understand that challenge and speak of their own similar experiences. There weren't necessarily any solutions, but some food for thought.
I met some wonderful young adults with Down Syndrome and it was encouraging to see how well they are doing and how accomplished they are.
I was hoping my daughter A. would meet some other siblings of children with special needs and notice the diversity of disabilities but the beauty of kids is that they often do not see differences. What she saw was lots of children with their families, spending shabbos together.
All in all, there were a lot of different experiences involved, and like the title of my blog says, I am still trying to process it all, to summarize the things I have learned, thoughts I had and emotions I felt. I can definitely say, though, that these experiences will stay with with me for a long time.