Sunday, October 9, 2016

Meet Jaycee: I Can...

This week for Down syndrome Awareness Month, I will be featuring a person with Down syndrome to celebrate and showcase their abilities. There will be many fantastic guest writers this week as they share about a loved one in their life with Down syndrome!

I'll be kicking this "I Can" series off with my own child, Jaycee.

Meet Jaycee

Jaycee being baptized at our church

This is Jaycee, and she can be part of a church!

From an early age, my husband and I have always tried to include Jaycee in our faith. From attending church, to listening to Christian music, to reading Bible stories to her, and praying over her, my husband and I wanted Jaycee to know and understand our faith as much as she could. Jaycee is now 10 years old and in 4th grade.

As Jaycee has gotten older, our desire has been to see Jaycee be loved by a church family. We do not want people in a church to look at her as someone who needs healing or must be pitied. We want her to be embraced by a church body who is willing to see the perfect spirit inside of her. We found that Jaycee has been accepted and loved by our church at Crossroads.

Jaycee loves attending church with her family and friends. Jaycee will often start signing to me on Saturday, "Church?"

I remind her that church is the next day. Then, she will go to her closet and select a dress for church in anticipation of Sunday. Jaycee happily carries her Bible in to her class (Kidz Lab) and is greeted by peers who speak to her. Some have asked me how to say certain things in sign language, so they can communicate better with her.

We love to see Jaycee enjoy church and have friends there. But, we love to see her growing in the faith as well. Jaycee was baptized 2 years ago with support of our church body, and she now participates in communion. Although, I am sure she wonders why the portions are so small!

Jaycee praying with peers at church

Jaycee's church class leader, Becky, has this to share about Jaycee:
Oh how I wish every kid felt as free to worship the Lord as Jaycee does. I am not exaggerating when I say she captivates us all. What a leader! Jaycee loves to be on stage, and she doesn't miss a beat when it comes time to worship and dance. She has no idea the joy she brings to everyone in the Kidz Lab. We have several kids that argue over who is going to get to sit by her on any given week. It's like she has her own personal paparazzi that follow her around. She is so well behaved and loves to learn about Jesus as much as she loves to praise Him. She is also a great big sister. She loves to hug on Elijah any time he will let her in class.

We feel blessed that Jaycee can be part of a church just like her father, brother, and I.

This post is for Down syndrome Awareness Month where bloggers write for all 31 days of October for Trisomy 21. I am part of this 31 for 21 challenge. During the month of October, the NDSS asks that we celebrate people with Down syndrome and make others aware of abilities and accomplishments. Individuals with Down syndrome have abilities that need to be celebrated!

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