Tuesday, July 26, 2011

SOFT CONFERENCE 2011

The conference was wonderful. So many new families and families already met. Families who have lost much and families who have new! Many smiles and laughs and also tears shed! In this journey sometimes you can't help but wonder who will not be returning next year. You never want to sound down or negative but in this world you can't avoid it. A huge thank you to the Marohn family and the Cook family. It was an unbelievable conference for all.

I am so glad we had the opportunity to travel with Annabel to Chicago. Thank you to Mel, Tara, Carly and Colette for agreeing to our road trip. Mel and the girls did all the tourist type things. They saw the Astro's at Wrigley's field, ate deep dish pizza, saw blue man group, went to 2nd City to see comedians.

There were many things that were highlights of our conference like meeting Barb Farlow, Annie's mom who is doing so much for all of our children. Annie's life was cute way too short when doctors there in Canada decided her life wasn't worth saving. It is very sad but Barb has put so much of her time and energy into doing everything to change this.
Also, we were able to meet Annabel's Internet boyfriend Dawson. What a sweetie...his parents Josh and Renae are amazing and so much fun. I decided this conference needs to last a week at least so we can just spend time together with nothing going on but hanging out!
Also seeing Kelli and Akaiya...can I say this girl has grown so much. Kelli will be on the board next year for St. Louis.
Also, getting to know Krissy and Terre. We will be meeting up again. To new friends Maddison T18 and her little sister Emma, parents Micah and Angie. These are two busy parent with active little girls.
Getting to meet and hear Rick Santorum speak and hear his story of Isabella, 3 years old and Trisomy 18.

If you know that I took pictures and they aren't shown here I am having much trouble with one of the camera's I took photos with...I am hoping to work this out soon. I have many more to come.
Annabel returning from vacation to therapy!
The sightseeing bunch visiting us at the hotel...
Gabriella and Annabel visiting...
Annabel making sure her Team know what to do for the HOPE Stroll... 
This is new on Annabel's wish list...

Dawson, Annabel's internet boyfirend...He is even cuter in person!

Aniella, Dawson and Annabel getting tired from too many photos

Josh, Dawson's dad holding Annabel..

Annie's Mom T13, Barb Farlow (middle) with Annabel and Tara...

Annabel sleeping in the RV...

Chicago bound in the RV...

A huge reminder along the way...

No the RV isn't really moving, silly!

Carly, Mel and Colette

Tara and Mel

Just a few of the trisomy families participating in the Stroll for Hope

Girls attending the Astros game at Wrigley's Field

Annabel sleeping with her eye's opened...

Team Annabel, ready..set...GO!

Gabriel (Partial T18) and Annabel

8 comments:

Colleen said...

Cathy,

I was sad to hear that you all headed home on Saturday, before we had a chance to meet. But I certainly understand. I would love to have met all your lovely family!

We went to the picnic and had such a great time reconnecting with families we had not seen for several years, and remembering our sweet girl.

I'm so glad you went to the conference. SOFT was such an important influence in our daughters life. And I'm sure it is for you too.

Many, Many hugs for all of you, Colleen

ANewKindOfPerfect said...

The picture of Annabel, with her hand on Dawson's knee? Brought tears to my eyes! These kids are the epitome of COMPATIBLE with life!!

Janet said...

@new kind of perfect-i thought the same thing! love that pic and all the rest! annabel in drivers seat looking like, "no, it may NOT be running, but if you will turn this thing on, i will get us down the road!" looks like the tourist had a good time as well! like sage, annabel is very blessed with good big sisters! i think she and tara have an extra *special* bond? i recognize it from the way my tehya is with sage.
what great chance to meet all these families, so many inspirations!!! rick s. has been one of my favorite people for a long time! btw, we have passed that very same cross many times on our way to chicago! there are several as you go through missouri also. love that they are there and some idiot has not protested to have them removed:)

May said...

So much fun you all had! great that it was a big family trip out. The shot of her at the wheel shows me who's the boss!

Anonymous said...

I have been following your blog for about 2 years now and check in every day to keep up on things- Great pictures

Anonymous said...

Cathy,
It was SO great to finally meet you and Tara and of course, sweet Annabel. You are truly an inspiration in how you care for your precious girl.

Great pictures of a wild trip!!

Barb

Kathy said...

Looks like Team Annabel had a fabulous time in Chicago!

So great that you could make it a family trip and attend the conference with Annabel.

I am so very excited that you got to meet Barb (Annie's mom). I am blown away by her love and commitment to her precious Annie and all the T-Kids! Even though I have not personally met either of you, I admire and respect you both so much.

Hope you can get some R and R after such a productive time in Chicago. I can only imagine the networking and love that went on there. Hope everyone gleaned wisdom from each other and built up confidence and hope.

Love you girls!!!

Carla said...

I'm very much enjoying your photos and stories from the SOFT conference. I remember reading through their newsletters 11 year ago when we were expecting our son (T18). Sadly we weren't given very much time with him here on earth but it blesses me to see so many little treasures with trisomy. In my imagination I can picture my own Samuel there among them :)