This is for “The Great Eight.” I think you need to know this about each of yourselves individually and as a whole.
Katina Marie Wei Bo:
You are the bravest person I have ever met. You left everything you knew to have the love of a family. You have done all of it with such grace and positivity. It has amazed me! You are a strong, smart, and happy woman. Your zest for life is contagious. You know just how to make me smile. It is such an honor to call you my daughter. Never let anyone sell you short. Never sell yourself short. You are seriously so talented and outstanding in so many ways. The world is your oyster. Crack that baby open!!!
Gabe you are the most kind hearted, loving, mature 12 year old I have ever known. You are quite simply amazing. You have an old, old soul. Your heart feels deeper than most could ever even hope to feel. Seize upon that. It’s a gift. You will change this world in so many ways that I can’t even hope to foresee. Never let anyone beat the gentle out of you. This characteristic that lies deep within you makes you feel other people’s struggles. You understand the world and its problems far better than most adults. Never stop seeing the possibilities. Never stop believing you can change the world because you can…you will!
First of all, thank you! I feel like you changed nearly everything about how I see the world. How could I ever pay you back for that? I believe it is an impossible task. You challenge me to be a better person every single day of my life. I still have a long, long, long way to go to be as loving, forgiving, and as patient as you. Please continue to be patient with me on my journey. Keep telling me how much you love me. It melts my heart. Continue to change the way the world sees not only you, but all people with Down syndrome. Take center stage son, and use your voice now!
Bo Hansen Zhi:
You are my personal court jester. 🙂 You know how to make the entire room laugh, and pay attention to you. You are so insanely clever! You know just how to bend people to your will, and be glad they did so. That stubborn streak will serve you well throughout your life. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s a bad thing. Thank you for your humor and love. Thank you for letting me be your hero. I don’t deserve it, but I love it!
Michelle DeFore Yue:
Elle Belle you are one of a kind! You are an absolute sponge for new information. No matter what the topic, you can’t wait to take it all in. Always asking tough questions like, “what is a brain.” Keep asking the questions. Hold people accountable. Demand answers. You can unlock great mysteries by asking great questions! I also love how you like to prolong things you enjoy. You will ask for 10 more kisses, one more song, one more book. You know what you like, and you should take the time to enjoy more of those things! Always do what you love! If you do, you will live a fulfilling life.
You see the world so differently from the vast majority of people on this planet. You see everything through this uber creative and fanciful lens. School may be a little challenging for you because of this, but I beg you to channel it in a positive direction that is authentically you. You are a square peg, and square pegs don’t belong in round holes. Do NOT conform. The world needs people like you. Those who march to the beat of their own drum, and see the beauty in the mundane. You are sensitive and passionate. All of these things will fall in your favor when you learn how to put them together synergistically! Keep rocking it Griff!!!
Maelyn Ju Ann:
Oh my sweet, skeptical, curious daughter! From the moment you were put into our arms you looked at us with such skepticism. To this day, every new event, person, environment, and task you meet with that same level of skepticism. I love it! It keeps us all on our toes and in our place. You also are the little mama. You love to lead your siblings, and make sure they are on the right path. If not, you are the first to correct them. Never be a follower Mae. You are a natural born leader. You will lead people in the right direction due to your conscientious personality. Lead on sweet girl!
Genevieve Jo Li:
You my dear are a natural born lover. You can’t get close enough to me. I think if you could melt into me you would. You also are always sure your “opinions” get heard one way or the other. People know where they stand with you. It’s a trait that demands respect. Then you can turn on that adorable smile laced with your sweet dimples. People don’t know what hit them! Keep demanding respect little one! Be one worthy of that respect too! Don’t forget to smile!
Now to “The Great Eight” as a whole:
You can see all of you have such amazing, unique gifts. Don’t let that ever be a divide amongst yourselves. Build each other up. Support one another. Laugh together. Have fun together. There will be many people that enter your lives that don’t add positive energy or support. NEVER let that happen amongst the eight of you. You are “The Great Eight!” You are all amazing as individuals. Together you are UNSTOPPABLE! Be each other’s biggest fans. You have a whole world out there waiting to tear you down. Family is where all of you can be anything you want to be. If ever you are in doubt of that, just come home. You’ll have a whole team of 9 other people waiting to cheer you on and build you back up. That’s my promise to you. You are favorite people in the entire world. Your dad and I will never let you forget that. Go out there and be awesome! I love you all so much it hurts…hurts so good!