Friday, March 25, 2016

CFA, BBQ, and DS

Social media is a cultural phenomenon that often gets a bad rap.  I am well aware of the dangers of bullies, creeps, and just down nasty things that you can encounter on social media.  Many people are leery of putting too much info out there (rightfully so) and some don't think twice about spilling everything.  (Think teenager sharing photos of themselves smoking pot or underage drinking and disclosing the location where such things are happening).  Despite what anyone thinks, nothing and I do mean nothing, that you put on social media is private.  

Needless to say, social media is a powerful thing.  Properly harnessed can be used for a lot of good.  I love the ability to keep up with my college friends that live all over the world.  I love being able to quickly get the word out about needs that arise in our community, church, or circle of friends.  As the parent of a special needs child, social media has been the main way that I have built my support system for this journey.  

What a blessing it has been to connect with families from all over the world who also have loved ones with an extra chromosome.  Though we haven't met most of them face-to-face, we are a family know that we can count on each other for love, advice, and support on our journey.  Not only has social media been a great place to connect, it has also been a great way to spread awareness.  I know that my "friend" base is small but word travels fast on the internet.  

This principal is one that I have experienced in a new and real way this week.  Monday (3/21) was World Down Syndrome Day and many families posted photos and videos of their awesome kiddos rocking extra chromosomes in an attempt to spread awareness that our kids are more alike than different.  We even got in on the action. 

What I never expected was that something totally unrelated to WDSD would become my biggest contribution to bringing awareness.  Brinkley loves Chick-Fil-A and barbecue sauce.  Tuesday night we ate dinner at CFA and he was not going to let a drop of his BBQ sauce go to waste.  I thought it was funny and started recording him.  Who knew lots of people would agree?!?!  As of right now, the video has had more than 5,500 views on Instagram.  I have no idea how it has been circulated so much, but I won't complain.  I have gained many new followers and people have gone back through my other photos and videos liking many of them as well.  People are commenting and thanking me for sharing our journey.  

My prayer is that Brinkley will be an encouragement to others on this journey with us.  We want them to see that there is joy in this journey.  Who could have ever imagined that a little guy and some CFA BBQ sauce could reach so many people?  And just in case anyone from Chick-Fil-A sees this, he'll gladly advertise for you if you'll pay him in nuggets and milkshakes!

In case you missed it, here's the BBQ sauce video: