October is Down Syndrome Awareness month. I got to celebrate with some AMAZING families & here are a few
things they wish to tell the world
Emory taught us how to love unconditionally and because of her, we are better people. She brings happiness to the world & her sweet smile lights up every room. I would like the world to know that people with Down Syndrome just have an extra chromosome. They are more normal than they are different. If only we knew how great Emory would be when we received our prenatal diagnosis, we would not have been so worried. She's truly, our greatest blessing.
Josh, Kendra, & Emory Simser
We learned about Eleanor's Down syndrome at our 20 week anatomy scan. At the time we didn't realize the joy she would bring to our lives and the lives of our friends and families. Eleanor turned two in August and is just like any other two year old-in to everything, determined, and fairly stubborn. But through her we have learned to slow down and enjoy the moment. We find something to celebrate on a regular basis. That diagnosis that seemed so scary two and a half years ago has turned out to be one of the best things to ever happen to us! Our family truly is one of the lucky few!
What is Down syndrome? Just a little extra genetic material. Down syndrome can cause low muscle tone, delays in development, heart conditions, and other medical problems. But what it is, is NOT the end of the world.I was 38 when Arya was born. We found out at 11 weeks that she was blessed with designer genes. We loved her from the beginning and that would not change.
We came to this circle from a very different place than most. My husband and I have worked in service for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities for the last 20+ years. We have seen first hand what can be achieved by someone with Down syndrome. But still, there are some adjustments.As a family you have to adjust to having a child with different needs; not special, just different. As a family, we choose for me to be a part time stay at home mom. As a family you have to adjust to possible medical needs. We had to face the fact that we would have a little girl who would need open heart surgery early in life. We planned for this and our baby girl sailed through just fine.
As a family, you have to prepare for the blessing your new addition is. There is nothing lovelier that that sweet angel that completes your crew.As a family, you have to adjust your schedule to accommodate therapies. We are blessed to have such skilled therapists and work situations that allow flexibility. As a family, you have to adjust your way of thinking. You have to understand that "right away" and "immediate" take on new meanings. Our babies will accomplish everything....on their own timeline. As a family, you have to prepare for the new adventures that will come. There is nothing typical about my household.
There is not a day that I do not thank God for our little Arya. She was the missing link in our family. She brought us to a wonderful neighborhood with a wonderful life. Not a day goes by when she doesn't put a smile on our faces.As a family you have to prepare that, contrary to popular belief, your family is NOT different. As a family you have to prepare for the tremendous amount of joy and love that is headed your way. The smiles are breathtaking. The cuddles are endless, the accomplishments are amazing, and the smiles/giggles are infectious. You have to prepare you family for....endless possibilities.
There is no doubt she will achieve all three!!! Oh the places she will go!!!I have no doubt that Arya is destined for amazing things. We cannot wait to see her accomplishments, education, independence, marriage, and to see the remarkable young woman she becomes. She will take the world by storm. Our hopes and expectations for Arya are no different than for our other three children. To be happy, independent, and as successful as possible.
Down Syndrome. When you first hear those words, you automatically start to think of all the things that won't be possible or things that can't be accomplished. Your heart breaks for the child you thought you were going to have. You are cautious in who you tell. You wait for the looks of pity and sorrow. Fortunately, there is SO much more.What I wish I could tell every single parent who hears the words, "Your child has Down Syndrome," is all about the things that ARE possible; about the things that will be done - many will be unexpected. Your child will do everything you would expect a child to do - on their own schedule.
You will have a shift in your priorities. You will realize what truly matters in this thing called life.You will gain an entire community who will love and support you from day 1. They will help you get through the rough days and cheer with you on the great days. These same strangers, should you meet in person, are like running into long lost family. You will hug necks and shed tears. You will experience a love so insanely pure and unconditional it will rock your world. You will see simple joy and innocence every time you look into your child's bright eyes.
That is what I would tell that new mom and dad. Rejoice!
What do I want people to know about Down syndrome?? I want people to know that Rachel is not different than any other child.....she just "rocks" an extra chromosome & that just makes her extra special! Rachel is a healthy, athletic child who loves to read & she is even reading at grade level! She loves to play sports, basketball & baseball especially. She has changed our lives for the better. She has taught me to slow down and treasure every moment, to find the beauty in the small every day things. Most importantly she has taught me about unconditional love! Because of her diagnosis, we have become a part of a new family.....the Down syndrome community. We have met so many wonderful people who were instantly our friends! We meet people when we our out running errands because of Rachel's bubbly personality and she manages to put a smile on the faces of all she meets! who can ask for more?? Our family was truly blessed when Rachel was born! . The Levy's (Debbie, David, Jared, Matt, Rebecca & Rachel