September 28th, 2012: “I was really hoping to have some good news to report this morning but unfortunately don’t. Genetic tests were run on Lily after she was born due to some physical characteristics she had and got the results back today that confirm that Lily does have downs. We r all doing ok though…gonna be lots of emotions and adjustment this weekend and over the next few weeks. Just wanted to let some of closest friends know as we won’t be blasting this on Facebook.”
The above is a text message sent to some friends and family immediately after we got the genetic test results back just four days after Lily was born. Reflecting back on that week…on the emotions….on the prayers…tears cried. Thinking back to all of the prayers that I prayed begging, pleading that Lily didn’t have Downs..that she was normal. It pains me to type these words and to read that text message. To know that I let a simple diagnosis almost take away the joy of the beautiful little girl that God blessed us with. Little did I know then how beyond normal Lily is. To know that I let an extra chromosome result in so many fears and almost eliminating any future that Lily could have. Little did I know that the fears were normal and short lived, and that Lily WILL have an awesome, successful future.
To this day, I still joke with Kristin about the prayers that we both prayed before Lily was born. We both prayed that God would bless us with a healthy child. Little did we know that God would bless us with a healthy child…we just weren’t specific enough in our prayers:)
“…I could care less about the Developmental charts and what a “typical” child does at certain ages”
Reflecting back on those first few weeks, on the roller coaster of emotions that Kristin and I both went through…and today I wonder “What were we so scared of?” Today, I now realize the true blessing that Lily really is. I don’t see Down Syndrome when I look at my baby girl…I see Lily. She has truly changed both mine and Kristin’s outlook on life. We not only smile and get happy when Lily accomplishes a milestone….we celebrate it! We post a video/photo to facebook. We call and text family and friends. We let the whole world know! And I could care less about the Developmental charts and what a “typical” child does at certain ages. We have learned to focus on what she IS doing and to push her in any and every way we can. And at the end of the day, my love for Lily will not be measured by what she can or can’t do…my love for this sweet angel is unconditional and unwavering.
Tomorrow is National Down Syndrome day, March 21st, 2013. Before Lily was born, this would be just another day. Tomorrow, will not be just another day for myself or for Kristin. National Down Syndrome day is significant to us now as it is a day to promote awareness and acceptance. Every child I have met with special needs wants one thing….to be accepted. Believe it or not, Lily and every other child with special needs is more alike every other child then different.
It has been amazing to see how many lives Lily has affected already. I only hope that sharing her/our story will help to open the eyes and hearts of many more!