Monday, October 21, 2013

October, 2013 Down Syndrome Awareness... Day 5

(Written in love by Stephanie M... thank you Steph)

Anyone who knows me knows how important children are to me, especially my nieces and nephews.

I dreamed of becoming a mom for as long as I can remember. My three older sisters had children and they kept me happy and busy at family gatherings for many years. My husband Michael and I wanted to start a family immediately after we got married. I struggled with fertility issues going through many years of treatment. We were ready to give up.

In the early spring of 1999, I was so thrilled to find out that my brothers wife was expecting! Buddy and his wife Lisa are just one year older than me. We went to high school together. We were (and are) close. I was so excited and I couldn't wait for this baby to be born. Finally, the day after Christmas, she arrived.

My beautiful , perfect niece,Taylor Lynn , came into the world, and to everyone's surprise she brought with her an extra chromosome!

Now, I am an educator. I have taken special education course work . I knew the 'technical' description of "Down Syndrome ". I understood on an intellectual level what this would mean for my niece, my brother, his wife...our family. I really thought I knew. I thought I knew. But I had no idea!

When I arrived at the hospital to meet my niece, my brother and sister-in-law were still in shock. I held Taylor for the first time. My sister-in-law looked at me and said two words "I'm sorry". I looked at my beautiful niece, then back to my sister-in-law and said "Don't ever say that to me again, about my niece. Don't apologize for her. There is no mistake here. She is with us for a reason."

From that day to this, Taylor continues to show us why she is here.

Taylor brought us closer as a family. Made us stronger .Taylor shows us what matters in this world. Taylor reminds us that our struggles aren't so big. Taylor helps us to remember to be joyful. She is smart, funny, silly, stubborn... and all to an extreme. Taylor has taught me so much and I am so fortunate to have her in my life.

But the best part, my favorite part that, less than two months after Taylor was born our beautiful daughter Maggie came into our lives.

So now my brother's daughter and my daughter get to grow up together ! They have become great friends. Maggie has learned so much from being Taylor's cousin. She feels so lucky and blessed to have Taylor in her life. They spend lots of time together at the pool in the summer. They share a love of dance and put on shows. They text each other. I love who they are to each other. They are 13 year old girls. They look at their mothers and roll their eyes. Yet, they ARE different. And that is okay with them. When they are together they are both okay with just being themselves.

Anyhow, I could go on and on. But I am just going to show you what I mean.

Auntie loves you Taylor!

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