Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Celebrate! It's World Down Syndrome Day!

I am like any other mother. I worry about TODAY for my daughter. Did she eat enough? Does she have pink eye? That's a weird cough, should I call the doctor? I am like every mother. 

Harper is like any other baby girl. She is rolling. Eating bananas, squash, peas, avocados, and sweet potatoes. She smiles when I enter the room and cries when I leave. She is like every other baby girl. 

Harper has Down syndrome and had heart surgery on her little heart when she was 4 months old. She has gone through things that other babies do NOT go through. But she is Harper and day by day she is just like every other baby girl.

I am her mother. Andy is her father. I am the director of a preschool and Andy is the Assistant VP of a staffing agency. We are not extraordinary people. We donate to Goodwill. Give change to the red kettles during the holidays and buy Girl Scout cookies and Boy Scout popcorn. I participate in food drives and I recycle. We are normal, ordinary parents. We are not extra special in our every day lives. We are extra special because Harper is our daughter. But not because she has Down syndrome. 

I am grateful for Harper. I am grateful for Down syndrome. Yep, you read that right. I am grateful for Down syndrome. It has given me my daughter but it has changed me to be a better person. My eyes are open. I am nicer  trying to be more kind. We are handpicked to be Harper's parents just like you were chosen to be your child's parent.

Often, people tell me that I must be really special to be picked to be Harper's mom. Or, I must be very patient to be given a daughter with Down syndrome. If you know me, you know that I am the furthest thing from patient. And I'm special but not super special.  Harper was given to us because we created her. She is our daughter and I would love her the same if she didn't have Down syndrome.

I LOVE that Harper has Down syndrome. The truth is...I don't know any better. She is my only child. I don't know any different. Doesn't matter because she is magical. Her smile melts my heart. Literally, the girls' smile makes me want to stop everything and kiss her cheeks until I can't anymore.

Today is World Down Syndrome Day. This day rocks. I could write many posts for today. I could write about the new blood test to detect Ds, or the lawsuit a family won in Oregon because the doctors didn't prenatally diagnose their daughter. But today is a day to celebrate. Without Down syndrome there would be no Harper. If there was no Harper, there wouldn't be pictures like this...

Or this...

I mean come on. Those cheeks. Those eyes. Down syndrome ROCKS. Today is a day to celebrate. Her entire 6 1/2 months is reason to celebrate. Celebrate today in honor of Harper. I have great readers. Some of you have met Harper in person but most of you meet her through my blog posts. I know she has touched many hearts....I get the emails almost weekly. These emails come from complete strangers. And I mean complete. strangers. I am now asking you---family, friends, strangers, blog spread acceptance. Do it for Harper and her friends. 

Help spread the word that Down syndrome is not a death sentence. Yes, there will be difficult times but that's life. Down syndrome is a scary diagnosis but I am here to tell you that Down syndrome is an amazing syndrome and there is nothing DOWN about it! 


Shannon said...

ahh she is just so stinkin adorable! I don't want a world without Harper :) Thanks for letting me use a picture of her for my post. And thanks for being another amazing advocate for our kids :)

My Little Wonders said...

I love your post. And Harper ... she is so adorable! :) Happy World Down Syndrome Day!