What You Don't Know About Down Syndrome

Today I had some moments of solitude. My oldest, Kenadie, was at school so I met Kaija's teacher at a play structure at one of our local churches with Kael & Kaleah at hand. Kaija was busy with her teacher, Kael and Kaleah scurried off to play; leaving me alone with a hot coffee in hand.

I sat back and I observed. I watched Kaija, 4 years old - having Down Syndrome - do all of the things most medical professionals and society told us she would not do.

She goes to school. She was learning. She was saying words. She was interacting with other children - playing - giggling - having sympathy - taking turns. She was being a functional - developing - growing child. 

And I - I was hopeful. I was proud & I was sad. I was sad at the doctors and geneticists that told us she would never talk, never go to school, never have the cognitive ability to interact with people and never live unassisted. ( now - I know we're not there yet but we will be. She will be. There is no doubt. ) 

So - in lieu of World Down Syndrome Day. March 21. YES! Today. I am rallying with a few of my beautiful friends that experience the journey of Down Syndrome each and everyday right alongside me to tell you the stuff they don't tell you when the genetic counselor is sitting there with a flip board - explaining chromosomes and what-not.

Here we go - 21 Real Facts about Down Syndrome from Real People.

1. Louis totally commits to his hugs; like melted butter, whole-body, heavy weighted warm hugs.

    - Kerry. G

2. When you have a child with Down Syndrome, new people come into your life. Since having Kaija, so many wonderful people have been brought into my life. People with a passion for people - a heart to see the god and see the change in the world.

3. Kaija has taught me how to be in the moment. I have spent so much of my life reliving and dwelling in the past or worrying about the future. There is no better way to learn how to live in the moment until you have a child with Down Syndrome.

4. His emotions are deep and true. If he is happy - it's the real deal. If he is mad - it doesn't last for long.

    - Kerry. G

5. Their determination and strength is real. They may take a little longer to reach their milestones - but you feel the greatest, joyous pride when they do.

6. There is no fear when trying new things. Their courageous spirit when trying new things is not only amazing to observe but it is unbelievably inspiring.

7. Amos' presence changed our hearts. He has unconditional love. He is the quickest to forgive. He is joyful and he is passionate.

    - Laura. L

8. Empathy. Sweet empathetic spirit. Avery is always aware of everyone's feelings around her and wants everyone to be happy. 

    - Christie. L

9. My other children are becoming better human beings because of Down Syndrome.

10. He is so excited to wake up and start his day every.single.morning.

    -Laura. L

11. Personality. Her speech may be delayed but Kaija has an incredible soft personality. She can communicate her feelings so well just using her body language.

     - Michelle. W (Kaija's teacher)

12. Everette has opened my eyes to seeing potential and believing in every single person, whether they have Down Syndrome or not. Every person has the ability to achieve their goals and learn, If they are given support, encouragement in being a little more creative.

      - Wendy. N

13. Amos dances with his whole being & he loves with his whole heart.

      - Laura. L

14. The thing that continues to surprise me is the affect that Ella has on those around her. It's as if they see into her soul - the purity, the compassion, the pure light she lives and breathes and it impacts the profoundly.

      - Krista. E

15. Grayson has determination, perseverance and resiliency. He has a type of bravery I've never known.

       - Belinda. M

16. Amos makes his affections known - and showers love on people unabashedly.

      - Laura. L

17. Adele idolizes her sister and imitates all that she does. She radiates light and joy and she's a total firecracker too. She knows just what she wants and expects to get it. 

      - Krista. C

18. Grayson has added a level of beauty, innocence, purity and perfection to our lives.

      - Belinda. M

19. Amos has an uncanny memory. He is remarkably clever and is an excellent judge of character.

      - Laura. L

20. Castian closely resembles his dad and is so easy going. He loves to give hugs, kisses and cuddles. Out of 5 children - he is the easiest.

      - Arlene. B

21. Kaija has a free spirit. She is careless to the judgement or the looks ... even careless to discipline sometimes ;) 

      - Brent. H

There you go - how was that? What is your take from reading all of those first-hand testimonies? I'm interested to know. 

I have one surprise for you -- PICTURES. Here are some Lovely - eat your heart out - adorable photos to put sweet chubby faces to these comments. I have also linked some of these ladies blogs so you can get to know their story if you wish. They are captivating and you will fall inlove.