Today starts Down Syndrome Awareness Month. The majority of people know that Down syndrome is when an individual is born with an extra copy of the 21st chromosome. People who have had the privilege to personally know an individual with Down syndrome can see beyond the limitations and preconceived notions that the term "Down syndrome" brings to mind. For those people who do not know someone with Down syndrome, this month is for you. This month gives us the opportunity to show you how people with Down syndrome are the same as you and I. They are individuals with thoughts, feelings and dreams. They are productive members are society and their life has meaning and value.
Again this year, I am participating in 31 for 21. I will blog every day for the month of October for Down syndrome. Some blogs will be more in depth, some will have more emotion and some will just be pictures or thoughts on our day. There are some fabulous writers who are also participating. Please take a minute from your day to read what some of the other people have to say about Down syndrome and their lives. You might find that you have more in common with their families than you realized.
Last year when I agreed to blog for 31 days, it seemed overwhelming. It seemed daunting. We were still fairly new to the Down syndrome journey. Hailey was only 8 months old. We had forged through some of the most difficult days of our lives. Receiving her diagnosis after such a crazy labor and delivery still seems like a dream. I lived in a fog for several weeks. Shortly after, receiving the news that our daughter definitely needed open heart surgery knocked the wind out of me. I wasn't prepared to put her life in the hands of the surgeon nor was I ready to hand her back to God. In true Hailey fashion, she rocked her heart surgery and was home quicker than anyone had expected. I wasn't sure last October if I was ready to put myself out like that. I really hadn't spoken about DS to a lot of people at that point...people close to me yes, people on DS boards yes, but I'm not sure I had even typed the words Down syndrome on Facebook at that point. I'm glad I did. I received amazing feedback. Those that think I'm on a soapbox can just not read it because I am going to continue to advocate for my daughter (as I do with my boys) until I'm no longer on Earth. That's what parents do!
I was blessed with this amazing little girl. I want to the world to see her and her potential (but you can only look....I get to keep her!)
Click the 31 for 21 button on the right to check out all the other blogs. Please share my blog and others. The more people that read them, the greater impact our words can have!