Child Inspires Me - By
My child inspires me with her ABCs
My daughter, Abigail, is 3 years
old and she has a love for letters
and numbers. This is a genuine interest
she has had since she was able to
pick up a book. Abigail's love for
the alphabet and counting is my inspiration,
but she began inspiring me long before
she knew her letters and numbers.
Abigail was an early Christmas present
three years ago, born near Colorado
Springs. She was delivered by emergency
Cesarean 10 days early -- only weighing
4 pounds, 7 ounces. Because of the
emergency situation of her birth,
moments before she was about to be
born, doctors told us she would be
unresponsive and they would have
to revive her. My daughter was an
inspiration in the first seconds
of her life - surprising everyone
in the room with the sounds of her
strong cries. Not only was she responsive,
but she also scored high on her first
test - a perfect Apgar score. Abigail
had already determined she was a
strong person out to prove to the
world she could do amazing things.
Your Inspirational Story
Along the lines of the "Chicken
Soup" stories, RMDSA would like
to inspire the world with our
own heartwarming stories and
words of wisdom.
The moment my husband and I found
out our daughter had Down syndrome
is as vivid today as it was then.
I can see every gesture being made,
I remember where each individual
was standing around my recovery bed,
and I can still hear every sound
that happened during the moment we
were given the news about our daughter.
The pediatrician on call told us
about 20 minutes after her birth.
She started out by telling us that
our daughter had characteristics
of Down syndrome and asked us if
we knew what that was. She told us
she would order the test done to
determine what she suspected. My
husband asked, in her opinion, if
she was sure our daughter had Down
syndrome, and the pediatrician said, "Yes."
Her next words were, "I'm so
sorry." The news that she had
Down syndrome put us in a state of
mourning. We were despondent, not
knowing anything about Down syndrome
and not getting a lot of resources
we desperately craved at the hospital.
If someone would have told me the
day my daughter was born that at
the age of 3, she would know all
the letters of the alphabet and her
numbers through 20, I would not have
believed it. I knew having a child
would change our lives, but I had
no idea having a child with Down
syndrome could change so many of
my thoughts, wants and beliefs.
Before I fully understood Down syndrome,
I did know what to expect from my
daughter. I have to admit, in the
beginning, my expectations were not
high. That expectation changed when
Abigail was about six weeks old.
My husband and I met a 3-year-old
boy with Down syndrome in our pediatrician's
office. This little boy was getting
into things, talking, walking - doing
everything typical of a 3-year-old
child. This boy was actually the
first inspiration to my family. Since
that day, I have made it a priority
to have Abigail out in public as
much as possible. I want her to be
familiar and comfortable with people
in public and I want those in public
to be familiar and comfortable with
her. Abigail is a social little girl
who makes friends wherever she goes.
She says, "Hi" and waves
to people standing in line at stores.
People seem drawn to my daughter.
Strangers come up and talk to my
daughter and me, asking questions
about Down syndrome. My daughter
and I have dispelled many myths and
mistruths about Down syndrome in
our conversations with strangers.
At the age of 3, she is already educating
people and helping to break down
Abigail has inspired me to help
others understand Down syndrome and
all the great things individuals
with Down syndrome can accomplish.
People who meet my daughter and have
no knowledge about the genetic condition,
seem surprised that she knows all
the letters of the alphabet and numbers.
I do not want these skills to be
surprising to others. I want people
in my daughter's community to know
I have high expectations for my daughter.
I want educators at my daughter's
school to know I have high expectations
for them in how they teach my daughter.
Abigail has the capability to do
many things, and I want to be sure
she has the resources and the support
she needs to make those accomplishments
My daughter inspires me in many
ways - her charming smile, empathetic
nature, quick pats, hugs and kisses.
Abigail has a genuine ability to
see the good in everyone and the
wondrous beauty that surrounds her.
She helps me to see things a little
brighter and to feel a little deeper.
Abigail is helping make subtle changes
in her community one letter and one
number at a time. This strength she
has is my inspiration to make great
changes happen for her and for all
individuals with Down syndrome.