Today is World Down Syndrome Day. We gather all over the globe and celebrate diversity and acceptance of people with Down syndrome.
We had a very nice day today...slept in late, snuggled for a while, played, danced, dyed Easter eggs, and took a walk. The following is a tribute to my Ashlyn that I wrote several years ago for Down syndrome awareness month in October. She is now 8 1/2 years old and is so full of love and life...nothing Down about my girl!! I hope that everyone had a lovely day today and to all of our friends and family with Down syndrome~~~~
We love you with all of our hearts!
On August 31 1999 Ashlyn W was born. She was such a
beautiful baby with her almond shaped eyes and her long funny hair. She
was a very good, quiet baby and we loved her to pieces. I finally had the
baby girl that I had longed for.
Immediately after her birth Mike and I noticed there was something
different about Ashlyn. Our daughter was born with a condition known as
Down syndrome. We were both very shocked. How could this have happened to
us? We did shed a few tears, but thankfully that didn't last long.
Most people tried to be positive for us; others either didn't know what to
say or said nothing at all. One person did tell me that she would never be
able to go to school. I am so thankful that Ashlyn was born in this day
and time. When she was just a baby, I met a young lady who was 21 years
old who also had Down syndrome. Her name was Cathy and she was attending a
community college and working at Ashlyn's daycare part-time. She may never know what an inspiration she was to me.
Ashlyn is now six years old and attends public school. She is making
HUGE achievements and makes us very proud to be her parents. She has been
learning sign language for several years now and simply amazes us how fast she
catches on. Ashlyn has been such a blessing to our family and shows
unconditional love to all the people around her. Her laugh is contagious
while her hugs and kisses brightens the day in our sometimes darkened
world. When I have a bad day at work, I know Ashlyn is at home waiting to
put her little arms around my neck and give me the best kisses. She yells
mama, mama and chases me as I come in the door. Life really couldn't be
As Ashlyn's mother, it is my hope that Ashlyn will be loved and accepted
for who she is, not who she "should" have been. I pray for acceptance, friendships and unending happiness.
I look back now and see how silly I was to cry over the little girl that
was supposed to come to me. I feel sad to think back at her birth and know
that I cried over her and who she was. If I could, I would take back that time of
sadness in a heartbeat. If only I had known then that God searched all over heaven for the exact, perfect little girl that he intended for me to have. That was Ashlyn. Her perfect love and innocence is such a gift from God. She has taught me more in her lifetime, than I'll ever learn in mine. Thank you Ashlyn for all
of your love and kisses and for being the special person that you are and
always will be. I feel so blessed that you are in my life.
I love you!
World Down Syndrome Day 3-21-08