Monday, March 21, 2011

World Down Syndrome Day!


I am a PROUD mother of a 21 month old angel, Sophia, who happens to have Down syndrome.  Today, March 21st, is World Down Syndrome Day, and I invite all of you to celebrate this day with me!

"World Down Syndrome Day takes place on March 21st every year.  This date, 3/21, represents the 3 copies of chromosome 21, which is unique to people with Down syndrome." -Damon Hill

"The aims of World Down Syndrome Day are to promote awareness and understanding, seek international support, and to achieve dignity, equal rights and a better life for people with Down syndrome every where." -Muttiah Muralitharan

When I was thinking about what I wanted to write in this blog, I went back to some earlier posts that I did during the month of October, and I found the perfect post, that says it all for me:

Yes, Sophia has Down syndrome, but Down syndrome is only a small part of who Sophia is.  It doesn't define her as a person, just like the color of your hair doesn't define you as a person.  Sophia is beautiful and full of life.  She loves to laugh and smile and giggle, especially at her big sister Jayden.  She is growing and thriving and doing new things every day, and even though she may not do things at the same speed as a "typically" developing child, she is meeting her milestones, just at her own pace.  See, the biggest thing about Sophia is that she is very stubborn and hard headed, what approaching 2 year old isn't!  She will not do anything just because we want her to, or we think it's time for her to be doing something specific.  In fact I think she deliberately does the opposite of what we want her to do just so SHE knows that WE know SHE is in charge. :)  She refuses to be rushed to do anything and is happy living one day at a time and soaking in all the beautiful things in the world around her!

Down syndrome was something I knew very little, if anything, about before Sophia was born.  And even though I am educating myself more and more every day, our lives don't revolve completely around Down syndrome, but instead they revolve completely around Sophia.  While Down syndrome may have a single cause, an extra chromosome 21, no two people with Down syndrome are identical.  Each person with Down syndrome has their own personality, strenghts and weaknesses.  Sophia is simply, SOPHIA.  Yes, she has Down syndrome and that is nothing that we are ashamed of.  She is PERFECT and SPECIAL and she is ALL OURS and I wouldn't have it any other way!  We love her for who she is and for what she has brought into our lives, and all we want is for everyone else to see who she is on the inside, not what they think she may be just by looking at her from the outside.  CELEBRATE, BECAUSE WE ARE! Happy World Down Syndrome Day!

A few AWESOME reads that were first brought to my attention after Sophia's birth were Welcome to Holland and The Creed of Babies with Down Syndrome.  I've posted about both of these in the past, but I love reading them and I think that they really say it all.  Welcome to Holland focuses on getting the inital diagnosis that your beautiful baby has Down syndrome and The Creed of Babies with Down Syndrome puts into words just how special and wonderful babies, and individuals, are when sporting that extra chromosome!  Definitely check them out if you haven't read them before, and even if you have read them before, check them out again!

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