Saturday, December 3, 2016

Then I Met You

Before I committed to adopting a child, the words “Down syndrome” were scary. I had no idea what the diagnosis would entail other than what I’d seen and read online. I didn’t know exactly what the community support system would be like. I didn’t understand what all of the (potential) therapies meant.
Before I committed to adopting you, the words “Atrial Septal Defect” were scary. I didn’t think I wanted to adopt a child who had a heart defect and might need surgery. The words heart defect sounded incredibly intimidating. I didn’t know what doctor’s appointments would be like. I didn’t know whether or not you would need surgery. Then, I met you.

I couldn’t stop thinking about your face. How incredibly sad you looked in your referral picture. Even though the diagnoses of Down syndrome and Atrial Septal Defect were scary, I didn't let that stop me from loving you. You are so much more than a medical diagnosis. You are my intelligent, charismatic, determined and imaginative girl who's brightened my world. I am incredibly blessed to call you my daughter.
You have been my daughter for one whole year (plus a few days) and I am thankful for every single one of those days.
It can be incredibly scary to think about caring for a child who has "special needs" but if you give it a chance, it will be okay. Octavia isn't any different than any other 2-year-old. Yes, it may take her longer to learn some things, but she is still a capable and strong little girl. Our children are so much more than a medical diagnosis. If you're expecting a child with Down syndrome or considering adopting, please know that it will be okay.

Just before Gotcha Day!