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‘Wait, you’re not kidding? 30 seconds ago, our life was perfect.’ I suddenly needed him in my arms.’: Mom to son with Down syndrome says ‘you’re not the baby I thought you were, but you’re still MY baby’

“We were on cloud nine: our baby was here, he seemed to be in perfect health. I remember hugging him, saying, ‘Welcome to our family! I’m so happy to finally meet you!’ I commented on his nose and ears, but again, no red flags. Babies fresh from the womb all look like aliens anyway. His face suddenly looked completely different. I remember thinking, ‘This is not your fault.’ From the first moment I met him, he’s been whispering to me, ‘It’s okay, Mom. There’s nothing to be afraid of.'”

‘Don’t take her home with you,’ I was told. ‘If you have other kids, she’ll be a detriment to them.’ How wrong they were.’: Mom keeps baby, now world’s first ‘working model’ with Down Syndrome

“I’d never taken Madeline to a fashion show before because she was always sick. When her health increased, we walked in as I thought to myself, ‘What have I done?!’ I knew full well my daughter would want to be on that catwalk, too. Sure enough, after the show, she turned to me and said, ‘Mom. Me. Model.’ I’m the type of mom to do whatever I can to make things happen. Little did I know what this all would turn into.”

‘No one else wanted her because of her disability. I’ll never forget my husband’s words when he saw her: ‘Let’s bring her home.’: Couple become first Indian family to voluntarily adopt baby with Down syndrome 

“We were told we were taking too much of a risk. We were advised against it because she ‘wouldn’t be able to give back to us in any way or support us once we were old.’ I couldn’t understand why that mattered to them more than giving a child a home. All I could see was this amazingly strong and gorgeous little girl.”

‘I got the test results. I felt I let my husband down. Like I somehow failed to give him the ‘perfect’ baby. The silence was deafening. I kept thinking, ‘Why me?’ Then I thought, ‘Wait, why NOT me?’

“I had a woman sob in my arms out of sympathy. I remember telling my husband, ‘Do you think we’ll ever laugh or be happy again?’ I figured I had 3 choices. Give up, give in, or give it everything I’ve got. I had a little boy growing inside me who I needed be strong for. I went with option 3.”

‘I was told it was the ‘Cadillac of disabilities.’ His pediatrician even said, ‘Out of all the heartbreaking disabilities, his is also heartwarming.’ Down syndrome isn’t easy. We ARE special.’

“I’m here to call us out on all of our mild-mannered modesty. I’ve realized we ARE special, and we deserve that title. No, not everyone can do it. You are different. Your child is different. I am tired of wearing the martyr mask with an ‘aw shucks’ and a ‘not little ol me.’”

‘I cried and wept uncontrollably because of how he was going to be made fun of, and thought of as less or not worthy. I never want my child to feel that hurt and pain. The sadness was so deep, it crushed my soul.’

“I know something about one of the children you don’t. You see two children holding hands and playing on a playground. Nothing special, just cute as usual. Children playing like they usually do, like they should be doing. But it is so much more than just that.”

‘Immediately, I knew there was something different. Her precious little body felt weak and floppy. Looking at her tiny face, I saw it.’: Blended family births 11th baby with Down syndrome

“When I found myself unexpectedly widowed at 39, I couldn’t have imagined what my life would look like 5 years later. We met on a dating site. Blending our families and accommodating the needs of 10 children was a complicated task. Then we heard, ‘I’m so sorry,’ which prompted more tears. It was my job as her mother to be strong and brave, but I doubted my ability to do so.”

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