I got pregnant the following January after graduating high school. It was a shock to me. I was living in California, thousands of miles away from all of my family. I never thought I would be "one of those girls", I thought about going to college, and sleeping in dorm rooms, staying up late night with my friends. I had some friends at my apartment complex that let me borrow their car to get groceries so I wouldn't have to walk. I had friends that I exchanged CD's for rides to the hospital for prenatal care. I had friends where I was a housekeeper that gave me a small baby shower when my family couldn't. I had great friends that were always so supportive of me, and I love them to this very day.
Throughout my whole pregnancy I thought a lot about what it would like to be a Mom. What my baby would look like. He/she going to school, making friends, having sleepovers, playing sports, going to college. All the the things I did, and wanted to do in my life. It was so exciting to think about, to plan, to hope and dream for everything that he/she would become. I imagine it is what a lot of parents think about when they are preparing to have a child.
My pregnancy was perfect. I was never sick, I was very active, and never had any difficulty. The day Nicholas was born was the happiest days of my life. He was so beautiful. His small round face, his broad nose, his stubby hands, how they fanned out when you ran your fingers across the palm. I always loved doing that. I remember looking at him, and thinking to myself "His eyes look swollen". I didn't think much of it more at the time. I looked at him, cuddled him, and embraced him all night.
Early the next morning the doctor that delivered Nicholas, as well as many as 4-5 other doctors came into the room to talk to me. They told me that they "thought" Nicholas had Down Syndrome. I remember thinking to myself I knew what it was. Introducing me to a genetics counselor, as they handed me a packet of information about Down Syndrome. Offering me other options such has adoption and foster homes if I didn't want to keep him. I remember feeling angry, and insulted at the fact that they would even suggest such a thing. More angry that they apologized as if I were mourning a loss, as though he had died the day he was born.
For almost fifteen years now, Nicholas has given me more love, hope and laughter than I believe that most people experience in a lifetime. All the things that he has accomplished, the ways he amazes me everyday makes me so proud to be his Mom. He is truly a sensational kid. It is with that amazement, and that love, I want to bring another child like Nicholas into my families life.
I found this website when I was at a Buddy Walk (a walk to raise awareness for Down Syndrome), just ever 2 weeks ago. I originally thought I would be donating $25.00 to get a Christmas tree ornament with a childs photograph on it. Instead I have since thought more and more about opening my home to a child and giving them a life that all children deserve. It is a costly process that I know that I am going to need the support of ALL my friends and family, and your friends and family too.
This is a journey that I know will not be an easy one. It is not one that everyone will understand. But what I hope is in time, and through this blog, and the messages I send out that you as my friends will understand and want to be a part of.