I didn't get to posting this yesterday, but better late than never, right?
When I read back over Ella's first hours in this world it all seems so far removed from today.
Today, as I watched her play the piano, as she sang to herself while we walked, as she set to work unpacking my groceries and today, when someone remarked, "you must have your hands full" as Ella, without breath or hesitation went from station to station in a classroom full of new and wonderful things to explore.
Today, Down Syndrome means something completely different to me than it did almost 3 years ago when I cried, mourning the life I had dreamed of for my little girl. Because I mourned out of ignorance and I shed tears for the things I did not know. But today, instead of sorrow, I know joy and instead of inability I see potential.
Today, I have the same expectations for her as I do for my son- that she will go to school, get a job, go to university, live on her own and maybe one day, if she finds the right person, get married and chase after the life she has always dreamed of. Today, and everyday, she puts my tears to shame and shows me how to live without judgement or expectation.
Today, the only limitations my daughter has are the ones I and society place on her.
Last year, the UN declared March 21st World Down Syndrome Day.
It is a day to globally recognize people who happen to have something a little extra but who also have to fight daily for their rights as individuals - rights of inclusion, equality and respect.
Because if only the rest of the world knew what I knew approximately 92% of babies diagnosed with DS in utero would NOT be aborted. But how do you get the message across to a world obsessed with "perfection"?
You redefine perfection.
HAPPY WORLD DOWN SYNDROME DAY!