Sunday, October 2, 2011

How Severe is "It"

I have been asked before "How severe is "it"?"

The first time I heard that, I honestly thought they meant Ollie's heart.  I think I even responded that she was in heart failure and open heart surgery was a must in order for her to survive.

When I saw the confusion in their face, I realized "it" wasn't her heart, "it" was Down Syndrome.

For those of you learning, Down Syndrome is 3 copies of the 21st chromosome.

Every single cell in Ollie's body has "it".  Down Syndrome will always be a part of her.  There is no curing it & stripping out that extra genetic information.

As far as her cognitive abilities (FYI the term mental retardation is no longer used it's outdated), no one knows what she will be capable of.  It is impossible to know especially as an infant.

We were told to push Ollie as much as our typical children.  That we shouldn't be easy on her because she has Down Syndrome.  We plan to discipline her and teach her responsibilities and chores just like our other two children.  Obviously in some areas we will treat her differently, but our goal is to raise her just the same. 

We must push her, because if we don't, who will?  Since we are her parents, and we love her more than anyone, it's our job to push her because we love her.  The more we push, the closer we will get to her full potential.

Her full potential may be high, or it may be low, but honestly it doesn't matter to us.  She may graduate high school, go to college, hold a job, and get married.  She may live with us forever.  It doesn't really matter to us.

I just want to raise her to be happy, to know Jesus as her savior, and to feel valued and accepted.  As long as we accomplish that, I will be one happy Mama & I will always be proud of her.


  1. Love this, Annie- love,love,love this!! And the picture- it took my breath away!!

  2. Perfect, perfect post, Annie. Gorgeous photo!

    Sammi's geneticist says that whenever parents ask her when will they know what their child with Ds is capable of, she responds, "At the end of his/her life." There is no cutoff point, no wall that they hit - they are always growing and learning, capable of more than the world is ready to acknowledge. But we're out to change that perception. :-)

  3. Beautiful photo of Ollie! I have been asked that many times, and I think, honestly, when Bailey was first born I asked that of her pediatricians. How much I have learned in the last 11 months! It is so true, we will be proud of them no matter what they accomplish in life.

  4. That baby is gorgeous, man I want to squeeze are so blessed to have her.thank you for this post and I'm sorry there is even a reason for you to have to write this.

  5. fantastic picture and fantastic post. I have had the EXACT SAME conversation a few times in Harpers short life! Seriously...that picture is amazing!

  6. Sounds like the plan you have for Ollie is already in motion, it was the day you found out she was on the way. Being loved by your family, and being a child of God, easy part done! This is a double blessing, for Ollie and for everyone her heart touches, little by little the world can be a better place, just takes time and patience.

  7. Ahhh yes, I still get asked the question "Is he a mild case?" Hate it. But I understand people don't know any better. And that's what us Mamma's are for, raising awareness and educating people around us!
    Love that picture, she has the most beautiful eyes :)

  8. Great info here! Thank you for taking the time.

  9. Your daughter is beautiful!

  10. Man, I love you and your girl. Keep talking, Mama.

  11. to be happy, to know Jesus as her Savior and to be valued and accepted... This is what it boils down to, isn't it?

  12. she is absolutely beautiful! And just the way God made her ... full of joy, life, and love!


Thank you so much for your kind words & support! I love hearing from you & read each and every comment you leave for me! ~Annie


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