Who better to begin the celebration for Canadian Down Syndrome Week than this handsome fella - Adam!
Adam's mom has so kindly agreed to let me share her sweet boy here in this space today. Adam is 13. I am so honoured to have him and even happier to share Karen's words and thoughts with you all. I especially love her words,
"showing compassion for others, when compassion was never taught."
Such a beautiful skill to just innately have. I think we could all learn a thing or two from this young man. Thanks so much Karen, I am honoured to stand with you in our community and live our life just as we all do - helping, advocating, supporting and loving all our children no matter what they need or where they are trying to go.
Enjoy Day 1 of CDSW!!!!
How was your pregnancy?
My pregnancy was slightly more eventful, but Adam was my first child so I didn’t have any other pregnancies to compare to at the time. I did have some spot bleeding off and on, as well as a skipped heartbeat during one of my checkups so I received extra ultrasounds and a stress test.
When did you receive your diagnosis?
We received the diagnosis one week before Adam’s due date; one of the ultrasounds showed shorter limbs, so we opted for amniocentesis. With the stress of the news, our OBGYN was very compassionate and scheduled an induction on the due date.
What were some of your initial feelings/thoughts/fears/hopes about having a child with Down Syndrome?
My initial feelings were fear, and grief. Who would play with our child? Will he/she have a normal life? Will we get our lives back when we’re retired? After a couple of days, I downloaded loads of information from the internet and contacted Up About Downs (a local support group). The more I spoke to people and learned in only a few days, the fear slowly subsided and we began to accept our new journey. I remember my husband and I having our last dinner as a ‘kidless couple’ the night before the induction and just laughing at the silliest jokes, and I knew we were going to be okay.
What has your child with Down Syndrome taught you?
Our child with Down Syndrome has taught us that it’s the simple things in life that matter; giving hugs for no reason, helping out your siblings without expecting praise or a monetary gift, showing compassion for others when compassion wasn’t even taught. He has taught us all what pure love is, and how relationships and hard work give us the most return on our investment.
What is the most wonderful thing about knowing your child with Down Syndrome?
The most wonderful thing about knowing Adam is that he is not what I expected when I was told our baby had Down Syndrome. I now truly believe that having a child with Down syndrome is the best gift we’ve ever received.
How has Down Syndrome changed you (if at all)?
I don’t think having a child with Down Syndrome has changed me so much as it has offered me different experiences to learn more about myself.
What do you wish the world knew about people with Down Syndrome?
I wish the world would realize that people with Down Syndrome work just as hard, if not harder than most and deserve to be equals amongst their peers, coworkers, siblings etc. As parents and educators, we’ve taught these children many skills in life, but nothing compared to what they have taught us.
I hope one day that all doctors are educated in all aspects of Down Syndrome to deliver a positive message with their diagnosis to new parents.
What are some of your hopes/dreams for your child with Down Syndrome?
Some of our hopes are that Adam will continue to be happy, fulfilled, and to live the life he chooses.
PAUSE because I have to tell you that I just love this next part so SOOOOO soooooooooo much...
My dream on the other hand may not be Adam’s choice lol; my dream is that when Adam is finished his schooling he will run his own small seasonal business, and travel with his mom and dad throughout the winter. I would also love to have a separate suite in our home for Adam (and spouse :-)) so he can be independent, but still be close to us.
I love this so much Karen!!! Thanks for being a part of our message here on Chasing Hazel and proving that once we understand and accept the way things ARE it's impossible not to LOVE better than we thought possible.
This pic below is of Adam learning to perform CPR - providing further proof that he is capable and worthy.
Lots of love to you Adam!!!! xo