Our special gift, Phoebe Raelyn, arrived on August 15, 2012, arriving a month early and not knowing that she was coming with an extra chromosome. Although it was a shock (the prenatal test came back negative). My daughter explained that she had to first mourn the loss of the baby she dreamed of in her womb; as she was given a new baby - a baby she had not yet thought about. We walked into her hospital room expectantly and she was crying; I tried to comfort her and she looked up and said….”Mom, I am not crying because she has Down syndrome, I just don’t want people to make fun of her”, her only worry was the cruelty of this world. She had already started to fall in love with her new baby, as she had already begun to protect her with those motherly words. We embraced that we had a very special little girl that was going to have some challenges, but don’t we all have challenges in some way or another? Phoebe enlightens our family in so many ways. She brightens a room with her contagious smile and her innocence is no different than any other child coming into this world. Don’t get me wrong, she is not always happy, who is always happy? Not me for sure! She gets hurt, angry, and frustrated just like any typical child and/or adult. However, the disability that everyone fears so much, is actually their own learning disability….Phoebe has reached milestones since her birth. She was breastfed up to 20 months, she began cooing, smiling, rolling over, crawling, eating solid foods, now drinking from a sippy cup, and walking like a pro at 21 months. Yep, just like any other baby…she walks, talks, and learns! She is actually very smart. Awareness is the key! Yes, children and adults with Down syndrome are different and they learn differently, but they are so much more alike than they are different from you and me. I know that people think we say this because we have to say it because our loved one has Down syndrome, but it is really true. She teaches me every time I see her; I am her student, her Nana, and I will forever be her voice to spread awareness of Down Syndrome. She isn’t Down Syndrome, she is Phoebe, who has Down Syndrome, and she is an extraordinary little girl, who laughs, plays, cries, kisses, hugs, eats, walks, and talks….she also knows 30+ signs in ASL, that allows her to interact even more with adults, more than what most “typical” babies know. Give them a chance to steal your heart, because they will and you will forever be changed! A change that will make you a better person….seriously! This is no joke, it is real. Reality is that these children deserve life! Creation is one of God’s greatest miracles, if you can’t handle it, remember adoption is an option. Choose life!