The leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome.

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Absolutely Blessed
Posing for the Paparazzi
Posing for the Paparazzi
Absolutely Blessed

Hannah's story begins with the unexpected Down syndrome diagnosis. Prenatal genetic counseling assured us that chances of this outcome were less than one percent. She was to be our third and last child, and by then we were experienced, confident parents. I was not expecting anything unusual. Inexplicably not prepared to hear the doctor's words: "As you can hear, she has a healthy cry; however, some of her features" I don't remember any words after those. I was in shock, tears, grief. My honest first thought: "Who will take care of me in my old age if I have to take care of this child?" While she was being tested for everything that could possibly go wrong, staff tended to me. Everyone was supportive, including family and friends. Once I held her, my selfish fears subsided. My concerns turned to her, this beautiful baby. My baby. The social worker came in for her obligatory visit. Confused by my contentment, saying "Well, I see you're already nursing her; but should you change your mind, there is a waiting list of people who'd adopt her." My reaction: Well that is nice to know, but despite the initial shock, the thought of giving up my child never entered my head! She didn't suffer from any heart, intestinal or other common complications. The nurses shared my joy and treated her just like any other newborn. I especially remember one telling me to take her home and take care of her like my others. She also told me that Hannah would be the one someday to put an arm around my shoulder and tell me everything will be ok. She was so right. Approaching her fifteenth birthday, she is healthy, and doing well in Junior High. She does have her limitations, but is diligent and very eager to do things that her peers can. She can be just as "difficult" as her siblings, and learns by example. In short, she can have the typical teen attitude at times, and we let her know! Her most important gifts are her shining personality, sense of humor, and incredible empathy for others. It is hard to have a bad day with Hannah. She is the epitome of living in the moment and of seeing through the static of life, intuitively knowing what is truly important. She reminds us of our essential innocence. Once touched, one wants to just wrap themselves up in her warm, bright light. Yes, life with a child with special needs is not what most would hope for. It is work that honestly does not seem to have an end in sight. She will always be vulnerable in this world. But if I had the chance to reverse her chromosomal difference, I'd decline. Hannah any other way would not be the Hannah I love. My mother once asked: "You mean you actually feel Blessed?" Absolutely. I am just as honored to be her mother as I am to my other children.

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3/8/2011 8:23:44 AM
I was blessed with getting to know Hannah at Brookfield Elementary School.First by seeing her smile as she walked through our cafeteria lunch line and she always said hello . Followed by her being a helper to learn work skills . Hannah was a great worker

Lucia L. Collier, United States, CA
3/1/2011 9:27:55 PM
You are truly blessed.

mia, United States, FL
2/23/2011 3:04:54 PM
Hannah!!! Diet coke...but not in a bottle :(

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