Special Needs

Down Syndrome:
Down Syndrome Association of South Georgia
Donations for NDSS
National Down Syndrome Society
National Association for Down Syndrome
Hope Haven- Jacksonville, FL

Homecoming Queen Cara Stieglitz

Congenital Heart Defects:
American Heart Association

On a personal note:

One of the first things people say to you when they find out you are the parent of a special needs child is "God chooses only very special people to be their parents". Do I believe this? I don't know. Most likely, I don't. It's hard to believe that any one person would be chosen over another to raise such a special child.
What I do know is this...the moment Eslea was born, I knew her soul was older than mine. She is a very special child indeed. I can feel it every time I hold her. Every time I smell her sweet baby breathe.
I wonder how I got so lucky as to help this beautiful child become the person she is intended. I feel blessed that I am her mom, however it came to be.
I bring this up because it took me a long time to reach this point. Four weeks to be exact. (Go HERE to read Eslea's Birth Story.) It's like I have reached the top of a mountain I never even knew I had to climb. But now that I am here, oh how glad I am to finally see so very clearly.
Knowing how hard it was for me to reach this peak, I worry for those mothers/couples that will soon find out that they too will be the parents of a child with down syndrome. It broke my heart the day I read that only 10% of fetuses with down syndrome make it to birth. A large majority of that percentage are due to abortions. I can't even imagine never having the chance to hold my sweet baby girl. To feel her soft skin, smell her sweet breathe. The thought of making a decision not to have her just because she has an extra chromosome...it's unfathomable. It's heartbreaking.
There have been such strides in regards to community acceptance and awareness of what our children can do. Their potential is so great. Every child deserves the chance to live up to their potential. To climb their own mountains and see the clear horizon.
My greatest prayer is that these potentially new parents take the time to read and gather all the information they can in regards to their child before making any decision.
The fact is, a baby is just a baby. My sweet Eslea is the most beautiful little girl I have every laid eyes on. I no longer see her as a child with down syndrome, I see her as a child. A beautiful, blue eyed attentive, active little baby who is crazy enough to let me be her mother.