The coffee is hot, and the peanut M&M's are disappearing.
I am snuggling in for an afternoon of answering your questions about Down syndrome.
About our life together.
What was your reaction when you found out?I did know we were having a girl. I knew her name would be Ella Corinne. And I knew that God had something very special in mind for her life. I did not know she would have Down syndrome. There is much more that I could say here. And in time, I will write Ella's birth story. My initial reaction was one of unbelief and devastation. I spent many hours crying on a day that was suppose to be the happiest day of my life.
Are there different kinds of Down Syndrome or different levels of severity? If so, what kind does Ella have?T
What sorts of things have people said to you (well meaning) that just end up hurting your feelings? And are there things that people say that are actually offensive to you (well meaning or not...)The word "normal" is hard for me to hear. Talia is normal and Ella is...not normal???
Talia is a typically developing kid, Ella has Down syndrome.
What is actually offensive to me? When people call themselves or anyone else a "retard" or use the word "retarded" as a slang word. There isn't an ounce of love or respect in it. I cannot NOT hear it when the person being devalued is my Lady Ella.
I haven't explained Down syndrome to Talia. Ella has been a part of Talia's life since before she was born. Since she was two and a half she has noticed people with Down syndrome in books and on TV and said, "Hey, she looks like Ella!" Given Talia's gift for conversation, I would imagine there will be many many words in the future in regards to her relationship with Ella.How do you explain Down Syndrome to Talia?
Here is a snippet from yesterday:
Me: Did you know that Ella has Down syndrome?
T: (laughing) Yes.
Me: Do you know what Down syndrome means?
T: Yes, it means Ella goes to the doctor a lot.
Me: Well, yes, I guess we do go to the doctor a lot.
T: (face beaming) Oh, I know! It means that she's the best!
Me: (teary) Yes, I am so glad that's what it means to you. You're absolutely right!
I will post the rest of the questions and my answers to them at the end of next week. I realize that we will be into November by then, but I figured you'd be cool with a little awareness talk even if it wasn't October. :)