We were holding our baby for the first time and only a few minutes went by when our perspective on life was altered. The news of having a daughter with Down syndrome came heavy from the doctor’s sterol diagnosis and possible health, mental, and future complications. Within minutes we looked at our newborn baby completely differently then we had when she was first placed in our arms. We went from seeing a beautiful wrinkly baby girl to seeing a Down syndrome baby. Our hearts broke with grief, worry, and confusion. It was by far the hardest moment of our lives. One that we will never forget and one that change everything about us. Not literally of course, but internally we were a mess. Until the very first photograph taken by my sister, Sabrina brought us out of the grip of the doctor’s misinformed propaganda. Sure, they may have known the statistical possibilities, but apparently what they didn't know is that our baby was... just that, our baby! A beautiful healthy human being that was ours to love, care for, and raise. To guide through life the same way we would have had she not had that precious third chromosome that enhanced our lives profoundly. That photograph allowed us to see the beautiful baby that we had been given to protect and most importantly LOVE. That photograph gave us the will power to have a voice for her and those like her. A voice behind the lens, that shouts the truth and reveals the beauty of people with Down syndrome. Our Lana, in her short five years has taught us far more than any college degree or lifelong existence could do. She has taught us that no matter how long it takes to achieve your goal or dream to keep going for it. We are driven! Driven to live a life that is full of love, compassion, and advocacy.
This month, on March 21st we celebrate World Down Syndrome Day! On this day the world celebrates Lana! The world celebrates the immensity of that extra chromosome which links us together with others like her. So please join us as we appreciate people with Down syndrome and the beauty that they bring to the world!