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The Best Christmas Gift I Received After My Son Was Born With Down Syndrome

As I reflect on the past eight years living in the world and community of Down syndrome, I am humbled to remember all of those who have helped keep my son alive. Not just alive in the physical sense, but truly alive and apart of a community.

My first encounter with Down syndrome was when the staff at the hospital sent a special nurse to tell me that my son had Down syndrome. She was nice and informative, but the doctors I encountered seemed to brush me off and I could feel that my brand new baby was not loved. The situation felt like my son’s existence was less than human — not in my eyes, but I could see it in others.

I could not wait for information about Down syndrome. As soon as I got my newborn home, I scoured the internet looking for information about DS. I wanted, no I needed, some advice. I found our local Down syndrome association and called hoping someone would pick up. The president of the association called me back herself and was so warm and inviting. She asked if she could come to my home and meet my son. I eagerly agreed.

When she came, she was filled with love and understanding. She asked to hold him. That was the moment! In that single moment, she was everything I needed. She accepted him for who he was and showed me that everything would be OK, even when it wouldn’t. She is that person for me. My role model, my source of information, my confidant, a true friend. I will forever be grateful to her for showing us true love.

That Christmas eight years ago was the first time I really felt the true meaning of Christmas… love. It is the most beautiful thing in life and should be sought after more than riches and gold. If you are so inclined, think about giving love this season. It is the best gift of all!