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To the Women Who Helped Deliver My Daughter With Down Syndrome One Year Ago

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To the beautiful women we will never forget,

You were right, our little girl is absolutely beautiful. She is smart, she is funny, she can rock almost any accessory and she loves everyone so deeply.

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You were right, she is amazing. She can army crawl, she can sit up nice and tall, she has helped those who are mourning find peace, she can eat food with her little fingers, and she can even suck liquid from a straw.

You were right, we do love her so much. She has brought nothing but sunshine and joy to our lives since we brought her home. She has encouraged us, uplifted us, and taught us things about ourselves we didn’t even know we needed to be taught.

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She’s got a raspberry bib-rét ???? #PRINCEess

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You were right, she’s a game changer. She has encouraged thousands via social media, she’s changed the face of beauty through her modeling work with the baby brand Infantino, she’s reminded people that a diagnosis does not mean the end, and she’s helped us find a new purpose in our community.

Your words one year ago today gave us hope for her future and ours. They gave us strength to recognize and know her life has purpose and meaning. Your words helped us to see that love is love and an extra chromosome will never change that. Your words one year ago today will always and forever be a gift to us and I thank God that you were in that room on that beautiful morning. I am so grateful that your words were spoken to us about Chloe so that we could see her as the perfect gift she is. Your words have power and we thank you that you chose to use them for good.

One year ago today we were two lost parents with a brand new baby and a brand new diagnosis that we admittedly were a little unprepared for. We were tired, we were scared, we were unsure, but at the same time we were also positive that our little girl would be loved fiercely forever. Today we stand with confidence saying life with Chloe is beyond what we could’ve dreamed of or imagined. We are learning the grand importance of patience, endurance and commitment in all areas of life. We are learning to slow down and take each step alongside our baby, letting her milestones be determined by her strengths and abilities and not our worldly expectations. We are learning to smile more, make deeper connections, hug without hesitation, smother one another in kisses and to never give up! We are learning to focus on what can be done rather than the “Can nots.”

So with all this I say: thank you.

Thank you for helping us to start this journey on the right path. Thank you for loving our daughter on the morning of her birth. Thank you for loving us enough to bless us by your words rather than burden us. Thank you for your professionalism, your empathy and your optimism. Thank you. We love you!

All our love,

Nick, Caitlin and Chloe Braden

Follow Chloe on Instagram.

Originally published: August 10, 2018
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