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To My Daughter With Down Syndrome on Your First Day of School

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To my 2-year-old on your first day of school,

I remember the day we found out we were finally pregnant with you. We had been trying for such a long time. I couldn’t help but think you were going to be a true angel sent from above.

Weeks went by, and I began to feel you inside, turning, hiccuping and growing. I remember the morning we were going to see you on that little screen at the ultrasound appointment, we could not contain our excitement. We were quickly brought to our knees when the doctor gave us the news that you had a heart defect.

The next weeks followed with tests and more tests. We also found out you would have an extra chromosome.

I’m sorry to say I was scared. I’m sorry to say the tears rolled down easily because I didn’t know what your future would be like. I didn’t know what you would be like.

Months went by, and we prepared for you to come and join us in this world. I begged and pleaded with God that he would make you healthy.

On the day you were born, there was a sign on the wall with the words “Miracles happen here.”

We were so excited to meet you. Your sissy was at school, and she had no idea you were coming on that beautiful day. You came pretty fast.

I believe God actually made our dreams come true and answered our prayers. You were healthy. A team from NICU checked you out for about five minutes, and they said your heart was good and you wouldn’t need surgery for a few months. And guess what? You were perfect, you were perfect to us!

When I think of the day we finally met you, I remember how tiny you were. That day, I promised I would always love you, protect you and guide you, and I would teach the world about you. Because my biggest fear was that this world wasn’t ready for you.

The author's daughter

I never thought your first day of school would come so quickly. Now that it’s only a couple of weeks away, I don’t know if my heart can handle it. 

You will be meeting new people, and I have to trust the world to take care of you. I have to trust that you will be safe, that you will be cared for and treated with love and respect. That this world will look at who you are and not diss your ability. That this world will see all you are capable of and build your wings with gentle, loving care, the way we have. That you will be given the opportunity to thrive in your own unique way.

I hope I have prepared you for this big stepping stone in your life. If anything, I know we’ve all shown you how much we adore you, how we treasure who you are and that we love you for being you!

I take comfort in sending you to school. I know you need more time to learn, that you may require more help. And though I want you with me always, because I don’t know if the world is ready for you, I do this for you, for you to be able to fly, to be able to succeed, to be able to communicate, and for you to show the world you can do anything you dream of with a little extra help.

I know I will be a mess on your first day of school, your very first day without me. I hope your teacher can see the potential I see in you, your determination, your silliness, your passion for life, your yearning to learn, your sweet soul and your loving heart. That she will guide you and teach you, because I know it takes a village.

I pray one day you may be independent and lead a beautiful life the way we have imagined for you. I know you will shine bright like the biggest star. The sky is the limit!

May your sweet guardian angel protect you through this new journey, my precious one. We believe in you more than you will ever know. You take a huge piece of my heart everywhere you go. Mama loves you to heaven and back times infinity and beyond, forever.

Originally published: August 29, 2016
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