What we did and when we did it. Sometimes.

What we did and when we did it. Sometimes. People, places and events to remember.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

31 for 21: The Not-So-Distant Future and Friends Afar

Let me introduce you to two of my favorite girls.

This is Ellie:

And this is Hailey:

I "met" these lovely ladies - and their moms - on an online board for parents of kids with Down syndrome.  Ben was less than a month old, and we had just received two diagnoses: 

(1) Ben has Down syndrome.
(2) Ben has a congenital heart defect that would probably require surgery before he turned one.

I was desperately looking for other families and kids that had been in our situation.  Thanks to the babycenter.com group, I found blog after blog with birth stories and tales of open heart surgery.  Since I was pumping 8-10 times a day, I spent a LOT of time online.   Ellie and Hailey are both about 6 months older than Ben, they each have Down syndrome, and they each had heart surgery before they were 6 months old. 

Seeing Ellie and Hailey's pictures - and reading about their personalities and their families - gave me such hope for Ben's immediate future. 

Hailey's mom writes The Hailey Herald.  Hailey is the youngest of three kids, and it is great to read about her relationship with her big brothers.  She spends a lot of time at the soccer field cheering on her older brothers' teams, and she goes after their stuff just like any younger sibling would.  :)  She's quite a character!

And so is Ellie!  Ellie's mom blogs at My Stubborn Little Miss.  Ellie is an only child, and she is adorable.  Her mom often posts pictures and videos of Ellie's latest adventures.  It's fun to keep up with her  - talking, walking, eating plastic letters, apple-picking, swinging.

My Stubborn Little Miss and The Hailey Herald are also participating in 31 for 21.  Here are two of my favorite posts so far:  Confession and Who is Hailey? 

When I didn't know anyone in real life who was parenting a baby with Down syndrome, these moms' writing and photos helped me feel like I wasn't alone.  I'm so thankful for them!

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