5 Reasons I Smile

The ultimate goal of this blog is to spread awareness and show how beautiful life can be. We have four amazing daughters. Our youngest was born with Down syndrome. If just one person stops here and leaves with a different, better perspective about Down syndrome, then it is worth it. Regardless, I have 5 Reasons to Smile!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

She is so Smart.

I am boiling over with thoughts, feelings and emotions. Not just related to the title above. Related to my whole journey thus far, since being told my daughter had DOWN SYNDROME. I type that in upper case, because the day after she was born, those words were huge. They were enormous and consumed my mind and heart for over a year. Many emotions, thoughts, feelings, and transformations have occurred within me over the last 2.5 years. At times I want to share, to get it out, the good, the bad, all of it.

Then, I question if I should. Should I keep it private? Is it right for me to share? Do I want my girls to know what I went through? Do I want Kamryn to know? I end up debating with myself.

I believe that we don't often share the challenging, tough times we experience in life. In general, we don't want to open ourselves up to the criticism and judgement that may come from that. I also think there is a fear that you may be "alone in the feelings you experience" and others really won't understand, hence the judgement.

I am completely going to depart from what I was writing about, because I have a personal example...nursing a baby doesn't come natural to all women! When my first daughter Jaden was born, I had a terrible, excruciatingly painful time nursing her. All I ever heard was, "Nursing a baby is natural." I don't recall one person ever telling me how challenging or painful nursing can be. I felt so betrayed :). It took 6 (SIX) weeks for me to be able to nurse w/out crying. After that experience, I shared with my first-child pregnant friends. Now, I was not giving them the play-by-play painful version-"don't do it - it sucks the first few weeks" kind of information. However, I told them nursing did not come natural to me. That it hurt. Once I got it down, it was a great experience and I was glad I did it.

OK, back to where my thoughts really are tonight...so I have been through the hardest(hardest meaning, HARDEST) year of my life after being giving the DOWN SYNDROME news on August 18. 2008. I have also been through the most transforming, indescribable with words, eye opening, self-examination, self-discovery, humbling experience in my life.

I want to share it. I want to remember it. I want to not forget.

It has made me better, stronger, more humble.


Kamryn is so smart. I type that, shaking my head and with a smile on my face. Because she is.

There is a young lady at our church with Down syndrome. Before Kamryn was born, I didn't think about her Down syndrome. She can read (from the KING JAMES version of the Bible). She can write. She can talk. She is a typical young lady. I never thought about her as being smart or not. I never had any thought about her disability. I really didn't "see" it. I saw her.

Interestingly, the first year of Kamryn's life I wondered if she would talk, crawl, walk, write, read. Shoot, I wondered if she would do anything. I thought she just might stay in the new born baby status her whole life. It is amazing what a dose of fear, a drop of information from the old School medical community, hearing about stereo types (and believing them) can do. I was terrified of Down syndrome, my daughters life, all my daughters lives, my life, my husbands life. Oh, I could go on and on.

Someone gave me a book, Babies with Down Syndrome. I read only a few chapters. It may be a great book, however I didn't want to read about my baby with Down syndrome. (GIFTS, now that is a book I read. Over and Over and Over).

For the record, I am reading What to Expect the Toddler Years. Because I expect that of my daughter. I expect from her what I expected from all my children. Expectations. I have them now.

Kamryn is typical two (and a half).

The other day I told the girls, "Get your shoes and socks on." Kamryn began to head upstairs.

I said, "Kamryn, where are you going?"

she said, "socks".

I followed her up the stairs, into her room, where she opened the dresser draw and took out a pair of socks.

She can repeat every letter of the alphabet.

The other day she pulled the oven mittens out of the cabinet, went to the oven (with them on) and as she tried to open the oven door said "hot, hot".

She talks, walks, runs, dances, talks back (nooooo has become a very common word)

She is so smart.

I just had to share.

With our amazing Speech Therapist

Halloween 2010

Thanks Giving 2010


  1. Thanks so much, Andrea. That was a really encouraging post for me. We've been doing Roo's semi-annual re-assessment (he's 9 months), and I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all. It's really neat to hear about and see your beautiful little girl!

  2. Andrea, Kamryn is unbelievable...and so are you! I am glad your world is back in balance. I think Bridget was about Kamryn's age when we first talked. I was so certain you'd all come through just fine. And now you know why :). xoxo Lisa

  3. What a great post! Kamryn is so smart and will continue to amaze and surprise you as she gets older! That last picture is precious...made me smile! :)

  4. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this post because I knew you would get here! So happy for all of you!

  5. Isn't it funny how much those stereo types intrude into what is reality? And without knowing someone with Down syndrome and knowing for yourself the truth, how could the world know? I'm glad you are letting everyone know how beautiful, how magical, how PERFECT life is with a child with Down syndrome. I wish it on every family in the world. The ones that don't have the blessing of a child with DS are missing out on one of God's most amazing journeys.