Saturday, July 31, 2010

Milestones Can Be Miracles

From the day Nichole was born with Down syndrome, we knew that milestones would take a little bit longer. She rolled over a little later, sat unassisted at 8 months, sat on her own from laying down after she was one year old, crawled at fifteen months and took her fist independent steps when she was 23 months old.

Although at times I had to keep myself from being discouraged, mostly we got to enjoy our baby a little bit longer. What is even more, the excitement we experienced over Nichole's accomplishment of each milestone was blissful! The celebration was so heartfelt that there were many times I found myself with tears of joy.

Walking was one of those milestones that was particularly meaningful. She was close to walking and we were getting closer to leaving for Ukraine to adopt Nina. The thought of missing Nichole's first steps was saddening to me. Not only had we worked hard, it was one of those things that as the mother of a child with Down syndrome you do not want to miss, it is a defining moment. Emma Bombeck's poem whispered in my heart, "You witness a miracle and you know it."

Thankfully I did get to see Nichole's first wobbly steps and short distance accomplishments. By the time I got back from Ukraine, she was really walking. I was thankful I had gotten to witness the miracle.

But now I have a child with Cerebral Palsy too. The miracle of walking is one I hope to experience yet one more time.

With Nichole we celebrated, we cheered, we cried. With Nina walking...I might cry like a baby! We will be so proud of her the day that we see her accomplish such a milestone. This will be Nina's little miracle, and we will be honored if we are her witnesses.

And we will celebrate, oh how we will celebrate! And in our celebration, I suppose that we will dance, and we will dance as if nobody was watching. Nichole and Nina have taught us to live life and not keep anything inside. You will all agree, that you give it your all when a milestone, for a particular child, becomes their miracle.

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