This month Laura and her girls are in the blog. Four beauties…and another one on the way!
I’m learning so much from each mother that I spotlight through our Honoring Mothers project. I’m even learning from their children. I love the dynamics between siblings. Its sweet to quietly watch as they play and laugh and also take care of each other. And it’s even nice to see them argue and struggle too…as that is part of being a sibling. I think we learn about how to interact with our peer and friends through interacting with our siblings. It’s like a “safe zone” because all is forgiven moments later.
These beautiful girls laughed, played, smiled, and even argued during our session. And they wiggled their way right into my heart. As Laura said, “they are more alike than different.”
On December 7, 2010, I gave birth to my beautiful daughters, Jillian and Leah. Jillian was born first and before Leah was born, doctors had expressed concern about Jillian. I was told that they suspected Jillian had Down Syndrome or maybe just “looked squished” because she was a twin. She was brought to the NICU for testing. Doctors stated that they thought she had Down Syndrome because of her “abnormal” features. After I was situated in the recovery room, the nurses asked if I wanted to see my daughters. I said yes but secretly hoped they would bring Leah first because I was so nervous to see Jillian. Nurses described Jillian as looking “abnormal” which terrified me. The nurses did bring Leah first but shortly after arrived with Jillian. The nurse handed her to me and I immediately fell in love. Jillian looked up at me with her big blue eyes. She was so beautiful.
Almost four years later, Jillian has grown into an adorable, funny, sweet preschooler. She attends public preschool and is in an inclusion classroom with her sister. Although sometimes it takes her a little longer, Jillian is able to do everything that a typical child can do.
Being mom to a special needs child is no different than being a parent to a typical child. In our family, Jillian is treated the same as her sisters. Is Jillian a challenge? Yes, of course, so is every three year old. I’ve learned to realize that Jillian is more like other children than different. My biggest fear when Jillian was born was what the future would hold for her. She has taught me that nothing is impossible and with her strong-willed personality there is nothing that she can’t accomplish.