These are such important things in a life, any life. It can be argued that they are even more important in the life of a person with an intellectual disability. There are so many factors that will affect how Cora's life takes shape. Her ability to live a happy and productive life and achieve personal success is dependent upon the opportunities she is given. Opportunities for medical care, education and therapies are important.
But even more important is her opportunity for love and acceptance. The potential of individuals with Down syndrome seems to be steadily increasing in the eyes of society. Access to the services that are now available most certainly plays a role. But the fact that people with Down syndrome are being raised in loving and supportive families and are out and about within their communities seems almost more significant to me.
When Cora was born I worried about what my family would think. What my friends would think. I was honestly afraid. I worried that they may not love her like I immediately knew that she needed to be loved. But thankfully this worry was very short-lived, as our friends and family rallied around her. When Cora was medically fragile and waiting for open heart surgery the prayers of loved ones and strangers showered over us. Our words of love for her drew people in, but it was truly her warm little soul that wrapped itself around their hearts. Her little spirit, her joy, her enthusiasm, her wit and intelligence shines. It's like you can't really look away.
It's no secret that I love her beyond belief, but the fact that so many others love her as well is so important: to me, to her, and to her life.
We recently had a visit with someone we love. Although Cora has only spent a few short visits with her Aunt Dana, it doesn't take long to see that there is a special bond between the two of them. It doesn't hurt that Dana is awfully good at participating in Cora's very favorite games. The deal was sealed when Cora reached up for her auntie from her mama's arms.
So we spent a couple of days in the company of some of our favorite people, basking in the beauty of their outdoor life, walking among the trees and the hills, and loving our quiet time.
We said goodbye to summer with a big hooray. Thank you to our lovely family for having us, and for loving our girl.
|Oh how this girl will miss summer swimming!|
|Waving to her fans from her new favorite seat!|