OUR DOWN SYNDROME JOURNEY

Kelle & Nella
Our daughter Nella has Down syndrome. A week after she was born, I wrote and posted the story of her birth, and two years later Bloom was published—the greater story of finding beauty in the unexpected in life. If you have recently received a Down syndrome diagnosis in your pregnancy or have welcomed a child with Down syndrome and have been directed to this blog, here’s what I hope you’ll see—hope and happiness and hard days and victories and togetherness. Since you probably weren’t reading before Nella was born, let me catch you up on what our life looked like without Down syndrome—hope and happiness and hard days and victories and togetherness. While this blog is not a Down syndrome specific blog, I do occasionally write about it. You can find these posts in the “DownNella syndrome” category tab. In the early days after Nella’s diagnosis, I was comforted by “peeking in the windows”—in the online non-creeper way, of course—of families who had a child with Down syndrome, and seeing that life goes on. It takes hard work and an enormous space in your heart to love and raise a child. You’ll see that reflected for all of our children through this blog. But what defines us most as individuals and as a family is love and a celebration for life’s little moments. Go ahead, poke around the blog, look at pictures. Hopefully, you’ll see what we want the world to see—not a child who has Down syndrome, but simply, a child.

Since Nella was born, we’ve chosen two Down syndrome organizations to support and highlight, and through the remarkable kindness and generosity of readers, we’ve together raised over $267,000 for the National Down Syndrome Society and just this year, in celebration of World Down Syndrome Celebration Day, $123,000 for Ruby’s Rainbow, an organization that provides college scholarships for people with Down syndrome. We’re incredibly grateful for your support. This online community continually reminds us that we’re not alone.

If you are a regular blog reader, we don’t expect you to high five everything you read here. We celebrate the fact that we are all different, and different is good. We only ask that as you read and follow along, you’ll join with us in celebrating the many things that make us different—chromosomes, bodies, talents, styles, parenting, beliefs, ideas, backgrounds, abilities—and the powerful way our differences, when combined, can change the world.

Nella