I decided to travel down to my hometown in Virginia (just outside of DC) to see the birth of my sister’s first child. After having two kids myself, and absolutely loving the days I gave birth to them, I wanted to share in this miracle with my sister (without having to endure any pain myself this time). She said I could be in the room with her, and I was so excited to help her and see her first child be born. I think if I could have another occupation in life, it might be to be a labor and delivery nurse. I know it wouldn’t all be roses, but being able to witness so many miracles might be worth the hard times.
Since then, my niece has undergone heart procedures and is doing well. She is 4-years old now. Secondly, I remember running out to Borders to try and find a book for my sister about Down Syndrome, and I found one with stories that mothers wrote. It was titled Gifts. One particular story struck us and as we read it aloud in the hospital room, and to everyone it seemed to make a difficult situation a bit better. The funny thing about that story is now my sister is very close friends with the mother who wrote it.
Evelyn is my niece. She is a smart, fearless, sweet older sister, who just happens to have Down Syndrome. She is a part of our family, and is just like the rest of us. She will have hopes and dreams when she gets older, and she will live life to its fullest. Of course, raising a child with special needs can be tough and there are many challenges and health risks she will have to overcome and endure throughout her life, but she has just as much hope and possibility as anyone else. She is currently thriving and progressing well and has been fortunate enough to participate in wonderful early intervention programs in the DC area. She attends preschool 5 days a week, knows her ABCs, counts to 10, knows all her colors, sings, dances, loves tee ball, swimming and being a big sister. We are truly blessed to have Evelyn in our lives, and I am truly proud of my sister for being a strong and proactive mother. Evelyn is where she is today thanks to my sister and the care she gives her.