If I knew then- in 1983- what I know now, I wouldn’t have believed it. I would never had thought I would have the backbone in me to become the strong mama bear that you BECOME when you have a child born with a disability.
I was 25 years old when I had Jenni. The idea of having a baby born with Down syndrome never entered my mind. Well, maybe it did….. just a little. I have to admit, if I heard that term on TV, I would change the channel. I remember one afternoon watching Phil Donahue – I can’t even recall what the episode was about- but it had to do with anomalies (a condition existing at or before birth regardless of cause). They showed a picture of a newborn baby who had Down syndrome in the hospital nursery and I couldn’t even watch. I was afraid that somehow that was an omen of what I could possibly face. How ironic was that moment.
As I say jokingly (and lovingly), Jenni is our perpetual preschooler. She keeps us young at heart. She is such a sweet, quirky, innocent soul and makes me smile each day. (Even if we’ve encountered a rough day- and believe me, there have been quite a few of those.) She is happy and healthy and loved.
Happy 33rd birthday Jennifer Jillian!