Archive for October, 2012

National Down Syndrome Month: “Waiting for & Welcoming My Angel”

October 23, 2012

I’d waited 11 years for her; and now it had been another three to four long weeks since the early morning phone call home from the hospital which announced her arrival early one July Monday morning.  I’d still not had the chance to see her yet. 

My heart beat rapidly with excitement as I prepared for our first meeting.  When I got there, she knew I was there to welcome her; and to everyone’s astonishment and disbelief she opened her eyes as I peered through the glass between us.  It was love at first sight. 

It was the first day I laid eyes upon my Angel, who was born three months premature, yet many years past-due from time I began my incessant requests.  This was the little sister I’d begged for most of my 11 years on this earth, and was told it wasn’t going to happen.  My mother was now 43 years old. 

When I saw the little 2 pound 7 oz body laying inside the hospital incubator, and she opened her eyes,  it was as if “my soul just opened up!” like we’d been together before and at long last had reconnected!  Mama and the nurses told me “that baby didn’t open her eyes” but I knew she had; and NObody could tell me any different.  

There was speculation as to whether or not she would live. Mama had had several miscarriages, still births, and other premature babies to pass prior to my birth, but my heart knew something different.  She, like me was a survivor, with a purpose; and I had already given her her name:  Kimberly Yvette.  

I guess I’ve always possessed the gift of great faith, and despite some serious bouts of challenge,  God’s great favor.  People now know better than to tell me about what can/will not happen.  This was one of the first miracles of faith which impacted my belief in God.  He really did hear my prayer and gave me the desire of my heart—exceedingly, abundantly, and above. Little did I know then that I’d been gifted with a “perpetual” little sister.  

Two months later when Kim finally reached 5 lbs., she was allowed to come home from the hospital. While waiting for the bus home from school one sunny Fall afternoon in October, I shouted with glee when the family car pulled up and I saw the bundle in the arms of my mother in the passenger seat.  “Don’t you step on my groceries” my mother said as my eyes were focused on the bundle in her arms while getting in the back seat of the car.  I could barely wait to hold her.   

Over the next few months I began living my dream of being a “big sister” although though in many ways she was more like my own live baby doll.  I fed and burped her, changed her diapers; and even gave her a bath for the first time without our mother’s permission while she was still asleep one day.  

Kim’s initial visits to the pediatrician went well and she was thriving well.  However, somewhere in time I recall the doctor saying that he had some concerns and wanted to run some tests. After blood tests and visits to what I know now as Developmental Study Center, during which we got to play with blocks and my mother was asked numerous questions, we returned to the pediatrician. 

I remember Dr. Stevenson looking at  the palms of Kim’s hands and telling us that Kim had a condition called Down Syndrome.  He went on to tell my mother that “Mongoloid” children didn’t have a long life expectancy and that Kim would probably never do the same things that other children could do and might require institutional care.  

I remember tears welled up in my eyes as he said those words, suggesting that my mother might consider placing her outside of the home.  My mother looked at me as I hugged and squeezed “My Angel”.  I’d waited for her way too long and I was determined that she wasn’t going anywhere. 

  

 Please leave your comments, subscribe and stay tuned for Part 2:

 “Growing Up With An Angel

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