My sweet girl is going to be one on Friday.  I have been spending a lot of time reflecting about this past year.

I can still remember the feel of her weight in my arms as I delivered her myself.  I remember the terror I felt as I ripped the cord from her neck, and the relief when I heard her cry.  I remember the hot tears that I cried and the guilt that I felt when I was told she had Down syndrome.  I remember the hushed voices of the doctors as they explained all the tests they had to run and how I felt I wasn’t strong enough to handle our new life.

Raising a child with special needs isn’t always easy, but sometimes I find it to be more gratifying.  I loved when Caden and Ava learned new milestones, and I celebrated them excitedly.  With Elena, and the expectation of those same milestones being delayed, I find myself celebrating more vigorously.  I don’t want to take away from Caden or Ava’s growth from infants to the kids they are now, but I know that Elena has to work harder to learn the things that came so easily for my other two, so I will rejoice in these developments for a little longer.  I will cherish her determination and wilfulness to get what she sets her mind to.

I spent a lot of this past year living in fear, but my baby girl has shown me that I don’t need to be there.  She will never have to prove anything to me, but her shear determination already has.  She will hit her milestones, delay or not, and we will celebrate them.

My baby girl has helped me to find my voice.  I will not stand down when she needs something.  I will not be backed into a corner.  I have always been the one to try to smooth things over and compromise just to defuse a situation.  I will not tolerate ignorance and I won’t stand idly by and listen to people say things that are wrong and hurtful.  I know that going in guns blazin’ isn’t going to solve issues either, but I know that I won’t accept less that what she needs either.  I am learning the fine art of advocating to ensure she gets what she needs.

We have come a long way, and I am looking forward to the next year and all the triumphs we will have along the way.

~ by triumphsforelena on June 13, 2011.

2 Responses to “Reflection”

  1. Beautifully said! You Elena is adorable. Sounds to me like she has taught you so much over the last year, mostly about yourself. I’m so glad to hear that you are learning the art of advocating for her… that’s what I loved so much about my job, being a patient advocate. You’re her mommy so there is no one better to advocate for her! I know I only follow along on fb and blogs but it seems to me that you are doing a wonderful job raising your three beautiful children!

  2. Leza, this is absolutely beautiful and your love for Elena is so inspiring. I am so in awe of you and her and your family. Happy Birthday to the beautiful and wonderful Elena!

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