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   My Beautiful Child

  Our son Hayden was born August 23,  2011.  He had brown hair and hazel eyes. He was beautiful. He did have some minor complications when he was born and the NICU staff at Cabrini Hospital was right there to handle everything. After the doctor finished examining Hayden he said your son has characteristics of Down Syndrome. My first thought was "I don’t know anything about Down Syndrome". His daddy, Matt, and I thought they smiled a lot and were really cute. Boy did we have a lot to learn!

A lot of children with Down Syndrome have heart and eating issues at birth but we were so blessed to have a healthy baby boy. He had a healthy heart, and he could eat and drink. Now what? We learned about Down Syndrome, enrolled in Early Steps for therapy, and prayed. While our journey has been a learning experience our rewards have been plenty. Our family and friends met and fell in love with Hayden. We found or should I say they found us…a support group, the Cenla Down Syndrome Association. It is great to be able to see kids with Down Syndrome in different stages of life. When Hayden was a baby I could see other children running and I would say, I just have to be parent... he will walk one day. Now, he is running and we are chasing him! Our focus now is on speech. I can’t wait to hear his voice and have him say 2 and 3 word sentences. I know it will happen, and it will be so special, I just hope it is not an inappropriate word!

We just celebrated Hayden’s 3rd birthday and he has taught us a lot. With the cuteness comes stubbornness; with the smiles comes tears; with each milestone comes joy; with each failed test comes fear; that prayers work; and that having a support system of family and friends is immeasurable. Hayden has an older brother, Hunter, a 10th grader at Holy Savior Menard High School. Hayden has turned into Hunter’s shadow. He follows his big brother around everywhere. Whatever Hunter does Hayden wants to do too. Hayden also has a new puppy named "Woody" so there is never a dull moment at our house. Hayden loves playing outside, swimming, riding on the "wheeler" with his daddy, and going to see cows with his "T and Unk".

Every Saturday he has "coffee" with his MawMaw and visits his cousins in the neighborhood. He is used to having his picture taken which is a good thing since his "KayKay" follows him around with the camera. His Mimi and Papa Rick live in Many and raise horses so as soon as we get clearance from the doctor we will start riding lessons too. We have a weekly Supper Club with four other families that have children that range in age from 3 to 15. The kids love to play with Hayden and he does a good job trying to keep up with them. I guess in the end we all learn we are more alike than we are different…just the way God intended.

My Beautiful Child By: Mary Tarver

 

 

 

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