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
My Beautiful Child By: Mary Tarver