We mourned the child we ‘should’ have had. We were terrified about what it would mean for our future. We felt like we’d been gut-punched.
When Zoe was born, we hadn’t done any prenatal testing. So we had no idea she would have Down Syndrome. It was not a good day. I started researching Down Syndrome and brain development and somewhere in there MY brain got messed up. I believed that if we did enough, we could ‘fix’ her. Now I just want her to be the best Zoe she can be.
Recently, Zoe and I took a road trip to Montana to visit my Mom and Dad. I’ve always been a ‘get there fast’ kind of girl, so on solo road trips, I never stop except to get gas. With Zoe along, it’s a different ride. We stopped and bought french fries, and Zoe shared them with Buttercup the Dog in the back seat. We noticed the trees lining the highway – bright yellow leaves showering down on us like a brilliant golden fairy snowstorm.
We stopped every hour so Zoe could practice her new potty skills. (She not only cheered her own success in the rest stop, but also gave generous praise to complete strangers for getting their business done. ‘Yay!!!!! Good Potty!!! You did it!!!’)
It stunned me that getting there was actually fun. It’s changed how I think about Special Needs and the life that comes with it. You ever see those cars with the SE on the back? ‘Special Edition.’ We pay more for those cars, and they are worth it.
I’ve decided to start thinking of Zoe and our family as ‘Special Edition.’ We do things differently, and it’s awesome. One of my friends says every person has special needs. And we all know the answer to the question, ‘Are we there yet?’ Nope