Today is World Down Syndrome Day. It is a day devoted to raising awareness about Down Syndrome.
7 months ago, I gazed into the eyes of my newborn, and immediately knew my life was about to change.
I stared down at my baby, tears running down my cheeks, and all I could see was the way his eyes slanted up and the extra skin at the back of his neck. My heart plummeted and I felt like life as I knew it was over.
I am ashamed to admit that in the few hours after Liam's birth all I saw was Down Syndrome.
Now, all I can see is Liam.
I see a beautiful person who can capture anyone's heart with a single smile.
I see a person who is unbelievably sweet, gentle, pure, and good.
I see a person who brings joy to this world.
I see a person with an incredible soul.
I see a person who lives life to the fullest.
I see a person with fierce determination.
I see a person who refuses to be a stereotype.
I see a person who defies all odds.
I see a person with eyes, a nose, a mouth, ears, hair, two arms, two legs, feet and hands, fingers and toes. A person. Just like any other.
My life did change when Liam came into our world. But not in the way I expected. It became better. He was the unexpected blessing I never knew I wanted or needed. He is one of the most beautiful human beings I know.
Most days, I forget he has Down Syndrome. Because he's Liam. Just Liam.
His genetic test may say one thing, but his beautiful eyes, smile, and spirit say so much more.
In those hours after his birth, I failed to see his beauty.
Now, it takes my breath away.