I'm so excited to bring you the second post in the Downright Blessed: Life with Down Syndrome series! We each have a story, and every story is different. With each story shared, we are able to spread even more awareness!
Today, I'd like you to meet a beautiful boy named Caleb and his sweet mom, Stephanie! Stephanie blogs about life with her husband and her two sons at The Johnsons.
After I had Liam, I searched for other bloggers who had a child with Down syndrome. Stephanie's blog was one of the first I found. I read through every post and fell in love with Caleb through her pictures and words. Her love for Caleb, and his baby brother, Tyler, is evident in every picture she posts. Caleb has overcome so much in his short life, and I consider it a privilege to be able to cheer him on through social media. Caleb will be celebrating his third birthday this month!
Here is Stephanie's story:
After a struggle with infertility, my husband and I were thrilled when we found out that we were expecting our first child.
Caleb was born in October 2012. We had spent years, and especially the previous several months, dreaming about our son and our growing family. As soon as Caleb was placed into my arms, we were overjoyed to finally meet our child...but there was something about him that didn't seem quite as I expected.
I just brushed off that suspicious feeling and started the bonding process with him. A couple hours after his birth, we were told that he likely had Down syndrome. And a couple hours after that, we were told that he had a congenital heart defect that would eventually require open heart surgery.
Wow... what a shock.
That day did not go as planned, and I was so confused. We prayed for this child for so many years. Wasn't infertility enough? Down syndrome, too? I questioned God. I questioned myself and my abilities to raise a child who had special needs. I was scared. I didn't understand what was going on. But Caleb was more than a diagnosis. He was a little baby who needed his mommy...and I needed him.
The last three years haven't always been easy, as we've dealt with surgeries, illnesses, and therapies. But we've had many more good times than difficult ones.
Caleb inspires me as I watch him work so hard to achieve milestones that come easy to his peers.
When he does something for the first time, he claps and says "yes" with so much enthusiasm.
He makes my heart melt when he signs "Jesus", because my greatest prayer for my boys is that they will know and love our Lord, Jesus Christ.
He makes me laugh when we head south to visit family and he thinks the sign for Texas is the same as Jesus...I'm a proud Texan, but we need to work on making sure he understands the difference between those two!
Caleb gives the best hugs and high fives, and he can snuggle better than anyone I know.
He makes instant friends with anyone we meet in a waiting room, grocery store or restaurant.
He is a wonderful big brother...most of the time, as you might expect any three year old little boy to be.
There are still lots of unknowns in our future, but I'm no longer afraid. I'm excited to see what's ahead for Caleb and our family. I know he will do amazing things, and I will always be his biggest cheerleader.
You can find Stephanie on Instagram, Twitter, and of course, at her blog!
Thank you so much for sharing your story and your sweet boy with all of us, Stephanie! Caleb is absolutely beautiful (as is Tyler). You are one lucky mama! Happy 3rd birthday to Caleb!
If you would like to share your story, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.