I met Akiko through a my very good friend, Fiona.
I remember Fiona saying that she had this friend who just had a baby girl with Down Syndrome. Sachiko was about 4 or 5 months old when I met her and her momma for the first time. We enjoyed afternoon tea in Fiona’s place with baby girl, her momma, and her grandma, Hiroko.
It was an afternoon full of gracious amazing women.
I shared a little bit about Gelli, but more importantly, I showed Akiko and Hiroko one of my morning and afternoon routines when she was still an infant. I shared how I used infant massage coupled with Yoga for the Special Child to stimulate muscle development, while Gelli was still small.
We even had a mini session on the floor while I explained the benefits of each pose.
In fact, if you are a new momma, and your reading this post, please take the time to look up Sonia Sumar’s Yoga for the Special Child. I still want to get my certification for this program, there just are not enough hours in the day.
I suppose that’s what many of us think when we are given the time to sit down and gather ourselves. We wished we knew what we know now. While we know that’s impossible, I suppose the greatest gift we can give someone else, is the gift of our own experiences…at least for what it is worth.
HENCE, why I am so grateful that so many of my friends who are very private, still choose to share parts of themselves here on the blog for all of you.
THANK YOU AKIKO, for sharing a little bit during Down Syndrome Consciousness Month. Thank you for letting us love on Sachiko and your boys, and thank you for sharing her light, and your joy…
Amelia SACHIKO Antoinette Thomson Guevara, our child of JOY.
Sachiko came into our lives different from her brothers. She was my first Cesarian birth, and while I would normally request to walk to my birthing room, with Sach I welcomed the wheelchair as I prayed to calm my anxious heart and trembling legs. Perhaps subconsciously I knew this was going to be a special child, even at birth.
Two weeks before giving birth we had met with a developmental doctor, a family friend, to ask for help as we encountered more special needs students in our swim school. With safety always our utmost concern, we wanted to know how best to address their needs and work with their quirks. Two weeks later Sachiko came along with an extra chromosome, trisomy 21, unbeknownst to us.
It was a shock to say the least, and most trying as we waited for confirmation from her blood test (the unknown always is), but somehow I knew even at first sight, as a mama always does, there was something different.
A year plus later, here we are. There are many miracles to share surrounding Sachiko’s birth, all indicating God’s handprint—His divine confirmation, preparation and assurance that she is His perfect will for us, and gift to us. How blessed we are!
And so let me enumerate all that Sachiko is to us and how we love her so.
This by all means is not exhaustive, I should consult the men in my life and my extended family, but here we go… Sachiko is:
- Our comfort and therapy, after a stressful day all I want to do is hug her, love her and hear her giggles as I tickle her belly or nuzzle in between her neck.
- She is the adventure I didn’t know I wanted or needed—everything is new with Sachiko, therapy, development, how she relates with others, but I trust in the goodness of God and the gift He has given. There are certainly more unknowns with her, and yet I choose to relish and celebrate each milestone as they come.
- Sachiko is truly God’s gift to us, born on our 7th wedding anniversary, what could be more perfect and complete?
- My teacher. Sachiko has opened my eyes to so much more, my heart is more tender and full. I don’t think people know their capacity, until our lives are stretched beyond what we imagine.
- I don’t really see Down Syndrome anymore, she’s just Sach our spunky little girl.
- My/our sunshine, everyone loves Sach, her smile lights up a room, and warms the coldest of hearts.
- She is the joy of our hearts and our family, and the boys adore Sachiko. And she isn’t to be messed with—she will bite or pull if she doesn’t like what’s being done to her by her brothers! Our very own live baby shark!
And if I were to speak to the Akiko a year plus ago, I would say, “it’s going to be ok, you’re going to be ok, she’s going to be ok.” I know there are milestones yet to be achieved and skills to learn, but with the unconditional love, acceptance and support we shower our boys, who knows what she can achieve?
I suppose the best way we can make more people aware about the beauty of our children with different needs is to share them with others, to love on them as we love on any other child, and show that with a little help and effort our children can do wonders too, can contribute for the good of all mankind. As I heard recently, our special needs children are not an obligation, but an inspiration for all. How true.
When God created the world He rested on the 7th day and said it was complete and good. Truly our family is complete with Sachiko in it, and we thank God everyday for her, His good gift!
I share so many sentiments with Akiko.
Akiko makes reference to the Akiko from one year ago, the Akiko who didn’t know all that she knows now about being Sachiko’s momma. I have done this too. In fact, I think every momma who has a child with Down Syndrome would agree, if we only knew then, what we know now, we wouldn’t have wasted so many tears…