Every year in February, our family is a little bit busier than usual. As parents, we normally plan many of our activities around our kids no matter what time of year it is. In February, however, many of our activities are planned because we have a been gifted a child with an extra chromosome.
Gellibean (Evangelina) was born with Down Syndrome and forever changed the way our family worked. She helped me see just how strong her dad’s faith in God was, and she also showed me how wonderfully loving and accepting my three big kids were. She has given me the ability to see stoic strength of my own mother, and it is because of her birth that I have also learned to admire the strengths in many of the other mothers I come into contact with on a daily basis.
She’s allowed me to live a life where I have learned to put judgement aside, of of course in all her perfection she has been able to silently show me my flaws…inside and out. She has caused me to pause and realize what’s really valuable in this life, and she has reminded me that much of what is valuable you can’t put a price tag on. She’s helped me filter through the friends and acquaintances that I needed to move on from, and has solidified our love and trust in relationships that may have needed repair in our own families.
She has given me the courage to start this blog-and whether she knows it or not-I really needed her. I was in a different place and time before she was born. I thought I had REAL problems. Don’t get me wrong-my life is not a bed of roses now that we have a child with 47 chromosomes…it’s different yet it is the same. But ONE major aspect of my life has changed because she chose me to be her mom. Evangelina has given me the gift of PERSPECTIVE.
It’s my appreciation of the little things and the innate goodness that I see in people which I can credit to her. In fact, I dare say that she has also brought out that good in each and every one of us even within our own family. Actually, I think she has quite a knack for tapping into people’s “goodness.”
While I’m sure that many could debate the fact that human beings are naturally kind and compassionate, I have always clung to the theory that we are blank slates; compassionate and kind individuals, who would like to help one another. Gelli has reinforced the belief in that theory for me.
So, in February, (like in August when Gelli was born) I am reminded to live and feel just a little more grateful. I am reminded of where and who I was before she was born. What I thought was important before Evangelina came into our lives, is not necessarily what I deem to be important now. In short, you can even say she made me…a better version of me. As she continues to grow up she still helps me to be a better person, even if she is too young to understand the idea of it.
Gelli has allowed me to become more introspective. She has encouraged me to become more self aware. It is through that self awareness that she has gifted me with inspiration beyond measure…happiness beyond laughter…and the tears of sadness and disappointment have long been gone to be replaced by tears of gratitude…and YES…TEARS OF HAPPINESS, AND PRIDE, AND GRATITUDE.