We received top notch grandparent stories for our Grandparent’s Day contest and wanted to share three of those stories with you. It was nearly impossible to choose a winner among these beautiful stories because each of them is particularly meaningful in different ways — demonstrating love, sometimes sacrifice, commitment, vision, and determination. So, all of them are receiving a gift pack of books, and our first place winner, Stacey Hopper, is also receiving a strawberry gift basket from Mercier Orchards for the amazing grandparents in her life. Thanks again for all who participated!
From Stacy Hopper (Mom):
“I was 20 years old, married for less than a year and in another state, when we found out our firstborn was going to have Down syndrome. Obviously shocked and scared, I called my mom and told her the “bad news,” and she and my fathers responded, “Okay, so what’s the bad news?”
I kid you not! My family rallied around us and researched, joined groups, and called daily with encouragement and hopeful words.
My mom came out when Josephyne was born and stayed til she was 18 days old. Sadly she had to go back home before our girl came home, but she was with her everyday until she left!
When our baby was 5 weeks old, my husband was deployed to Iraq, and Joey Grace and I were all by ourselves. My family didn’t like that so my dad and two of my three brothers drove from Missouri to Coastal North Carolina to pack us up and bring us home while he was deployed. My dad had only seen her in pictures until they pulled up in front of my house … and when he saw her for the first time, it was amazing. A complete and utter love that knows no bounds and that is palpable to anyone around. Our girl is now 10, turning 11 in November, and her absolute best friends and biggest champions would be my amazing parents. Involved in every aspect of our lives, they always make sure love and time spent is equal among their 10 grandchildren but there is something between my daddy (Papa) and my girl (Joey Grace) that no one will ever understand: true and honest love that is never ending.
I come from an amazing and large family, and no one has ever treated her any different than they would any other child, and that is all due to my parents examples in our growing up and in their reaction to our amazingly genetically enhanced girl.
Low you Nana-Bean and Papa-Bean!”
Amy Allison, the Executive Director of the Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City, which is Stacy’s local Down syndrome organization, says:
In 2002 DSG received a phone call from a grandpa to be indicating his daughter was living in another state and was just informed she is carrying a baby with Down syndrome. Grandpa was concerned and anxious to get educated about the condition and the best ways he could support his daughter and granddaughter to be. I met with Grandpa within a few weeks of his call and provided him up-to-date accurate information to help him prepare. He called me a few months after his granddaughter was born to say that his son in-law was being deployed and he was concerned, so he was moving his daughter and granddaughter to Kansas City to provide help. As grandparents go, he was the biggest cheerleader and supporter I have seen. Always proud and always looking for ways to get engaged with the DSG. I wasn’t surprised at all when Stacy’s story was selected as a winner for the DSP contest!