Expectant parents who are raw from a diagnosis may not be feeling very thankful. It is difficult to envision the future as one that you will treasure, but that is the reality of most who have walked your path. Parents usually find significant joy, richness, and gratitude once they move past some of the initial shock, grief, and, sometimes, medial issues in the beginning. Reading about the gratitude of those who have already travelled the path can help some expectant parents see down the road a little.
See also: Adjusting to a Down Syndrome Diagnosis chapter in our book, "Diagnosis to Delivery: A Pregnant Mother's Guide to Down Syndrome."
Reflections from other moms who shared with us what they appreciate about their children with Down syndrome:
I am thankful that Gabby is part of our lives, that she is happy and drinks in life. I am most thankful for her sense of humor. I am grateful that she was born in this time, when we have so many things to help her. I am so lucky to have this wonderful child.
I am, and all of my family is, so very thankful to have Larkin in our family. This beautiful, wonderful little boy has brought so much joy and love to our lives. I am thankful for his sweet smile that starts our days, his infectious laughter and bright personality that fill them, and his warm cuddles that end each day. We feel incredibly fortunate.
I am thankful God chose us to be Megan’s parents. Thankful for her beautiful smiles that light up the room. The sparkle in her eyes, her laugh, and even her little attitude! Life would be so dull and boring without my precious little Megan. Did I mention her smile? I love her to pieces!
I’m thankful for Owen’s smiles and coos. I’m thankful that my husband and I were on the same page and never considered not having Owen. I’m thankful that God made me a mommy to the sweetest little boy in the world!
I am deeply thankful that I kept Moxie. Through the hardest times after the amniocentesis – when all I had were my dark fears, deep anxieties, and prejudice. I am so very thankful that I kept her, this precious girl.
She is the light of my heart, my Joy Baby. Darling daughter of delight, she is.
If only I had known … I could have spent 5 months eagerly anticipating her rather than mourning.
I'm grateful that I kept my sweet Olivia. After getting the CVS diagnosis, my husband and I seriously were considering giving her up for adoption. I’m so glad I didn’t!
I am so thankful for her laughter, smiles, how she wakes up every day smiling at me and how she claps her hands every time she accomplishes something. I am also so thankful to be living in a time where information about helping our kids is so readily available! Thank God for the Internet!
I’m thankful for the better mom I am because of Jacob and the better siblings my two older kids have become. I’m thankful that I’m part of a community of people who know the true value of a person. I’m thankful for the deeper, brighter way of living he has brought into our lives.
I am thankful for my daughter Addison’s laugh. Without fail, when it bubbles up through her rosebud lips, it erases whatever bad that just happened or might be weighing heavily on my mind. When she smiles and then bursts out into giggles that shake her entire body, the world stops, and I am amazed at how lucky I am to be her mom. It’s impossible not to smile back and realize how great life is. Having a child with Down syndrome doesn’t change that one tiny bit. It just enhances it.
I’m grateful every single day for Abby. Every morning I go in her room and she’s smiling at me. I love holding her. The peace I feel when I do is remarkable. I’m glad God chose me to get one of his favorites.
There are countless reasons why I am thankful for my sweet Broden. I am thankful for his sense of humor, he cracks us up everyday. I love his beautiful smile and the way he hugs us with his entire body. I’m thankful to wake up each day to such a happy, adorable little guy who brightens my life!
I am humbled and grateful every day for Joey and his amazing life. We found out at 13 weeks pregnant about his diagnosis, and his very existence humbles me and makes us appreciate every day and every single thing about life so much more. I’m thankful for his chubby cheeks, his beautiful blue eyes, his precious little feet and his adorable blonde hair.
I am thankful for my awesome daughter, Amélie. She has taught me so much during our journey of her life. She has such determination (some may call it stubbornness) and shows me that she can do everything others can do, just on her own timeline. I love her with all my heart!
I feel so thankful to be Brady’s mom. Every time I see his smile when he notices me and reaches out for me, my heart swells with pride. He has taught me so much and I look forward to what each day brings!
I am thankful for Jacob’s smiles and belly laughs! I love how he can charm people that he meets with his sweet smiles and mannerisms. He almost has a “light” that comes from inside of him. He is one year old, and I’m thankful that he’s “smaller” longer, and I’m really cherishing the milestones, more than I did with his three older siblings. I am so very thankful for all of the wonderful mommies that I have met because of Jacob — the mommy from church who has a 20-year-old son who with Down Syndrome; the mommmy that I 1st met on-line and was priviledged to meet and pray over her daughter after she had heart surgery; the mommy that I was talking with today that has a little girl a little older than Jacob and many others. I am thankful for all of the things that I have learned because of Jacob. I am looking forward to our future!
We are so thankful for the gift of our precious daughter Verity. Before Verity, we had no idea that an extra chromosome meant adding extra dimension to life! We just love, love, love everything about her!
I’m thankful for everything our son has brought to our lives – thirteen years now. He really is so much more like his older brothers than he is different.
Living with someone whose IQ is lower than the “norm” really makes you truly understand how little IQ has to do with what makes us people, what makes us valuable, lovable, happy. He’s so entertaining, outgoing, friendly, forgiving. But he’s also annoying, persistent, and controlling. And I’m thankful he’s all those things – such a boy.
I am thankful for how much richer my life is than before my daughter with Down syndrome was born. I feel like life is so much more meaningful – her presence has moved me to think honestly about a lot of social justice issues that I really didn’t spend a lot of time considering pre-diagnosis. Things like inclusive education, medical insurance for all, adult services, family support services. Abigail has given me the determination to change not only the way the world thinks about people with Down syndrome, but how we support them.
So thankful to have my little Violette in my life. She is so joyful. She understands how to comfort better than just about anyone I know – at three years old. She is so fun, and funny. Every tear I cried when I found out she had Down syndrome when she was born has been repayed with 1000 belly laughs! Down syndrome – those words that I had to choke out for the first several months of my daughter’s life — those words that brought me so much fear — now represent love, new friends, and more peace and happiness in my life.