Thoughts from Lanie:
I am often reminded of the popular saying of “replace your expectations with gratification.” I thought about this several times when I was pregnant with Annabelle. I thought about how lucky I was to be able to have a baby as some couples try for years and years and never succeed. I thought about how lucky I was that she only had Down syndrome and not a more severe diagnosis that would take away her enjoyment in life. I also thought about how blessed I was to be a citizen of the United States instead of another foreign country that doesn’t allow for a free education system for all children.
Since Annabelle was born, this quote still resonates with me, but in a different way. I am very thankful for her. I know that she was meant to be my daughter. However, I still have high expectations. I am not giving up. I am not throwing in the towel. I look to her future with grate optimism and an understanding of the extra work that it may take for her to graduate high school, go to college, get a job, etc. I will not set low standards for her. I will be by her side every step of the way to assist in making her dreams come true and reaching her full potential. I am up for the challenge and welcome this unexpected journey in life. -Lanie, mom to Annabelle