Happy New Year!
2008 was a great year for our immediate family as we watched our sweet little infant grow by leaps and bounds into a crawling and spunky little boy. The changes that occur in the first year of a child's life has always amazed me -- everything is a "first" and so exciting. With John Michael, we celebrated the typical major milestones, like rolling over, sitting up, his first birthday, his first tooth, crawling, pulling up to his knees... But having a child with Down syndrome, we also celebrated every little step inbetween. John Michael has taught us to slow down and enjoy where he is in his development. Our therapists help us break down the major developmental milestones into smaller chunks which add to the joy as we cheer him on with each new victory. It was very difficult for him to reach up over his head until recently. His music therapy helped in this area greatly and now he responds to, "How big is John Michael? So BIG!" by lifting his arms up over his head. He just began waving back to us and clapping his hands when he gets excited. His comprehension of simple requests and names of certain objects and all his family members is a huge deal for us as well.
We know 2009 will be an even better year as he continues to grow and we continue to grow in our unconditional love of this little guy who has changed so many hearts in so little time. It's truly amazing what God has created. We know He doesn't make mistakes and we are blessed to have John Michael in our family. 2008 was also a HUGE year for our family in terms of meeting many people, some who have a loved one with Down syndrome, who are drawn to John Michael in some way. I know God has called me to advocacy for this little guy and others like him. I'm ready for 2009. Hang on, here we go.................
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