I have been asked before "How severe is "it"?"

The first time I heard that, I honestly thought they meant Ollie's heart.  I think I even responded that she was in heart failure and open heart surgery was a must in order for her to survive.

When I saw the confusion in their face, I realized "it" wasn't her heart, "it" was Down Syndrome.

For those of you learning, Down Syndrome is 3 copies of the 21st chromosome.

Every single cell in Ollie's body has "it".  Down Syndrome will always be a part of her.  There is no curing it & stripping out that extra genetic information.

As far as her cognitive abilities (FYI the term mental retardation is no longer used it's outdated), no one knows what she will be capable of.  It is impossible to know especially as an infant.

We were told to push Ollie as much as our typical children.  That we shouldn't be easy on her because she has Down Syndrome.  We plan to discipline her and teach her responsibilities and chores just like our other two children.  Obviously in some areas we will treat her differently, but our goal is to raise her just the same. 

We must push her, because if we don't, who will?  Since we are her parents, and we love her more than anyone, it's our job to push her because we love her.  The more we push, the closer we will get to her full potential.

Her full potential may be high, or it may be low, but honestly it doesn't matter to us.  She may graduate high school, go to college, hold a job, and get married.  She may live with us forever.  It doesn't really matter to us.

I just want to raise her to be happy, to know Jesus as her savior, and to feel valued and accepted.  As long as we accomplish that, I will be one happy Mama & I will always be proud of her.