Story #8 – “Sara”

Sara’s 13th birthday is on June 5th.  As I reflect over the last 13 years, it is hard to identify one thing to share, but I would have to say that the single most constant gift that Sara has given to us and to everyone she meets, is her unwavering love for all people.  She is extremely friendly, introduces herself (and me) to strangers in the supermarket line, at the donut store, at her brother’s baseball games, and just about everywhere she goes.  Sara leaves a happy trail of smiles behind her, as she engages these folks in conversation.  Sara gives of herself freely, without calculating what she will get in return from her friends, school acquaintances, dance partners, and teammates.  She has an uncanny ability to appreciate some of the very simple things in life, beautiful sunsets, an ice cream cone, colorful flowers, and says “Mom, I’m so lucky,” to which I respond, “yes, Sara you are lucky, and so am I!”

I was 38 when Sara was born.  A routine ultrasound resulted in some gray areas, and then amniocentesis confirmed our first child would be born with Trisomy 21.  Having no prior experience or relationships with anyone with Trisomy 21, I immediately read all that I could to try to answer these questions in my mind…”What would Sara’s life be like?”  “What would our life be like?”  While the answers to those questions are still unfolding, we were determined that we could help Sara to live a happy and fulfilling life.  Her birth was a joyous celebration, but we were surprised to learn 15 hours later that she had a fairly large hole in her heart.  The world class cardiac team at CHOP repaired her VSD at seven weeks, and Sara has never looked back!

Sara has been educated in an inclusive environment, has participated on our club swim team, enjoys dance with her classmates, serves as an acolyte at our church, adores the beach, and even got her ears pierced to celebrate her 13th birthday.  She is a very happy girl!  Sara works hard, but I continue to be amazed at what she can accomplish.  Although there are times that are difficult, we continue to celebrate Sara and the blessings she has brought to all of us every day.

~ Susan, Sara’s mom

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