To parents with a Down syndrome diagnosis: keep dreaming big

I remember the feeling that came over me in the delivery room when the doctor told us Kate had Down syndrome.

I felt an incredible grief.

And, in a way, I was grieving something — the death of an imaginary dream, a 9-month long fantasy, an idea of a child who I had created in my daydreams who did not have a “disability.”

But the more I grew to know Kate — and the facts about life with a child with Down syndrome — the more my grieving gave way to new life. It awakened in me a spirit of hope and love I had not experienced before, and now my dreams for Kate are bigger than ever.

I know she can do anything that she wants to do — and I know I can help her become exactly who she is meant to be.

To parents who have received a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis — or the ones who hold your new, sweet baby with Down syndrome in your arms with fear and uncertainty, don’t feel as though your dreams have died.

Do you dream that your child might fulfill a lifelong dream of singing the National Anthem for the Red Sox?

Michael did.

Do you dream that your child might finish the NYC marathon?

Jimmy did.

Do you dream that your child might own his own restaurant?

Tim does.

Do you dream for your child to graduate college and get a job where she changes lives and inspires children on a daily basis?

Bryann did — and does.

Do you dream for your child to find his or her soulmate, fall in love and get married?

Austin and Jessica did.


Or maybe you simply dream that he or she will be able to do the simple things — life’s biggest joys.

Your child will be able to do a great many things.

I personally know a little girl who changes the world for good on a daily basis — whether it’s chasing her big brother, adoring her little sisters or filling her mama’s heart with incredible joy.


I didn’t know it the day she was born, but now I know: she is a dream come true.


  1. Delores Townsend

    Erma Bombeck wrote a piece year’s ago about becoming the mother of a Down syndrome child. The gist of it was becoming pregnant akin to preparing for a trip to HOlland—packing for it, dreaming of tulips, windmills etc Then getting off the plane & discovering you were in Paris instead. So you prepare for a journey, and its different, but still beautiful experience. Don’t let preconceived ideas ruin the experience!

  2. ashley

    What a gift you give the world by sharing Kate and sweet videos like this. I cried during the last video when they zoomed out, and next to every one of those individuals there was a supportive, loving mom cheering them on. Thank you for making my day a little brighter!

  3. Angela Evans

    Thank you for sharing! My granddaughter was just born and diagnosed with Downs. I am amazed at her everyday! I can’t imagine what is in store for this beautiful little girl. Thanks for the inspiration this morning!

  4. This is wonderful! We were so inspired after our sweet Ruby was born, now three, and knew she was headed for greatness we started a non-profit that grants scholarships to adults with Down syndrome for college. We get applicants from across the nation who are rockin’ it and it is the coolest thing to learn more about them!! You should check out our Rockin’ will leave you smiling and inspired :)

  5. Brittani

    Wonderful post. My daughter also has an extra chromosome and she has that same shirt. Great taste mama!!! I agree 100%, people don’t know who haven’t lived it…little bye little our daughters and our sons will crush the misconceptions and stereo types!!

  6. Josie freer

    Thank you for sharing, I totally agree. As the mother of a 30 year old son with Down’s syndrome; I experienced the same feeling of grief for the baby I had imagined I would have and at the same time loving the baby I’d given birth to. Danny is a joy to be around and I am so glad I’m his mum.

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