This lady, Terri, is the mother of 3 beautiful children, her youngest daughter (with holding the name,) is only a few days younger than Ella and also has Down syndrome.
When we started in home service shortly after Ella's birth I asked her Interventionist, Deena, if there were any other families with babies Ella's age with Down syndrome. I was desperate to connect with someone, a mother who was experiencing the same things that I was. After signing a release so that they could give my name and number out, I was able to connect with two great ladies, Shelia and Terri. I still remember so vividly my first meetings with both of these moms.
Terri had shared with me that when she first saw her baby she knew that she had Down syndrome, and in that instant she was completely at peace with it. She said she knew it had been God's plan. She knew that her husband, herself and older children had moved back to Texas because God knew they would need the extra support and help of their family once the baby was born. She was so calm and had such a good perspective about having a baby with Ds.
Those of you that have read my blog know that that is not the reaction I had when Ella was born. I was so hurt, so sad, I did the "why me," "why poor Ella," "why now?" thing over and over. I felt so alone and was deeply, darkly depressed.
When I met Shelia she shared with me some medical issues that she had had and that she was just so happy to have a baby, regardless of her having Down syndrome. Shelia was juggling work and motherhood, and all with a big smile on her face and an upbeat personality.
Meeting these two woman was huge for me. It was looking through their eyes that I was able to see my situation in a different light. After each play date we had I would leave feeling so uplifted. Gradually acceptance and joy crept into my life, and I owe a huge thank you to Terri and Shelia.
As I sit and reflect after the news of this tragedy, it is blindingly clear how blessed I am, how short and uncertain life is. I grieve for Terri's husband and those 3 babies. I hold my babies extra close and appreciate them even more.
Here are a few pics of the 3 girls from our early days in Texas.
Here is Kenna (Shelia's daughter) Ella and Terri's daughter
Thank you Terri, you were an amazing inspiration to me.