Part One: A Milestone for Abby
It is with some mixed emotions that we approach a milestone with our daughter Abby, who has Down Syndrome. She will be three years old in January and will move from Early Intervention services in our home to the preschool program. We are excited and proud of Abby, yet at the same time we are anxious, scared, and even a little sad. The therapists and teachers who have come to our home for the past three years have become part of our family. They have helped both Abby and me in so many ways.
They have helped me by teaching me the skills and knowlege to help Abby learn and grow. They have been a shoulder to cry, a friend to laugh with, and helped me put what I was going through as a parent into perspective. They have connected me with other parents and with community services. Through all of our ups and downs, they have faithfully come knocking at our front door each week, ready to listen and help. The most wonderful thing they did for me, however, was to love, accept, and truly enjoy Abby.
They have done so much to help Abby grow and learn as well. They have taught her a great deal and given her lots of smiles and laughter even when she wasn't the most cooperative child! They have helped Abby learn to play, sit up, stand, crawl, sign, speak her mind, eat with a spoon, talk on the phone, play peek-a-boo, sing "row your boat," go "shopping," climb up the sliding board, wear her shoes, drink from a cup, and so much more. Most importantly, they have given her the belief that the world is a friendly and fun place and that people are kind and good.
I want to share a quote by Maya Angelou that I think sums up how I feel.
"...people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
With all the wonderful knowledge that we will take away from the people who have worked with Abby, it is how they made us feel that will have the most lasting impression. Thank you for making us feel like Abby is a unique and wonderful gift with an important place in this world. We always knew that, but you helped us realize that others see that too. Thank you for never giving up, for taking Abby into your heart and loving her. Thank you for helping her grow into the wonderful "big girl" she is today. May you continue to touch the lives of families and children in the way you have touched ours. My deepest gratitude to Maryanne Burne, Angie Kluss, Denise Hart, and Laura Burnes. We will miss you!
Amy Q., Abby's mom
Would you like to read more of Abby's story? Discover the amazing progress Abby has made since her story was first published on PA Promise for Children!