Saturday, October 9, 2010
Happy 2nd Birthday Alayna : Looking back from Dad's eyes...
Written by Alayna's dad, Jason
When Alayna was born I was in shock, angry and very frightened about what the future would hold for her and for us. I knew nothing about down syndrome. I didn't feel prepared for a child with special needs at all. I didn't want to make that call to our families to tell them about her diagnosis, when I finally did make the call I didn't know what to say. My immediate thoughts were to protect her from the world.
During our stay in the hospital (Alayna was in the NICU for 17 days) I was fortunate enough to meet Justin & Courtney Heigele who were adopting a baby girl, LC who was born the day after Alayna and also had down syndrome.
Looking back I can see that God placed these people in our lives to help me with the initial shock and fear. Knowing that this couple searched to adopt a baby with down syndrome helped me to overcome a lot of the anger and fear. Hearing their story made me start to focus on the positives, we had a beautiful baby girl.
I returned to work a week after Alayna was born but, I was still unsure of what the future would hold. I prayed to God that first day back to work for peace, reassurance and His help to be the best dad I could be to my little girl. That week I continued to pray and while on my route I turned onto a street to make a delivery, a man on the sidewalk put his hand up to wave at me. I realized that this man didn't have down syndrome but had special needs. In that moment I knew God was telling me it was going to be ok.
As we celebrate Alayna's second birthday, I no longer worry about the future but focus on each day as it comes. My daughter is loving, caring, happy, funny, sweet, and cuddly. She is everything I imagined my little girl would be and so much more. I have great hopes and dreams for Alayna just like I do for Aidan and Liam.
Every morning it is a joy to see her smiling face and giggly self before I go to work. She is always ready to greet me at the door when I come home in the evenings with a hug and a "Hi dad", it truly melts my heart.
Happy 2nd Birthday Alayna.
I love you,
If you haven't read Rochelle's post on Alayna's birth click here to do so.