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,
Dad





If you haven't read Rochelle's post on Alayna's birth click here to do so.

14 comments:

stephanie said...

Didn't make it through the first sentence without tears. one of the most beautiful and honest posts I've read.
i knew this but still find it so amazing how God placed the extraordinary Heigele Family right by your side. What a blessing!

And btw, I've heard your Darling Alayna belt out a mean B- I -N - G - O! Anyone who can sing like that is going to do OK!!!



HAPPY, HAPPY, Birthday to one of my most favorite Dumplings in the world!!!
We all love you over here Miss A!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Alayna!!!!

Jason,
You made me cry and smile at the same time; well said.

Jean Thoreson

Julie said...

Beautiful post :)

Jackie wallace said...

Happy Birthday to our sweet neice Alayna. Jason what a beautiful post. Sitting here in tears also, it really touched my heart. Always told you everything would be ok Alayna is perfect and is loved. She has wonderful parents and awesome brothers so what more is there to say but we are all truly blessed to have all the family in our lives. Give her a big hug and a kiss from her Aunty Jackie. Love you all.xxxx

whitney said...

Oh my. Must go get a tissue. Happy birthday!!

Aimee said...

So, so sweet- Big Giant Major HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Big Girl! We love you guys!!! :)

Jenn said...

What a wonderful post! Happy Birthday Alayna!!

ch said...

YOU COULD WARN A PERSON, Y'KNOW!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Droopy, sniffling mess of gratitude for the best buddy we never had the foresight to even ask God for. Happy birthday, LaynaLoo. Thank you for blessing us with your family and your sweet spirit. We love you so...

Lori said...

Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl!!
Now - I must go fix my make-up - the mascara is running!

Kelli said...

What a beautiful post/tribute to a beautiful little girl....HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Colin is sending a big smooch your way!

Zoey's mom said...

Happy Birthday to your beautiful,perfect girl.And beautiful post from daddy.Truly beautiful.Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us.

Sara Bell said...

Happy Birthday Sweet Alayna!!! And that is the sweetest letter... Hope you all are doing well!

Patti said...

Oooooh, I love this. You've inspired me to have my husband write a post for 31 for 21!!

nan said...

so, so precious....just read both birth story accounts...what a wonderful family you are. thank you for sharing your stories, lives and hearts with us.