It’s Not a Time to Say I Can’t
Article by Kinaya Tatum
At fifteen mouths old, I found out my daughter Kei’Aire was born with Down syndrome. Throughout my pregnancy, I was told everything was fine and that a healthy baby girl was on her way. I never would have thought in a million years that I would be blessed to have such a gift of caring for a child with a life long disability. When finding out about my daughter having Ds, I was defiantly devastated. I felt like I was entering into an unknown world all alone. Yes, I had the support of family and friends, but as a parent with no clue of DS was, it was unfamiliar ground. Due to me finding out about Kei’Arie having Ds at fifteen months, there was no time for me to sit back and think about what I was going to do or, for what it’s worth, just to morn over the loss of a healthy baby girl. I instantly began educating myself on DS; as well as finding things that would help me bring my daughter to her full potential.
Throughout my journey of ups and downs raising a child with Ds, I began to build my confidence level; also gaining control over my thoughts, emotions and my execution as it pertained to Kei’Arie. I had totally made up in my mind that nothing would stop me from helping my daughter reach her purpose in life. I can remember on so many occasions of running into parents that had children with DS that were ashamed of their child. I can remember this one particular time running into a woman who had a child with Ds, but had uneasiness about her. She said to me, “You make it look so easy.” My responds was “I have no time to contemplate on what is, I have to worry about what’s going to be.” I began to talk to this woman on behalf of encouraging her, not even knowing what her issues were. Towards the end of our conversation, I told her, “we are blessed with children that have Ds; because God knew we would have what it takes to love and raise our children to the best of our abilities.” I also told her “You should never be ashamed of your baby because of her Ds. Yes, people will stare and say things, that’s because she is very unique!” To make a long story short, the woman and I continued to talk for a few more minutes, shared a few tears and both walked away feeling more empowered.
I would like to let all my parents that are raising children with DS know that it’s not a shameful time. It’s not a time to keep a big secret. It’s not a time to get emotionally drained. It’s not a time to say “I can’t do this anymore”. It’s not a time to not educate yourself. It’s not a time to not spread awareness. It’s not a time to not explore every option in making sure your blessing, angel, gift, rewarded reaches his or hers full potentials in life. It’s the time to find our children greatest assets. It’s a time to speak out. It’s a time to not hinder their lives. It’s a time to captivate on their talents. This time requires a lot of Time, Love and Patience (T.L.P.). Walk this formula, live it, speak it and speak loud about it. Remember, you are never alone and we will all continue to stick together. Blessings to you all!!!