Monday, March 7, 2011

Project 3.21

A year ago, I was blissfully unaware our world was about to get rocked. Barely able to hold in the excitement as we walked into the 4D ultrasound to find out if the little peanut in my belly was a boy or a girl, all I was praying for was to hear the words "its a girl". There are few moments in life that are so intense that you can still feel your nerves when you think back on them. And the moment that I found out I was having a little girl was one of them.

But a week later my excitement would turn to complete fear as the next ultrasound showed our little girl had serious medical issues. And the words, "something is not right with her heart" will resonate with me always.

March 11, 2010 was a day my world crashed down on me. I can't explain how hearing those words stole the wind from my sails. And the hours that would follow just poured salt on the newly opened wound. That was the day "Down syndrome" was introduced to my world. And oh, how I wish I knew then what I know now.

If I knew how beautiful my daughter would be, I wouldn't have been so sad.

If I knew how amazing people with Down syndrome are, I wouldn't have been so mad.

If I knew how resilient kids are, I wouldn't have been so scared.

And if I knew how much more precious life would become in my eyes, I wouldn't have been so resentful.

As I was mourning the loss of the baby I thought I was having, I was learning about a whole new world I was completely oblivious to. A world where different really isn't that different and where the unexpected brings beautiful surprises. We named Fiona Hope because it was hope that got us through those first few weeks. And hope is what continues to carry us as she jumps one hurdle after the next. Fiona well blew the low expectations given to her out of the water. To think that we were incouraged never to give her a chance, and to see how little the Down syndrome is effecting her and how resilent she has been with fixing her birth defects, is hard evidance that everyone deserves a chance.

March 21 (3.21) is World Down Syndrome Day. The significance of the date is that people with Downs have 3 of the 21st chromosome. Prior to Fiona, I had no clue this day existed. But a year later, its a day that is a significant part of our life. Just as I had once thought Down syndrome was a tragic diagnosis, so many others are still in the dark. Overseas, many families leave their babies once learning that they have Down syndrome, and here in the US, a vast majority abort their babies after receiving the diagnosis. We, ourselves, were encouraged to abort, given little hope for our baby. This baby.

With my whole heart, I never want another family to be treated with such ignorance. Thats why, we are teaming up with NDSS to help raise awareness. We chose to hope. To hope and pray and fight for our little girl, and now we are trying to fight for other little babies to be given a chance. In honor of 3.21.11, and to help NDSS continue to make this world a better more accepting place for our Fiona and the thousands of other people with Down syndrome, we humbly ask for a small  donation to help NDSS continue to spread awareness. Originally, I thought to ask for just $3.21, as a reminder of the date, but the site is only able to take donations of $5 or more. Collectively, we can make a difference on how people view "different". And this March 21st, make sure you send some extra love to those you know who have been blessed with that extra 21st chromosome.

Click on this LINK to make your donation. The fundraiser will end 3.21.11, but you can always give directly to NDSS after that date HERE

Help spread the word on facebook or twitter by clicking the share button at the top of the page.

To everyone who donated to Reeces Rainbow, I am proud to say that they not only reached their goal but surpassed it! If you want to know more about this amazing orginazation, please visit REECE'S RAINBOW. Your donations helped a team travel to Bulgaria this 3.21.11 to better educate their country about Down syndrome, potentially changing peoples view on a group of children that otherwise were viewed as a burned on society. Thank you!

(Thank you Ashley Allbee for all the beautiful pictures you have taken of our Fiona)


  1. Another beautiful post, Shannon! You have been truly blessed! Fiona is an amazingly beautiful gift from God!

  2. God has some amazing things in store for you, Fiona and your family! Fiona is an absolutely beautiful little princess...will be glad to share this info!

  3. Beautiful blog. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Reading this blog seriously made me cry, it was a good cry. You and Charlie are blessed to have such a beautiful baby girl! I cannot wait to see what God has in store for your family. I'm always here for you guys <3


  5. Shannon, your words are absolutely beautiful. Thank you for your honesty. I am in love with all these pictures of Fiona. She truly is a precious gift from God and it is so evident she fills your home with joy. God has placed her in the perfect family that loves and adores her. We love you all so much!
    Love, Kate

  6. gosh what an absolutely beautiful daughter you have.

  7. Beautiful, beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your wonderful surprise with us. It truly touched me.

  8. What a beautiful post! And what a precious, beautiful little princess! ((HUGZ!!))

    WW: Peanut-Nut

  9. God bless you and yours! i'm your neighbor (and sister in Christ) in sw florida!
    we adopted baby #3 at 8 mos. old- we knew there had been substance abuse by the birth mother and that there could be problems- we had no idea how many problems or how much faith would be needed to meet these challanges... every day is a walk in faith- usually a beautiful walk on the beach or in the woods with our 3 little miracles! God is good!!! Every child deserves a chance! would love to hear from you- i homeschool and we are always open for "field trips" fun or educational! :)

  10. btw- your babies are all so beautiful! i adore the tu-tu picture - my 3 boys won't let me put them in tu-tu's!!- kelli

  11. Thank you everyone for your encourageing comments! They all brought smiles to my face. I truly appreciate your help in raising awareness and your donations.

  12. What a beautiful post. I tweeted about it here:!/naptimeismytime/status/49824653220388864

    Emily from Nap Time Is My Time


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