Four years ago our lives began again. On April 20th we welcomed the newest member to our family. This pregnancy was nothing like my first. The cloak of mindless pregnancy complaints and carefree certainty was removed, doused in kerosene and set ablaze.
They said we could have a baby with a chromosomal abnormality. They said we had about a 5% chance of Trisomy 21. They said there's a test to confirm. They said our baby may not make it to twenty weeks. They asked if we were sure. They said it was okay either way we decided. They said when we should deliver. They said I couldn't hold her long. They said she couldn't come home. They said she must stay a bit longer in the NICU. They said we could finally take her home. They said she may not crawl. They said she may not walk before she turned three. They said her speech may not develop well. They said she couldn't attend their pre-school. They said ‘she’s cute for a child with her condition.’ They ask where is she on the spectrum. They ask ‘is she high functioning?’ They ask why we did it. They ask how we do it. They still apologize.
We say thank you God for sharing this gift with us. We say we are so proud to be a witness to this wonderment of determination, of tenacity and of an Angelic glow. We pray for patience and courage to get through each day. We say let her show us what she is capable of. We say don't write her off so quickly. We say she crawled and walked in her own time. We say stop apologizing. We say ask her what her name is. She will tell you herself. We say we will never quantify the quality of our lives based on dots on the bell curve. We will continue to support her and her efforts in life. We say the best has yet to come.
We say each person has a name. Please get to know him or her. Please ask our names. Get to know us. Not just our diagnosis. Her name is Isabella. She is magic!
About the Authors: The Zapata family, Samuel, Victoria, Samuel Jr. and Isabella, live in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.