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Our Daughter's Name is Hope
Apple Picking!
Apple Picking!
Our Daughter's Name is Hope

We chose our daughter's name before we knew that she had Down syndrome. She's the youngest of four girls and quite honestly my husband and I were bored with our recycled list of girl's names, but not so bored that we'd agree to naming her Cinderella or Shortcake like her sisters recommended. So... when my husband suggested Hope we all agreed that it sounded just right with Tessa, Sarah and Ellie! Hope was born three weeks early just like her sisters. We barely made it to the hospital. Right after she was born the doctor asked us if we'd met with a geneticist. Somehow, I knew exactly what that meant. The doctor then nervously told us how adorable she was and quickly asked us if we'd picked out her name. I remember hesitating and wondering if I should change it. Could I do that? Maybe it was too much, too sentimental, but we'd all loved it so much. I then remembered that it was my 39th birthday. I'm not someone that looks for signs, but these were too big to ignore. Our daughter was a gift and her name was Hope. I think we knew that she was coming all along. Her sister Ellie had a marker for Down syndrome and we'd talked a lot about what it would be like if she had it. Of course we had no idea really, but we were convinced that we didn't want to be the parents of a child with Down syndrome. I knew that people would think we could handle it, but we were positive we couldn't. How could we have been so sure? The first five minutes we spent with Hope was the longest time we had ever spent with someone with Down syndrome. How could we ever have known our daughter before she was born? We never considered that Hope would love "Little Bear" or have freckles or have Mrs. McSherry for preschool just like her sisters did. It never dawned on us that Hope would teach us all to sign our ABC's. How could we have known that she'd be the first one to comfort us when we were sad, waiting anxiously for us to smile and then cheer, "No cry!" Maybe we didn't consider it because Hope helps us feel things more deeply than we expect to. Hope doesn't just tell us she's happy, excited, or proud, she pulls us in so that we feel as strongly as she does. Each day is filled with ordinary moments" Hope completing a puzzle on her own, jumping higher than she did the day before, Daddy coming home from work, dancing in the kitchen, but Hope's response to these moments makes us all feel like we are on the top of the mountain in the opening scene of the Sound of Music. We loved the idea of Hope before she was born, but we had no idea how much we'd love her once we got to know her!




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Carie McIntosh, Canada,
4/25/2014 9:27:55 AM
Can I use this story and photo in my monthly newsletter called BRIDGES: Connecting health services? Thanks, Carie

Jane Seavers, United States, NM
3/22/2014 7:28:35 PM
This story of Hope moved me to tears because it is so true and real and just plain moving. It really describes what I've so profoundly experienced as a result of coming to know Max, our grandson, with Down Syndrome. Thank you

Mary Finley, United States, PA
3/21/2014 12:06:27 PM
Lovely story. Beautifully written. Enjoy your beautiful Hope. Life moves on so swiftly! Two of our 7 children have Down Syndrome. Sean, our biological baby, is 35 and David, the child of our hearts is 39! It's been a beautiful life for all nine of us!

Lynn & Tom Herbst, United States, MA
2/23/2012 4:21:26 PM
The story above about the Beautiful Little Girl we all call Hope. Aunt Lynn & Uncle Tom could not be prouder of her, as we are with all 3 of her sisters. HOPE teaches us all the Wonders of Living and being Present in the Moment.

Lynn & Tom Herbst, United States, MA
2/23/2012 4:21:26 PM
The story above about the Beautiful Little Girl we all call Hope. Aunt Lynn & Uncle Tom could not be prouder of her, as we are with all 3 of her sisters. HOPE teaches us all the Wonders of Living and being Present in the Moment.

Jennifer Roux, United States, MA
7/1/2011 7:40:08 AM
Rosalie and Dan are an inspiration. They are an example of selfless spirit. Your journey is one of Hope.

Tessa, United States, MA
3/21/2013 7:42:20 PM
Good job mom! I love you Hopie :) coming from your big sister, your the cutest! Xoxoxo

Marylynn Gladhill, United States, NY
1/27/2013 11:37:32 AM
This story is so important for the everyday person to read. I have a two year old with Down Syndrome and the joy he brings is more then I could ever explain. He is the light off our lives. He is showing us all how to value life on a different level. He has three older siblings and they are much older but he makes everyday a teaching experience for them all. Thank you for the knowledge that other families are as proid as we are.

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