I clearly remember sitting on our bed when the clinic called. The results of the screening had come back "inconclusive" for Down syndrome, and it was recommended that we come in for an ultrasound.
I hung up the phone. I didn't cry. I didn't feel a sense of loss. There wasn't grief or devastation. It was quite simple: I thought to myself, "Yes, our baby will have Down syndrome."
I first "met" Kelle last year when I read her blog entry about the birth of her daughter, Nella. Kelle did not know during her pregnancy that Nella would have Down syndrome, and Kelle so eloquently described her feelings of sadness, grief, and devastation when learning of the diagnosis.
Nella's story spread quickly, and millions began to follow Kelle's blog. (You may remember me telling you about her blog here.) Through her beautiful photographs and inspiring writing, she has shared her first year with Nella, and we now see Kelle has reached the place that those of us with children with Down syndrome all reach in our own time.
The place where beauty is found in unexpected places and the true meaning of unconditional love is learned.
The place where differences are valued and even the seemingly "small" accomplishments are big, and are celebrated.
The place where the unlimited potential of our children is easily seen, and the dreams we have for them are immeasurable.
To celebrate Nella's upcoming first birthday, Kelle wanted to give back to other kids and adults like Nella, so last week, she created Nella's ONEder Fund. She decided that all donations would go to the National Down Syndrome Society, an organization that works to "create a culture that fully accepts" individuals with Down syndrome.
Kelle set a very ambitious goal of $15,000. However, in less than 24 hours, the goal had already been met. As people all across the
country world donated $5... $10... or $20, these supporters also blogged, Facebooked and Tweeted about it. The word of this incredible fund spread like wildfire, and as the goal was met, it was increased. Now, 5 days later, the goal is $75,000.
And you know what?
That goal has almost been met.
Watch this... be inspired (and pay close attention at 3 minutes and 10 seconds.)
Click here to donate.
Kelle and I may have come into the "world of Down syndrome" differently... we may be at different points in our journey... but our dreams for our girls are the same.
We want them to live in a world where differences are celebrated.
Not just tolerated or accepted.... but celebrated.