(Isabelle showing off her million dollar smile)
Isabelle has always been full of surprises. Our first surprise came when I found out I was pregnant with twins. At 35 weeks, our fraternal twin girls, Grace and Isabelle were born. Isabelle is the "little sister" by 11 minutes. Our second surprise was the fact that while Grace had dark brown hair and dark eyes like her mommy, Isabelle had blonde hair and blue eyes like her daddy. The morning after their birth, her pediatrician came in to deliver the biggest surprise of all. Isabelle had features that were common to children with Down syndrome, and she had a murmur in her heart beat, suggesting a heart defect, or hole in her heart.
(Grace and Isabelle, twins and best friends)
These surprises were a bit hard for us to take in. They were not the cheerful well wishes that we had expected to hear, yet this little girl looked up at us with so much love and joy that made this last surprise feel not as painful. Isabelle had open heart surgery to correct a VSD at 6 months old and hasn't been held back since! Although she has been hospitalized numerous times, her motivation and love for life and her family always gets her through.
(Grace and Isabelle looking fabulous)
Isabelle is currently in Kindergarten, and spends the majority of her day in the regular education classroom. She has a wonderful team at school, and family at home that help to support her and are helping her reach her highest potential. Isabelle has the most wonderful, contagious smile and laugh, everyone just loves her to pieces. She loves watching Sesame Street, eating Double Stuff Oreos and doing art projects with Grace.
We are all so lucky that we were blessed with a child who has Down syndrome. As much of a surprise as this was to our family, it has also be one of our greatest blessings!
(The awesome Centipede created by Isabelle)