Friday, October 17, 2008

Zoey's Big Sister Taylor Here :)

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Hi, Zoey’s big sister Taylor here ☺

Oh, Miss Zoey Grace…
I look at her as perfectly imperfect. Not imperfect ... but you know what I mean. Perfectly imperfect and she just happens to have Down syndrome. That doesn’t make her any less beautiful, or any less important. In fact it makes here MORE beautiful, MORE important. More loving, more caring, more compassionate, more innocent than any of us will ever be. When I look into her eyes, at her smiling face, I don’t see Down syndrome. I only see a happy, loving child.
To know that anyone, let alone 85-90% of people who find out they are having a baby with Down syndrome abort, is unfathomable to me. To know that in other countries, such as Russia, children born with Down syndrome are institutionalized after just 4 years of life, is unfathomable to me. To know that people will look at Zoey, or look at anyone with a disability and judge, is unfathomable to me. Quite frankly, none of those people know what they are missing. I feel sorry for them, because they will never be blessed to experience the love of one of these children.
So, as all of you know already, October is the month to “Get it Down” and learn more about Down syndrome (actually I’m quite proud of this, since my birthday is in October☺). So what is there to say about my little Zo-Muffin who has been blessed with Down Syndrome? That’s right, blessed. Actually, the better question is, what is there not to say? There are so many reasons I am inspired by this girl. And isn’t that amazing if you think about it? That a 1 ½ year old little darling, has inspired me more that any peers or adults I’ve met in my 17 years of life? That really says something. I guess the word for it is, grateful. So very grateful. Yeah, we all could’ve done without the medical issues. But I can confidently say that each person who has come into contact with Zoey, has been touched, whether by a wave a church, a smile at the park, or by one of her lovely wet ‘n slobbery kisses. She has touched more people in her little time here on earth that most of us will EVER hope to. In my eyes, that is just absolutely amazing.
Alright, here’s a little story. There’s a boy at our church named Christopher. He’s 17 and happens to have Down syndrome. One day after church his parents told us a story. They were away for their anniversary before Christopher was born, in fact, before she was even pregnant with Christopher. They were in a store and were walking around separately, doing their own thing. After a few minutes, they walked back to each other. The mom said, “Oh I just saw the cutest little Down Syndrome boy!” Her husband looked at her and said, “That’s so funny, I saw him too and was just about to tell you the same thing.” They both felt such a pull towards this little boy. And soon after that, she became pregnant with Christopher. I love this story, because I think it speaks so much to what people with Down syndrome, of any age, bring to this world. Christopher’s parents felt a connection to that little boy for a reason. There was something special about him. People with Down syndrome radiate joy and they give a special, one of a kind type of love.
Personally, I couldn’t even begin to tell you all how Zoey has specifically changed my life, my way of thinking, and my way of viewing the world. She has showed me what real strength is. More importantly, she has shown me what real love is. If I’m ever upset, or I’m having a bad day, I can walk over to her and she’ll flash me one of those, one of a kind smiles and I can take a deep breath and say, ok, things aren’t really that bad are they? They can’t be, if she’s over there with that big smile. As Zoey continues to grow older, I can only imagine what she will accomplish. My sisters and I have always said, “You know what Mom? If Zoey never talks or does other things, she can just sit there and smile and we’ll all be content.” And you know, that’s really true. Maybe she won’t walk, maybe she won’t talk for a while. But what will she know how to do? She will know how to smile. And, she will know, better than any of us, how to love. What else could anyone really ask for…


jess said...

you are so grown up. i feel like i didnt realize how mature you are until i read this. and i didnt realize you were such a good writer either. (see mom? you always say you didnt give us any talents..) if i were to write a post, this is probably exactly what i say. so thanks for writing it. love you!

Christy said...


I read your post and it brought me to tears. Your family is blessed to have you. I hope my daughters are like you when they are 17 !!!

kristyc said...

Taylor-I was so happy to see you and your mom the other day. I remember you as just this little pixie of a girl from the soccer games. You have grown into a very inspiring woman just like your mom. You are kind, bright and beautiful. You exude such love and admiration when you speak about your little sister. Zoey is just as blessed to have you for a sister. I hope to see you again soon.

Caitlin said...

Im going to second what Jess said...i dont know why i have a permanent picture in my mind of you as like a 3rd grader, but I read this and was like....'wait, is mom writing this or is taylor'.
this was a beautiful post. good job :)

come down here soon


Anonymous said...

Great post Taylor. You are obviously growing up to be an articulate and smart young women like your mom and sisters. The Needham girls have got it going on!!! How great is it that Zoey has such awesome big sisters to look up to. Heather & Mark - you should be so proud.

Cheri said...

Taylor, that was beautifully said...or written I guess :). Zoey is so lucky to have you as such an amazing big sister!!!

As I am getting to know the Needhams through this blog...I have learned that you ALL are a pretty amazing family! :)

Reagan Leigh said...

What a wonderful post. Zoey is so lucky to have you as her sister. And you are so wise for your 17yrs. I know your mom is very proud of are a wonderful writer and a such sweet girl (I can just tell). Keep up the great work!

Christina said...

Wow. Just wow. And to think so many people consider terination because they don't want to "burden" their other children with a child with Down syndrome when they are older.

The biggest burden would be figuring out how to stop them from fighting over who gets to have their sib live with them LOL! :)

What an amazing post! Thank you so much!

Sophie's Story by Elaine said...

Wow Taylor...those were beautiful words. Like mother like daughter...I can't tell you how many times I read this blog and tears were brought to my was no different. I can only hope to raise my daughters to be as caring, as compassionate and as wise as you.

Kele said...

GULP, huge lump in my throat!!! Beautiful Taylor, absolutely beautiful!!