Letter from the Editor – Down Syndrome Awareness Month 2021

Congratulations, it’s a girl!

“Congratulations, it’s a girl!” was the phrase my sister-in-law Cristina Lockward heard on August 27, 2011, when her pregnancy ended at 39 weeks.

With tremendous labor pains, she arrived at the hospital and Sofía was born at 1 a.m., the most beautiful baby she had ever seen (and she’s a mother of three other children).

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Sofía’s birth brought a strange silence in the delivery room, her crying was not, as they say, ‘conventional,’ it was a late warning that something was not right. That night, Cristina was not informed of her daughter’s condition.

The next day, the doctor and her husband (my brother) told her there was a ‘good chance’ that Sofía had been born with Down syndrome.

The following days were difficult, and in tears they received the final results: Sofía had been officially diagnosed.

Cristina tried at first to give thanks because her daughter was special, and as everyone told her, “God only gives special children to those who are special.” But she really never understood this; for her—as moms know—all children are special!

After several weeks, she decided to understand and deal with what was happening. As with any other situation that she had dealt with in her life, Cristina searched for information. She made a list of things she and my brother needed to evaluate to make sure Sofía was physically well: heart, hearing, eyes, thyroid, hips, neck, spine, and more. She went to every specialist available, explaining and repeating her condition. As she explains, it was all a form of therapy.

This year, celebrating my beautiful niece’s 10th year, Cristina tells herself, “Congratulations, it’s a girl!” And congratulations to our family, as we have been one of the few awarded ‘the secret of life.’

Thanks to Sofía, we’ve come to understand the marvel of the human spirit, how amazing it is to breath, to see, to hear, to speak…how important it is to creep, crawl, walk, and, above all, how amazing we are as we learn and develop.

We learned that we are not born with a silver spoon in our mouths, but that with happiness in our hearts, it beats.

We’ve learned we don’t need to seek anything outside of what we already have. We are born breathing, seeing, and hearing, and even those who cannot can develop other capabilities that are equally or more important.

Thank you, God! “It’s a girl” that will play, learn, develop, and above all, be loved by her family who understands her needs and strengths, who sees in her the desire to learn and will never put limits on what, like any other human, she can achieve.

Sofía’s first year of life was one of the most valuable ones we have had as a family. It was a year especially revealing, a year to understand how ‘special’ we are. I dedicate our October special edition Fashion Issue to my beautiful Sofía, so that she and others like her can see what is truly possible for them.

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