We just can’t believe it.
How did he go from this?
(knightly at 7 weeks in the womb – on when we learned about our most precious christmas gift)
(knightly at one week – on giving birth to our precious baby boy + on down syndrome)
This first year has flown by so, so quickly. We cannot believe how fast our little boy is growing up.
To our precious little boy, our little dinosaur, and cuddlebug,
happy, happy very 1st birthday <3
Thank you, God, for an incredible year with this precious gift.
help carry down syndrome up and up and up
Just 30 years ago, babies born with Down syndrome were sent directly to institutions without any medical care and were experimented on. Those that survived lived on average to the age of 25. Horribly, this practice still occurs around the world.
But in the United States, the future for children with Down Syndrome is changing. Today, children with the diagnosis of Down Syndrome live on average to age 60. There are people driving, getting married, starting their own businesses, buying their own homes, and that is just the beginning. How?
It all starts with: Early Intervention
When we first heard the words, “Your son has Down Syndrome,” we couldn’t fathom the journey our family would embark. On this journey, we found two early intervention programs: the Intervention Center for Early Child (ICEC) and the United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County (UCP). They have been the answers to our prayers. For decades, they have helped SO many families like ours with babies that have all kinds of special needs from Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Micro-Premies, and other medical miracles.
Starting at 6 weeks old, Knightly began attending ICEC and UCP twice a week. He receives group therapy at ICEC and has one-on-one infant stimulation therapy at home through UCP. Every 6 months, a coordinator comes to assess every area of how Knightly is growing and measures where there are any delays. We are given options and resources to help him develop in those areas.
These organizations have become family to us as they have walked with us side-by-side and held our hands through the toughest of times. Through the people we’ve met along this journey, we’ve learned more about hope, change, and healing. Most importantly, Knightly is happily growing and thriving and eating and laughing and playing — thanks to God and organizations like ICEC and UCP. We cannot express how much God has shown us His love, His hope, and His joy through the therapists, the families, and the incredible babies. Where once the world saw impossibilities, these early intervention programs have been a part of making the impossible possible and helping babies grow up to reach their full potential.
All the baby activity stations here today are exactly the kind of playful therapy Knightly has every week. It is “play” for a purpose. And, we’re so happy to have you here on Knightly’s very first birthday – a party for a purpose.
As a special FIRST birthday gift to Knightly, please consider donating to ICEC and UCP. Even $1 would be amazing to help touch another family like ours, and another baby like Knightly reach his full potential. These therapies costs $125 per baby per session and they make all the difference in the world for families like us.
Click here and help change the very things that once held children like Knightly down to carry them up and up and up.
With all our heart and gratitude,
The Parks (and baby Knightly)
Support Knightly and precious babies like him – hear more behind the story on Running for Knightly.