Moment 2 Moment Masterpiece Parenting Blog

The Beauty of Down Syndrome

by: Elizabeth Thorndike

The moment her eyes met mine she enveloped my soul. I instantly had a deep love for her. As her story unfolded, and we realized she had Down Syndrome, my mama heart swirled. Her bold red hair…. a gift. Her beautiful blue, almond shaped eyes…. mesmerizing. I knew we would be okay, but we would have to walk it out a bit. Grief came and went. The celebration…. quieter. The closeness…. beautiful.

Dad Shelby Newborn body resized

As she grew, her beauty was apparent. It flowed from deep inside of her, and it affected all who met her. She walked a difficult medical road in the early days, but in the midst, she would forgive easily and take it in stride. She is a warrior for sure, with a melt your heart smile to back it all up!

Shelby 6mo w Ball Smile body resized

Shelby 6 mo Smile Body resized

Shelby Ear Towel Smile body resized

These smiles! These smiles could change your whole day! She persevered in every moment. She taught us to see life in a whole new way. She and her sister had an adventurous spirit and life with them was a gift. We spent a lot of time in the car going back and forth to Children’s Hospital in Seattle, but with each visit came a new adventure.

ds beauty body resized body

We only focused on the upside of Shelby’s diagnosis but allowed ourselves to grieve when needed. Savannah was the best big sister and to see her warrior side come out in protection of Shelby warmed my heart in every way. She told our life story to anyone that would listen. The way she embraced it all spoke to both me and Dan, and it changed us. We were learning so much as parents, all of it calling us to live better, to be better. I would change none of it.

Up Syndrome Faries Wagon body resized

Everyone’s journey is different. Ours was made richer and more beautiful because of Shelby’s extra chromosome. As she approaches her teenage years, the beauty continues. Is it all easy? Heck to the no! No journey is. However, the love she gives and receives is unmatched, and we have come to know that if we model our lives around that freeness, we thrive!

In fact, our love for ALL of Shelby led us to this sweet girl…

china beauty body resized rotated

Yuqiao Sun (Shiloh… adopted in November 2016) is our spirited, tender daughter, who just happens to have an extra chromosome as well. Double the beauty!!!!

about us

Meet the Thorndikes - Moment to Moment Family

Hi there! We are the crazy cool parents to 5 amazing and crazy cool kiddos. But, first, we are Dan and Elizabeth Thorndike – married 15 years and living this life one moment at a time. We have a full and blessed life, but we are clumsily tackling a journey we never foresaw ourselves living.

Read our story of how this journey all started in our blog post titled:
“The Beginning. Our Special Needs Journey”


Elizabeth Thorndike

Introverted extrovert – that’s how I describe myself. I absolutely love being a mama but never knew how hard it would be, nor how deeply I could love.



Find Us Elsewhere

share this article with friends and family…
that’s not all…

there’s more you might be interested in

Moments of a Special Needs Parent

Moments of a Special Needs Parent

Moments matter. They happen all the time, and if we are present when they happen, we can find the magic within. Sometimes these moments are quiet with tears, and sometimes they are doing a celebration dance at a basketball game. I have had the privilege of taking care...

read more
Siblings Rock Week 4

Siblings Rock Week 4

Today we are once again focusing on the amazing siblings that surround our special needs kiddos. These siblings are such an integral part of the lives of those with special needs. They can challenge them and support them throughout their growing years. They often...

read more
Rock your socks!

Rock your socks!

As most of you moms and dads know, March 21st was World Down Syndrome Day!!! This is a big celebration in our house. This year, surprisingly enough, it was Dollar Store for the win! The sock selection is amazing! We sported York peppermint patties, space jam, and cute...

read more

Subscribe to Receive Notifications of our New Posts

Only helpful tips, words of advice and stories to inspire.

error: Content is protected !!