October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month — a time to bring attention to the abilities of people with Down syndrome and advocate for their acceptance and inclusion. Although Down syndrome occurs regularly in both girls and boys, in 2021 we happen to have nine little boys with Down syndrome currently living at our China Healing Home. They bring us so much joy that we wanted to highlight how truly remarkable they are — from oldest to youngest.
At six years old, Auden is the oldest boy in our healing home. Some children with Down syndrome take a bit longer to walk independently, and Auden was delayed in this area. When he began walking on his own this summer, we were so proud.
Now that Auden is walking, look out world! If the door to the corridor is open, he loves to swagger down the hall to visit the other nannies and maybe get a taste of what they’re feeding to the younger kids.
This month, Lincoln turned five years old. Although he was a rather timid toddler, lately Lincoln has grown in confidence and independence. Always one to lend a helping hand, he especially likes picking up books and toys and stacking diapers for the younger children in the healing home.
Lincoln is also very tidy and has learned to not only take his shoes off by himself but to tuck them away neatly under his bed. He is absolutely blossoming!
Four-year-old Joshua is becoming very interested in playing and seeing the reactions of his healing home friends and nannies. Sometimes, he can be a little naughty and teases them for fun.
Obviously a boy with a good sense of humor, Joshua loves to laugh loudly at funny faces or people pretending to do silly things.
Four-year-old Jerome always brings the fun. When he was invited on stage to dance during a recent field trip, this little ham ate up the spotlight and didn’t miss a beat!
Jerome is also very affectionate and loves to plant wet, sloppy kisses on his nannies. Although he’s not yet verbal, he manages to communicate very well through his own brand of babbling, gestures, and expressions. His most recent accomplishment is counting to five using the abacus!
People remember Palmer from his time in the hospital recovering from complex heart surgery. He was very fragile and struggled to thrive, but his fighting spirit never failed. Now three years old, he still has some feeding issues, and our nannies are diligently trying to get him to eat solid foods.
Palmer loves to laugh and can always bring a smile to his nanny’s face.
Kasen’s nanny describes him as an agile and mischievous little monkey!
Kasen is currently in an “I’ll do it myself phase” and pushes away his nannies when they try to help him walk, Despite a few stumbles and falls, he’s ready to take off in cool light-up shoes that he loves to show off.
Jaxon is a little joker! Now a big boy of two, he came into our healing home at just three months of age and is quite comfortable with his friends and nannies. He’s beginning to show more interest in food, and we’re hoping he will put on some more pounds soon to gain strength.
Jaxon isn’t yet walking on his own, but he can rock his bouncy seat so hard that it “walks” across the room. He recently bumped his chair all the way across the room at nap time just to get to a book.
Mason came into our healing home care as a very weak and undernourished baby. It’s almost hard to believe as he is now quite strong and chubby and is a very enthusiastic eater. (Well done, nannies!)
In fact, Mason has a reputation for being a bit of a food thief. He’ll quickly try to take snacks from the other children when the nannies aren’t looking. Mischief is always on his mind as he also thinks it’s fun to take the bedsheets off of the cribs and wake up sleeping babies. Despite his antics, Mason brings much love and fun to our healing home.
Rowan is a little lad and the youngest of our boys with Down syndrome. He has a twinkly personality and loves snuggling and giggling with his nanny. If Nanny has to leave, Rowan will often burst into tears — which, although heartbreaking, is a great sign of attachment!
We want to thank everyone who supports these nine little boys. Their lives truly matter, and we hope that they will touch your hearts as they touch ours every day.
To learn more about Down syndrome, please visit the Chromosome Disorders page on LWB’s Adopt Special Needs website.