Last week, as I was putting together the slideshow for Thanksgiving, I received a beautiful photo of a young woman named Stacey, and her boyfriend Miles. There was a brief description of Stacey, and it peaked my curiosity. I emailed Stacey's mom Linda, and she told me her amazing story…one of a young single woman, who fell in love with a baby with Down syndrome. And she chose to raise her in a time when babies with special needs were being placed in institutions. I asked LInda to guest blog for me today, because I so wanted you to read for yourselves her incredible story.
Please welcome Linda and Stacey...
by Linda Koba
I was so honored when Patti asked me to share Stacey's story. I've been reading Patti's blog for a few years now and I think she is amazing. Lily is just beautiful!
So, I first heard about Stacey when I was 21 and living at home with my parents. I had tried college and it wasn't for me. I was engaged to a guy I'd been dating for a few years but I really wasn't sure if that was right either. I felt like I was at a crossroads of sorts.
Stacey was 7 months old and living with a woman named Irma. Irma had run a home for children with Down syndrome. The babies would stay with her until they were old enough for a boarding school type placement. I know this sounds awful, but remember it was 38 years ago. Thank God we've come a long way since then.
Irma had retired and moved to a senior citizen development and Stacey was still with her but needed a home. My grandmother told us about her and I felt this immediate pull toward her. We met her and my whole family just fell in love with her. My parents had raised 5 children at this point and didn't want to start over. They told me if this was something I wanted to do they would help me but it was my responsibility. The guy I was engaged to wasn't happy about it....and we broke up. He wasn't the kind of man I wanted to be with.
So.....Stacey came to live with us.....her crib was in my room, and I continued to work. Stacey would sometimes go to a babysitter where she would play with other children. It was hard but so worth it. She started Early Intervention and she just bloomed. Speech was always her greatest strength. She is a real chatterbox!
When she was 2, I met a wonderful guy named Stan. He accepted Stacey from the start and we were married a year later.
We have had 3 more children..Lauren is 32, Nancy is 28 and a special education teacher and Matthew is 19. Stacey is a our first daughter.
Every one of our kids would tell you how having her for a sister has enriched their lives. She is truly a beautiful soul and we love her so much.
Stacey started public school at 5 and learned to read that year. She amazed everyone.
After graduation from high school she started working at Home Depot as a greeter. She loves her job and they are wonderful to her.
She met Myles about 8 years ago and they've been dating ever since. They are so much in love! She talks about him constantly. She wants to marry him but I don't think that will ever happen. For now she is happy planning for it.
Life with Stacey certainly has had some challenges but I wouldn't trade a moment of it away. She is a tremendous blessing to our family.
I wish you could all meet her...she is pure goodness, she doesn't know how to lie or be mean. I cannot imagine a life without her.