Although the news was still difficult to take, we were surprised at our own reaction of joy. Tears came, don't get me wrong. We were still hopeful that there would be nothing wrong and our perfect little baby girl was just fine. But the reality was... SHE IS. For days, weeks, months, and can I say years if she's still not yet 2 years old? I teared up when telling someone special to me that Brianna has Down syndrome. But the hardest part.. and really most likely the part that gave all the tears... was that we were to go immediately to the hosptial for an echocardiogram. The doctor heard the faintest of murmur on her and heart defects appear in about 50% (maybe more) of children with Down syndrome.
Two days later the call came through- Brianna had a major heart defect called an AV Canal and would need it surgically repaired around 6 months of age. I quickly grabbed the closest writing tablet- a new journal that had been given to me for my birthday in January- and wrote down all the information I was given. When I closed the journal I looked at the outside and smiled. It had a baby on the front with angel wings and the entire journal was a soft pink. My angel baby's new journal. And so began the visits with our cardiologist every few weeks.
The same day that we received the cardiac diagnosis another piece of our lives changed. My 14 month old nephew (my adopted sister's biological sister's baby, if that makes any sense) was delivered to my house by my mother and three of her siblings. I had offerred to take him for his mother when she went in to have her new baby since she lives over an hour away and had noone else to take him, and of course the offer still stood. Brianna was still the same baby she had been for the previous 8 weeks and to be honest she was easier to care for than Kristopher had been! Also, that weekend marked my mom's 50th birthday and her siblings had traveled from across the country to spend the weekend with her.