They say that life is what happens while you're busy making other plans. That might sound a bit overly cynical, but I like to think that it's just saying that life is unpredictable, and some of the most important moments of our lives are the ones where we have to make serious choices that arise unexpectedly.
It often comes to pass that the hard choice that you were forced to confront leads the way to bigger, better things. Taking an example from my own life, I dated my ex for several years and was about to propose when we broke up. It was really tough, but looking back, I realized that my proposal was honestly more out of obligation for the time we spent together, not real love. With my beautiful wife, however, a couple of months of dating was all it took for us to know with 110% certainty that we should get hitched.
Life often has a funny way of testing us with tragedy before rewarding us with joy, and the story of little Delaney Skye is a perfect example. This beautiful little girl nearly lost her life before it even began, but thanks to the love of her family, she managed to overcome every obstacle that was thrown her way.
Andrea Ott-Dahl (pictured on the left) was already a proud mom, but when some good friends were having trouble conceiving, she volunteered to surrogate for them. That's just the kind of generous, caring, and selfless person that she is.
After a few delays, the surrogate procedures finally worked, and everyone involved was ecstatic when Andrea finally got pregnant with a little girl.
Unfortunately, the celebrations were short-lived. Doctors detected some irregularities in the ultrasound imagery. After a little more research and investigation, they realized that the baby had Down Syndrome. Additionally, there was a significant risk she'd be born blind or deaf, and severely autistic. Doctors informed the families that they couldn't even be sure if the baby would survive at all.
Andrea's friends, the baby's future parents, were no longer excited. They didn't want the hassle and potential heartbreak that accompanied this child, and even told her to terminate the pregnancy. It took a lot of soul-searching for her, but ultimately, she decided that she was going to keep the baby and raise it herself.
This is baby Delaney. For the first few days after she was born, her life consisted of scars, tubes, monitors, and constant supervision. It was still uncertain if she'd make it ...
Luckily, Delaney was born with the spirit of a warrior. After several operations, doctors said she could go home with Andrea in 10 days. Turns out, this little fighter only needed half that time! She almost looks like she's consoling her mom in this picture, letting her know she's coming home soon.
In the time since, Delaney has progressed in leaps and bounds. She's aging at an average rate and is hitting all the major milestones. She's even surpassing some "normal" kids her age for certain skills!
She loves to read with her big brothers ...
... and enjoying some fun in the sun with her mom!
She even got to go to Disneyland recently, and in typical little sibling fashion, annoyed her big sis to get up early so they could maximize time at the park (good call, Delaney. Those wait times can be brutal).
Here she is taking a nap with grandpa. Awwwwwwwww!
Delaney is not a "Down Syndrome girl." She's a bright, bubbly, loving, beautiful little girl. Seriously, try telling me that smile doesn't just light up your day.
A lot of parents choose to terminate Down Syndrome pregnancies, but we are so glad this story turned out the way it did.
Check out this video of Delaney taking her first steps at 14 months old!
Don't forget to SHARE this touching story with your family and friends.