Meet Mia: life with a little EXTRA

In honor of world Down syndrome day I must dote on one of my most favorite ladies sporting an EXTRA chromosome...IMG_5350My first summer of camp at ESP I was lucky enough to be "swim buddies" with a sweet, talented, loyal (sometimes stubborn) camper named Mia. Oh, she also has Down syndrome.

Our friendship started over breaststroke and flip-turns.... And she has definitely turned our life around. Mia moved in to be a part of our family in August of 2009. She is very independent, has a busy social agenda and a job outside of the home. Mia has her own "apartment" in the basement and enjoys her own space. Yet, we enjoy her company at dinner and she enjoys family time with the Whitaker's (unless we're eating fish and brussel sprouts) on the evenings and weekends.

It has been a beautiful 5 year journey. Owen and Finley both don't know our home as any different. To be honest, I don't remember life any different either. Mia's relationship with my children is like none other. Owen knows how to make her laugh, loves to snuggle and give her hugs & is always the reminder to include her in various life events. Mia is the only person who walks through the door and receives a scream of excitement and a running greeting from Finley. She has taught all of us so many lessons- to enjoy the little things, to always greet kindly and to remember the birthdays of those you love.

Joseph and I have re-evaluated the situation a couple times along the road, making sure this decision is still best for all involved. Every time we have looked at each other with watery eyes as we discuss what home would be like without her.

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Meet Mia. She's a 29 year-old young woman who loves life, calendars, pizza & karaoke. She also loves our family and we feel lucky to love her. Mia IS family--- the EXTRA factor that makes it complete. Mia Nobbie-Whitaker

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"Don't neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it." Hebrews 13:2

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