I had my daughter when I was 16 and Ashten was born with Down Syndrome. I remember the doctors and nurses asking me if I wanted to give her away or put her in an institution. I told them no she is my daughter and I want to raise her, and it didn't matter to me if there was something wrong with her. I mean, I had no idea what Downs was, but I was going to learn what it was and how to overcome the obsticals. The doctors told me she would be mental retarded, lots of medical problems and she would have a life span of about 5 years. Well I decided then I would make the best of it and enjoy all I could before God took her home. I took Ashten to a different doctor and found she had no medical problems except for the Downs, until she was about 2 months old. Ashten had weak lungs, and was prone to upper respiratory infections. We had lots of visits to doctors and emergency rooms. But it was just another obstical we had to deal with. Ashten bio father didn't want anything to do with her because she was handicap. So I was left to raise her on my own except with the help of my parents. I finally met someone that didn't care about her handicap when Ashten was 15 months old. Ashten didn't learn to walk until she was 2 years old and she was 4 before she could talk. But once she learned we could never shut her up. She even talked to "her other self" (don't know where she got that from). She started school, or what I call school when she was 2 yrs old. They worked with her on walking, talking, writing, and other basic skills she would use through her life. She had occupational therapy, speech therapy, and then just regular school stuff. Took the school forever to get her to hold a pencil because they kept putting it in her right hand and she was left handed. Well then they started putting it in her left hand and she wasn't having that so she put it back in her right hand. So they gave up and let her put it in whatever hand she wanted.
Ashten finally grew out of the upper respiratory infections. They said her lungs had gotten stronger and she never got another one after she was about 4 yrs old. Don't know how that can happen but it did and she is a very healthy person now.
My husband was able to adopt Ashten when she was 5 yrs old. She then started public school when she was 6. Now that was an experience. She would lead them on a merry chase. She was suppose to be in class, well they would look for her to turn in her paper work and she would be gone. Well then the teacher would have to get the principal and other teachers to help look for her. She wouldn't be far, just to the bathroom. But she would be giggling when they found her, cause she could her them calling her (the little devil). By the time Ashten got into Junior High she had wormed her way into everybody's heart at the elementary schools. Junior High she was just as bad, except in junior high she got in trouble for it. Then came senior high. By then she knew everybody's name. The teachers named her Ms. Socialite. She was always tardy to class after lunch 1 because she didn't like the teacher, and 2 because she was visiting. I can't count on one hand how many times she got detention hall or suspension for being late to class.
Then came graduation in 2005. Now that was a day I was so proud of her and the class of 2005. When her name was called to get her diploma, she received a standing ovation from the whole class. When the class stood, so did everybody in the convention center. Ashten went on a cruise to the Bahamas for her graduation present. She had loads of fun.
Well, when she got back from the cruise, she decided it was time she lived on her own. She moved to Alabama and had her own place. It was supervised, but she was on her own in her own place.
That's all for now. I will tell more about Ashten and how she met her husband and their wedding later.