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Get to Know: Ella

“I think that people just assume that every mother will love their children unconditionally and accept them the way they are, but I questioned my ability as a mother when I heard that Ella might be born with Down syndrome. When I was pregnant with her, I was told that there was a 3% chance that she would have Down syndrome. I worried that I would not love her the sameas my other children, because I was fearful of the unknown. This time last year no one would be able to tell me that Down syndrome would be the best thing to ever happen to me. Ella is my guiding light and my saving grace that came straight from Heaven. All four of my children—Brianna, Jayla, Mark, and Ella—hold an equal portion of my heart. But, I am not ashamed to say that Ella has taught me how to love unconditionally. Her older siblings love her unconditionally as well. It is amazing to watch them grow and learn together. Ella Grace was our missing puzzle piece, and she fits perfectly into our family. Ella is all business, but when I tickle her on her back she goes crazy. She loves squeezing faces, stealing glasses, and giving kisses. She is also the 'row, row, row your boat' champion. Ella has taught me to be a better mother, to enjoy every accomplishment, and to thank God for every blessing that I have been handed. Ella has taught our family that love will overcome all things. Ella has taken the stereotypes of Down syndrome and thrown them out the window. It doesn't define her, she defines it, and that is wonderful. Because of Ella, the world will be a little less fearful and intimidated by that extra chromosome. To know Ella is to love Ella.” 

-Buffy Smith, Ella’s mom