Down Syndrome Awareness Month | Joyful Mamas | Guest Blogger: Maggie Szafranski

 Meet MAGGIE & MATTHEW:

Maggie is a stay-at-home Mama to five boys. Her youngest, Matthew, has Down syndrome. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her boys and hubby and documents their days through her blog, Mighty Matthew and Instagram, using her mad photography skills-- evidenced below!

Matthew is the sweetest little guy who lights up the room with his infectious smile. He turned 1 in May and is the youngest of 5 boys! He is one of the happiest babies I have ever been around. Matthew tries so hard to keep up with his brothers, and I believe they are the best therapy he will ever get.
Maggie's words:

"At our 20 week ultrasound the doctor told us that they saw a few possible markers for Down syndrome and recommended we do genetic testing. Ten days later I got the call that my doctor wanted me to come in to go over the results. I knew instantly why they weren't telling me over the phone and I could feel my heart beating out of my chest. The doctor told us that with 99.5% certainty that our baby boy would be born with Down syndrome.
When we got in the car to drive home, my husband held my hand and looked right into my eyes and said "God has been preparing us for this baby for a long, long time, we just didn't know it." He was so right.
One of the major ways that God prepared us for Matthew was by leading us to our school and church community. The school my older boys attend is one of the only private schools in Oklahoma with an inclusive education program. On that car ride home, being overwhelmed and flooded with emotion, one of the most comforting thoughts for me was that at least I knew he would be able to go to the same school as his brothers.
Since that day, inclusive education has become a passion for both my husband and me. We firmly believe that inclusive education, whether public or private, benefits every single child. Most people would acknowledge that it benefits those who need the extra attention, but what often goes unnoticed is how much others are affected by having people with different abilities in their class. It promotes acceptance and understanding which will be beneficial for the rest of their lives.
Since Matthew was born, my husband has worked closely with a group of others to start an inclusive education program at our local catholic high school. Knowing that Matthew has his education lined up through high school takes a ton of stress off our shoulders, and knowing that he will be with his brothers just makes it extra special!"

How does Matthew bring you JOY?

"The joy Matthew brings to the world is palpable. His smile lights up a room. His funny little laugh is infectious. The look of pride he gets on his face whenever he finally accomplishes something new will melt your heart! You can see the joy radiating out of Matthew from his hands and feet when he gets excited- he expresses joy with his entire body!
In this world we live in, where everything is fast paced and everybody is busy, Matthew has reminded us to slow down and enjoy the little things. He has taught our big boys to celebrate all the little victories, and they are right there cheering him on!"

To follow more of Maggie & Matthew's story, find them over at her blog, Mighty Matthew, or Instagram: @mighty.matthew & @mbszafranski

Thanks for sharing Maggie!

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