Happy 14th birthday Rachel! Fourteen years ago 8:40 pm on June 13 you graced us with your presence.
Two weeks early, you came out screaming loudly as if to say “Here I am world – I have places to go!” It was truly one of the happiest days of our lives! You were welcomed by a big crowd of folks that day who loved you before you were born and wanted to be there to welcome you. Your hospital room was a revolving door. In fact, my doctor came by to see me to find a standing room only crowd in your room and he looked at me and said, “You are supposed to rest while you are here!” I didn’t care though because I wanted to share you with everyone. I believe you were and are the most precious thing God has ever created and like I tell you from time to time, I am so thankful he chose to let me be your mommy. I had also read and heard other families say that no one came to see their baby who had Down syndrome. They tell stories of how their friends and even family members abandoned them and they felt alone and isolated. We have never had to worry about that, Rachel Nicole Mast! Your life has been filled with many friends and family members who love and adore you and who have joined us in this journey! Your charisma has charmed many a person and you have brought new friends into our world. Most of these friends have joined us in trying to help create a world where people with Down syndrome are seen for their abilities. They see your abilities and your bright smile and they want the world to know how cool and capable people with Down syndrome are. We are humbled by the money, time, and resources they have given. More importantly, we are honored by their love and willingness to walk with us.
As soon as we learned you were a girl we chose the name Rachel Nicole for you, and you were quickly referred to as Baby Rachel. That name stuck for a good while. Today, you would frown and say “I am not a baby. I am a big girl.” Indeed you are a big girl. You have done so many things in your life. This year alone you and Savanna were two of the stars in Just Like You – Down Syndrome so we all got to ride in a limo and attend two really fun premiers! Sen. Jerry Moran called you, Sen. Roberts requested the opportunity to meet you and you did a Rock Chalk Jayhawk for Congressman Yoder! You also made all A’s and the principal’s honor roll for the year and were chosen to be a WEB Leader to assist with the incoming 6th graders next school year. You spent 12 days at Children’s Mercy South with pneumonia. Even with that you made a new friend and kept on smiling! You were in two plays and a dance recital. You took a babysitter class and were certified in it, too.
None of those is the highlight for me though. The highlight for me was on September 23 when our friend and youth minister J-Lock baptized you because of your love for Jesus. Almost every Sunday as we drive to church, I can see you with your pretty pink Bible reading Esther. Because of Veggie Tales, Esther is your favorite book of the Bible. And it makes my heart so happy (Rachelism) to see you reading the Bible, learning about and loving Jesus.
Besides your daddy, you ARE the greatest blessing in my life and I am so glad God let me be your mommy. I’m looking forward to seeing what God will do this 14th year!
Happy birthday Baby Rachel! Sorry but you will always be my baby!