Nick and Tabby's stories from the time they were born, to the time they met.
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Tabby by Deb (Tabby’s Mom)
On April 8th, 1993, a beautiful baby girl was born. She had piercing blue eyes and perfect red lips. Even her baby cry was sweet and soft. She was, indeed, the most precious baby in the nursery. The next morning, when the pediatrician came to give her report on this perfect baby girl, there was a “deadness” to her voice as she listed all the things that were “wrong” – downward cast to the eyes, space between her first and second toe, low muscle tone, small ridge on her nose, small pinky, single line on her palm print… the list went on and on until finally, the doctor said “Trisomy 21”.
After some explaining of what that meant and hearing over and over in the description that this precious child had “mental retardation”, we were left devastated. How could this happen to our baby girl!!??
Fast forward through years of growing, multiple major surgeries and teams of people that God places in the angel’s life, Tabby has proven to the world that having Down Syndrome doesn’t mean something bad, but instead it means AWESOMENESS! She is our daughter, and we couldn’t be more proud of her and EVERY accomplishment in her life to date! She has graduated high school, been in competition cheer, dance and has too many “fans” to count! Her personality is infectious as she leaves folks in the room smiling and encouraged wherever she goes!
When Tabby was in high school, she met a young man who was 9 years older than her, named Nick. The age gap was too large at the time, so many of us don’t think anything of it when they would flirt, thinking it was just “cute” and would pass. Three years ago, on Tabby’s 23rd birthday, Nick took Tabby out on a date and they officially became a “couple”.
Since then, it has been amazing to see what “love” looks like through the eyes of people who are not distracted by the world. Nick and Tabby have a love that is not selfish or consuming, but instead, they love to be a blessing to each other and have a blast.
Both Tabby and Nick love Jesus. To see them praising the Lord during worship will bring anyone to tears. Their genuine love for God and each other and ALL people is infectious and intriguing!
My prayer is that all people could know someone with a disability and love them for the person that they were created to be, not the label that has been given to them.
Nick by Cindy (Nick’s Mom)
When Nick was placed in my arms 35 years ago, I wish someone has said “Enjoy the ride… get ready for an incredible journey!” Because that’s what it has been. But it’s also been one of trials and hardships. When you have a handicap child, it’s like the normal child you were expecting died. You go through a grieving process and then ultimately accept the child you have, and those first years were hard.
Thankfully Nick was healthy and we enrolled him in multiple programs to help in all areas of his development. Nick developed very well those first few years, but by age 3, I could see “normal” kids passing him by. I was very frustrated because we were working SO hard. Up to that point, I truly felt that if I worked really hard with Nick, he would be normal again.
Nick was able to be mainstreamed in Christian School, where he was expected to perform like all the other students, including memorizing Bible scripture, which ranged from 10-18 verses every month. He graduated in 2003 with his Vocational degree. We have always tried to treat Nick like he was “normal”, not to let him get by with things that we wouldn’t let his other 3 siblings get by with, as a result, he is a very likable`, mannerly gentleman.
Today Nick is a neat young man. He enjoys life and his relationships with his family & friends (esp Tabby). He stays busy with church, Bible Study, Special Olympics, where he is the National Powerlifting Champion. He definitely brings Light to our lives.
If we could go back to when Nick was born, & the Lord asked us “Do you want a “normal” child, or THIS child with Down Syndrome?” we would unequivocally choose Nick, without a moment’s hesitation.