Letter from Penny to a New Mother of a Baby with Down Syndrome

dear new mom - letter from pennyOctober is Down Syndrome Awareness Month! Over the course of the next month, I’ll share my own thoughts about Down syndrome and the ways having a child with a disability has shaped my understanding of myself, of God, and of what it means to be human. But I am also thrilled to say that I’ve asked our kids to also share what Down syndrome has meant in their lives. Penny, our 13-year old daughter who has Down syndrome, will be writing a short post most weeks. William, age 11, and Marilee, 8, will also offer their thoughts. 


I’m starting with a letter Penny wrote to a new mother of a baby with Down syndrome. She has written letters of simple encouragement like this one many times in the past few years. Perhaps what feels remarkable about it is how unremarkable it is. I’ve written before about her typical life as a middle school kid, and that same sense shows up here: 

Dear new mom,

I am Penny Becker im 13 years old and i have down syndrome. Here are some things that you might want to know about me. My favorite subject in school is language arts because i like to read and write. My favorite foods are fried ravoli and motzerella sticks. I also eat healthy food like a ceaser salad and berries! I have a brother and sister William and Marilee. A few of my close friends are Jamie, Hailea, Rachel, Lily, and Alex who moved! My favorite book right now is the Kicks. A 7th grader Devin met new friends, tried out for the soccer team and has a friend named Kara who lives back in Connecticut.

do not be afraid,

Penny


I should add that over the course of our thirteen years together, our motto has become, “Love is stronger than fear.” You’ll see a lot of that motto in the month ahead, and I hope it will become an easy way to remind yourself, as it has reminded me, to trust in Love instead of in Fear every day. 

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This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Avatar

    What a great idea writing a letter like that. Our Sarah who is almost 24 , once she learned about Iceland and their extinction of Down Syndrome has wanted to take a stand and help represent those who have Down Syndrome.

  2. Avatar

    Thank you. I really appreciate your letter. My sweet baby is Avery. She is 8 months old. She had DS. It’s all new to me. I’m trying to learn how to be the best mom I can be. She is certainly the best baby.

    1. Amy Julia Becker

      Congratulations. I am so glad Penny’s letter is an encouragement. Hang in there. As she wrote, “do not be afraid.”

  3. Avatar

    Thank you for doing this I’m a new mom of a wonderful down syndrome baby girl shes currently 6 months old and her name is Katie were pretty excited for her first Halloween since she had to stay in the NICU when she was born for her first month of life and the nurses nick named her Katie bug she is going as a lady bug !

    1. Amy Julia Becker

      Congratulations and I hope you have a wonderful time with your Katie-bug!

  4. Avatar

    I love hearing from Penny in these posts!

  5. Avatar

    What a wonderful idea. Penny writing a letter to a new mother, who Penny intuits might be scared of the news of her child’s diagnosis, and offering her hope is profound. I can’t imagine how Penny’s letter must have touched the heart of this new mother. And for Penny, what a wonderful, empowering way for her to be an advocate for others and for herself. Well done, Mama.

    1. Amy Julia Becker

      She’s written quite a few over the past few years, and it is really wonderful to see her gifts of encouragement come through! Thank you!

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Hi, I’m Amy Julia.

I write about faith, family, disability, and privilege.

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