GiGi’s Playhouse makes a difference

    When Nancy Gianni’s daughter GiGi was born she was her third child. She already had Isabella (8) and Franco (7) and was very excited. Her story:
    “The excitement turned to panic when the doctor came in and told us that our child has Down syndrome. The minute my husband and I made eye contact I said, ‘If anyone can handle this, we can.’  He agreed and said, ‘Can you imagine what better kids Isabella and Franco are going to be because of her?’ I knew we were going to get through this together. Don’t get me wrong—we were petrified! I cannot even begin to tell you the total fear and devastation I felt. Everything they were telling us about Down syndrome was negative. Suddenly no one had eye contact with me anymore, they kept the hospital door closed and they kept sending in the clergy! If this was happening to us already, what was life going to be like for our kids? I was so afraid to bring her home and start a ‘new’ life. I remember when people first came to visit. There were hugs of sympathy, not congratulations. They would tiptoe towards the bassinet and seemed afraid to look inside to see what she would look like. Then, when they had the courage to look, they saw this beautiful little baby and they were shocked! They always exclaimed, ‘Oh my gosh! She is adorable!’ I don’t know what they expected to see, but finally people started to realize she was just a baby.

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