Central Mississippi Down Syndrome Society


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Central Mississippi Down Syndrome Society

667 US-51 Suite C
Ridgeland, MS 39157
601-385-DOWN (3696)

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Clingan, Walt

When my husband and I got pregnant, we were so excited and couldn’t wait to start a family. We never in a million years thought that our child would have Down syndrome, and I’ll never forget the moment I found out.

It was just another normal day when my mother, who sells ultrasound machines, invited us to her house to try out her newest machine and practice on me before an upcoming show. Instead of looking at our sweet baby with joy and excitement, my mother told us that we should take the ultrasound pictures that she took to my next appointment and show my doctor. She would not tell us why at the time, but we could tell that something was definitely wrong.

Walt has taught us so much about patience, perseverance, and unconditional love.

At my next appointment, we were referred to Maternal Fetal Medicine. Not long after that appointment, we decided to have an amniocentesis to confirm if our child had Down syndrome or not. My husband and I both agreed that no matter what the results showed, we would never want to terminate the pregnancy. We just needed to be able to prepare ourselves, both mentally and emotionally.


A few weeks later, I got the call confirming the results: our baby has Down syndrome. I still remember where I was, what I was doing, what the weather was like, and who was around me – I remember everything about that moment. The world completely stopped turning during that phone call. I think I was in shock, and I certainly wasn’t ready to hear that news. I calmly thanked the doctor for calling, hung up the phone, and continued what I was doing like nothing happened. It wasn’t until I had to say those words out loud to my husband later that night that it really started to sink in – our baby has Down syndrome. At that moment, we felt so many emotions. While we agreed that we would love our baby no matter the results, it was easier said than done. We were devastated. We were terrified – not only for our baby, but for ourselves. I stressed myself wondering what kind of life he would have and the effects this condition would have on the rest of our lives. It just didn’t seem fair.

Our precious Walt was born on November 7, 2012, and that was the first day of the rest of our lives. That was the day we fell completely in love with our son – the one we had feared we would not be able to truly love. He was absolutely perfect. Of course, we were still afraid of the future and the many unknowns that we would face, but holding him and seeing him for the first time made all of those fears fade away, at least for a while. There have been many hard days since Walt made our family complete. But for every hard moment, there are multiple amazing and wonderful moments. Moments that I wouldn’t trade for the world. We’ve seen him overcome more than some will overcome in a lifetime. We’ve seen him work so incredibly hard to reach a milestone that comes so naturally to other children. But he does it with a smile on his face and never gives up.

Walt has taught us so much about patience, perseverance, and unconditional love. Today, he is the happiest, sweetest, and most mischievous four-year-old I know. He can do so many things I never thought were possible. He has learned that he can use his “pouty face” or as I like to call it, “the lip,” to get just about anything he wants. Just like any four-year-old, he laughs, he cries, he runs, he plays, he knows love and he gives so much love. He is silly and smart, and as much as I wish I could keep him little forever, he is becoming more and more independent and opinionated every day. He lights up the room and can make anyone’s day so much brighter. He is so cherished, and we could not love him more. He is our Walt, and we cannot imagine how boring life would be without him. We thank God every single day for giving us this blessing we never knew we wanted.

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