The Lemon

We bought a lemon.

Minimizing Risk

This week, the cardiologist recommended that we all hunker in again, including keeping the kids home from school. With our daughter Ellie’s track record – three hospitalizations for pneumonia this summer alone – he thinks that the odds are not in her favor if she catches any respiratory virus and that she would likely need…

Nathan McClain, the Water-Powered Man

by Heather Honaker for Little Rock Soiree magazine Photo credit: Jason Masters After they welcomed their second son into the world, he was carried away to the hospital nursery where doctors found he had a genetic defect that would try to dictate so much of his potential throughout his life. Johnna and Alan listened to the specialists…

Out on the Oregon Trail

Ever since Ellie was born, I have been paranoid about RSV. It is a respiratory virus that, for most kids and adults, presents as a cold. For babies, older people or people with compromised medical systems, it can be really bad. It can be so bad that the illness could even result in death. For…

Who is the benefactor here?

If I’m honest, one thing that I am self-conscious about is what Ellie’s capacity to one day contribute to society will be. Along with the intellectual and physical delays, it would be easy for someone to look at her and see that she is different than most. There is a camp of people out there…

The Cheerleader

In the summer of 2017 at about 11 weeks pregnant, I was on an airplane headed home from a work trip when I felt sharp pain in my abdomen. Brushing it off as growing pains, I learned at the next week’s ultrasound that the baby had stopped growing and there was no heartbeat. I was…

The Teacher

Before she was born, I spent a lot of time looking at her 3D ultrasound photos trying to determine whether or not she would look like she had Down syndrome when she was born. I hoped and prayed that she would be spared the tell-tale almond-shaped eyes, flattened face, short neck and protruding tongue. The…

Blooming Weeds

Ellie was on her stomach in the middle of the kitchen floor, and I had stepped over her a hundred times. Our small, galley kitchen is a favorite play place for all of the kids, and the obstacle course they create with their bodies while I am cooking supper is nothing new. Her knees were…

Sibling Revelry

January and February in Arkansas are hard on anyone who has to go outside. These months are especially hard when you have little kids who want to go outside. The sky is gray. The river is gray. The cliffs, mountains, trees and buildings taller than three stories are all gray because of the fog that…

Matters of the Heart

February is celebrated as American Heart Month in an effort to raise awareness about heart health and the prevention of heart disease. Kids with special needs are often at an increased risk of heart conditions. Down (Trisomy 21), DiGeorge (22q11.2 deletion), Turner (Monosomy X), Patau (Trisomy 13), Edwards (Trisomy 18), Alagille and other syndromes carry…