The Cutest Elf on the Shelf!
Merry Christmas from Soren! The Cutest Elf on the Shelf!
We think my nephew, Soren, who has Down syndrome, and turned three on the 12th of December, makes a much cuter version of Elf on the Shelf.
My name is Stephanie Bishop and I am currently a senior at the University of Arkansas. I’m from a family of six kids, and I’m the second oldest. My older sister and her husband found out they were expecting during my freshman year of college and during finals week of all things. When my nephew, Soren, was born on 12/12/12, we didn’t know that he was going to have Down syndrome. After a lot of research and discussion with her husband, my sister had decided on a home birth. The labor was long and hard because of some of the physical characteristics my nephew had such as a softer skull. In complete honesty, the diagnosis that the midwife gave after delivery shocked our entire family.
We weren’t completely unfamiliar with disabilities; we have a close family member with Spina bifida and our family works together at a summer camp for people with disabilities. They had done all the tests during the pregnancy, and were told that all was “normal.” We were all worried about his quality of life and we had an “ignorance” about Down syndrome, in general. His first Christmas was spent at Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas due to some bowel complications that are not unusual with babies who are diagnosed with Down syndrome.
That Christmas apart taught us more than anything the value of being together for the holidays and the importance of family. Three years later, we would not trade Soren for anything. He is the light of our family, and we truly would not be the same without him. He changed our family for the better. In a big family, Soren doesn’t lack for doting aunts, uncles, and grandparents. He even has a baby brother due in a month! Christmas time has always been my favorite time of the year, and for the past few years I have even more reason to look forward to December. My sister started dressing Soren up the December he turned one, in an effort to spread a little Christmas cheer, as well as to raise awareness and promote acceptance for people with disabilities of all sorts, including Down syndrome.
For the past three Decembers, we have had a tradition of dressing him up as the Elf on the Shelf. I thought I’d share this with you in an effort to spread the Christmas cheer. You can view all 66 images here.
Merry Christmas from Soren!
Images Courtesy Elise Blasengame (Older Sister & Proud Mom)