Our Stories – Charlie and Milo McConnel

Posted by on Sep 1, 2020 in Our Stories | 0 comments


My name is Julie McConnel and my youngest boys, Charlie and Milo, are fraternal twins both with a diagnosis of Down syndrome. We received the news of our double lottery win when I was about 18 weeks pregnant. At the time we had no idea just how lucky we were and we struggled with the uncertainty of a future raising not just one, but two children with an extra chromosome. We were afraid we might not be the best equipped to care for them and even considered finding an adoptive family for them. I’m so thankful that we chose to act in faith rather than fear and decided to parent our two boys, welcoming them into our already good-sized family of six in August of 2015. We have never regretted our decision and love the new perspectives and joys Charlie and Milo have added to our lives. We have developed a greater sense of compassion and understanding for others and learned to slow down a bit and just enjoy the ride. We will get to our destination soon enough so no need to rush.

Finding a community of support and friendship through TVDSA has been one great and unexpected blessing our boys have given us. As the coordinator for Li’l Buddies, I have had the privilege of meeting new families and then seeing those families grow into a community who cares for one another greatly. And of course, I get to watch the cutest, brightest and most precious bunch of children grow and learn. Together we celebrate milestones – first steps, first words, first day of school – share resources and advice, and lift each other up during hard times.

I wish pregnant me could have had a glimpse into the life we have now that Charlie and Milo have been in our lives for 5 years. It is not a life to be feared. It is different than I had expected and planned, but another thing our boys have taught us is that differences are beautiful and worth celebrating!

Julie A. McConnel

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