Meet Delaney


Today I am thrilled to introduce you to three-year-old Delaney! I first met Delaney’s parents way back in in our college days. What an honor it is to now be on this journey with them! We’ve had the chance to catch up with them a few times in the last three years. Del just absolutely melts my heart. Today her mama, RaeAnn, is sharing about her sweet girl. You can find RaeAnn on Instagram as @RaeBotzek.

What are some things Delaney thoroughly enjoys?
Del is a people person, and she loves HER people. When she sees Grandma and Grandpa, or her cousins and aunts and uncles, she lights up and cannot wait to share in ANY experience with them. She loves music and dance parties. One of her favorite things to do is sit around the dinner table with everyone, chatting and eating for hours. 

What are her favorite foods?
When Delaney was born and started taking bottles, I knew my experience with her would be vastly different than with a “typical” kid. She was born with a heart defect and had great difficulty eating until her heart was repaired at a year. She even had a feeding tube in her nose for a while. After her open heart surgery, things greatly changed. Not only did she like to eat, but her favorite foods really surprised me. They say people with Down syndrome are born with “adult” taste buds, and with Del that couldn’t be more true. She loves to drink v8 tomato juice and water with fresh lemon. Her first favorite foods were garlic hummus, fresh tomatoes, avocado with sea salt, cucumbers, raw peppers, black beans- talk about a healthy diet! She still enjoys all of those foods at 3, but I’d say her favorite food right now is my homemade veggie fried rice. And chocolate. The girl loves chocolate!! We just delight in her enjoyment of meals. She is a very enthusiastic eater!

What are her favorite movies and books?
Frozen fever entered our house about a year ago! She loves all of the musical numbers-we skip through the rest of the movie. Her favorite books are Polar Bear Polar Bear What Do You Hear and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. At home she can often be found cuddled up on the couch reading a book. Like mother, like daughter!

What are a few things Del is really good at?
Delaney shows more empathy than any other child I have known. She genuinely wants everyone to be happy and it hurts HER when she sees others hurting. She is gentle, and is so loving and sweet to her baby brother and cousin. She has an amazing attention span, and sticks with a project or activity with great focus and always tries her hardest. She has always amazed us with her work ethic – she pushes herself and doesn’t give up until she’s got it down! 



How is she similar or different from her little brother?
Delaney was my first child, so I didn’t have another baby to compare her to. She was my “normal.” She stayed my baby a little longer because of her size and slower development of gross motor skills, but in personality I say she was born fully aware of who she was. She always made it clear her opinion on everything-well before she could even say her first word! Her brother Graham (12 months)  has done things faster developmentally-he is already saying words, feeding himself, and almost walking.  I’m amazed at how EASY he makes everything look. Del had to work hard to achieve many of these milestones. But in personality, I had to wait much longer to see who he was- what his likes/dislikes were, and to feel that closeness that I felt with Del right away. When Del was born, I KNEW her. I’m still getting to know little Graham. I expected things with Graham to be vastly different from my experience parenting Delaney, and there are differences especially with medical issues, but the love and joy I get from each of them fills my heart in the same way, they both make me exceedingly proud, and I have the same hopes and dreams for each of them-that they would grow to be kind, caring, giving, happy people who make our world a better place and show the love of God to everyone they meet. And seeing the two of them together-oh how my heart bursts! They love each other, giggle constantly, and are great playmates.




We had a weekend near Minneapolis a couple months ago and got to meet up with Delaney and her family at GiGi’s Playhouse. These two played so well together. Isn’t Del an absolute doll?! Clearly, Sam agreed. 🙂

Check back tomorrow as we continue celebrating Down Syndrome Awareness Month!

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