Bella’s Story

Before we got pregnant with Izabella, there had been several pregnancy losses and my first-born daughter died of SIDS at 7 weeks old, so at the age of 24 I became pregnant again and we were so excited. Because of my previous pregnancy losses, I decided to forgo the Trisomy 21 testing because at the time it was done by amniocentesis and there were risks involved.  We told ourselves that if she did have Trisomy 21, it wouldn’t matter, yet we never really thought it would happen. On June 10, 2010, Miss Izabella Constance made her arrival and from the second she came out there was immediate fear induced in my mind by the doctors and nurses.  They said she had issues with her lungs and heart, and had the features of Down Syndrome, but that they would do testing to confirm it. The fear of heart and lung issues is what I was worried about; Down Syndrome went to the back of my mind. However, on day 3 the test came back and I could tell by the way the doctor was acting what the results were. I asked him for the results, and he confirmed what I thought at the time was the worst news a parent could hear! I cried and cried as the specialists came in her room and did

tests on her tiny body as they told me she may never walk or talk; they told me all the things she may never do and I was devastated…

I called my friends and family, and they all said how sorry they were to hear of my news, but I had one friend that congratulated me on the arrival of my daughter.  He said, “Why are you crying???? She’s healthy, she’s beautiful, she is yours and she is here.” In that moment I decided to stop fearing the future and instead embraced it.

She was the sweetest baby, only fussed when she wanted something, and as she grew into a toddler, we began to see how intelligent and smart she was. I knew that, if given the right opportunities in life, she could make it further than we could ever have imagined on the day when we received all the negative reports from the doctors. Izabella beat the odds; she met her developmental milestones in a timely manner and showed the world that she was capable of great things.

Izabella is an actress, she loves fashion, is quite the cook, and a friend to all who meet her, she brings joy and light to your heart even on the darkest days, she has taught me about real love, pure love, and acceptance.

Bella went to public school, but I was always disappointed that they didn’t expect much out of her and I wanted her to have bigger and better opportunities. I was told about the Villa Marie School by a family friend whose daughter attends the school and I thought and prayed about it for about a year before reaching out to see if Bella would be a good fit.  She went to the summer camp and loved it, so we then were able to talk with Sister Jeanette and get her enrolled.

My heart was broken to see my baby go off to school an hour and a half away from home, but in my soul, I could feel that this was the right decision for her and that she would be given the opportunities that I had prayed for her whole life.

We would have never been able to afford for Bella to attend such a wonderful school if it was not for the donors who made it possible. My family and I are so thankful to Villa Marie and the staff for all the hard work they put in teaching and caring for Bella and all the children. This is her first semester and we have already seen a huge positive change in her.

Izabella is very loved and deeply missed during the weekdays, but I know that because of this opportunity we were given, it will change her life and give her a beautiful future. Thank you to all the donors and the staff at Villa Marie that have made this possible and have blessed our family; we are grateful beyond words. Thank you again and God Bless!                                          ~ Mary Wynn