It began on January 1, 1991 when Georgia Tech won their bowl game which, in my book, made them the National Champions. During the next three weeks, my son would turn three times before landing in a transverse position causing him to be delivered via C-section on January 22, 1991. I suppose that was his way of celebrating.
In the recovery room the pediatrician came in and said that he believed that our son had Down Syndrome. It was hard to explain how I felt at the time. My husband, Ken, was in Saudi Arabia in a war that was then six days old. All I can remember was crying and saying, “How do I tell my husband? He’s in Saudi Arabia and has no idea what to expect.” I had seen Donovan and he was everything I had dreamed of. I knew if Ken could just see him everything would be fine.
Through the pediatrician’s recommendations and the help of the Red Cross, Ken was able to come home for a couple of weeks. He believed Donovan was his dream come true also.
Time went by and the NCAA road to the Final Four concluded with Duke winning the championship. Donovan would celebrate by turning over for the first time.
Donovan learned to smile as baseball season started. Each time I would say, “Go Braves,” Donovan’s face would light up. When Michal Jordan showed off in the NBA playoffs with his hand-to-hand pass in mid-air for a jump shot, it made news for days. During that time Donovan learned to pass objects from one hand to the other. What an exciting time that was!
Baseball season heated up and Donovan learned to tomahawk chop with his mom and dad. The braves were having what is now referred to as their Miracle Season. I don’t think I have ever been so sad at a ball game as I was when the Braves’ Miracle Season ended with a loss in game seven of the World Series. It was a night I will never forget. But the next morning I went into Donovan’s room and saw a true miracle looking back at me and smiling.
For our favorite ball teams, 1991 was full of miracles and dreams come true. Players never quit. There was no such thing as failing. In our home, nothing could have been more true.
In 1992 the Duke Blue Devils won their second consecutive NCAA Basketball Championship and the Chicago Bulls won their second in a row also. During that time Donovan learned to put toys in a slot and even stand up. Now that baseball season has started again Donovan has learned the Braves’ chant to go with the tomahawk chop.
As each season begins and ends players and fans reflect on dreams and miracles. Our family has a constant reminder of the dreams and miracles that come true each day. He is living in our house. His name is Donovan.