A Few Thoughts To My Son On World Down Syndrome Day, 2017.

world down syndrome day 2017


Today lots people shared lots of photos of people who they love who were born with Down syndrome, and lots of people saw those lots of photos on their Instagram and Facebook feeds! (Wow, that’s a lot of lots!) They did this because today is 3/21, World Down Syndrome Day. The reason this date is significant is because people who were born with Down syndrome (like you) were born with 3 copies of their 21st chromosome.

As I’ve watched you grow up these past six years my heart has also grown up in ways that I can’t even explain. Life with you is so much fun. I love watching the way you live life. You’re a fun kid. Like, super fun!

special needs mickey mouse disney world

One of my favorite things to do with you is take you to Disney World. I love watching the joy on your face as you meet Mickey Mouse (over, and over again.) I love watching the way you approach those rides with such bravery, and the way you anxiously applaud when those same rides come to an end.

child with special needs magic kingdom

I love watching you interact and play with your brother. You are such a great big brother, and I can’t wait to see you be a big, big brother to our new baby who is coming this November. Jaxten is only three and so he has no idea how much of an impact you are going to make in his life, yet. But make no mistake, you are going to teach him lessons about life that the best colleges in the world won’t be able to teach him.

older brother with down syndrome

I love being a dad to you and Jaxten (and to our new baby who is still in your mommy’s tummy.) It’s the greatest privilege and role of my entire life. You guys are one of God’s greatest gifts to me. I’m not a perfect dad, far from it. Sure, I make myself look awesome on social media. But what am I’m going to do, post a picture of me being impatient, or lazy, or passive? Nah. Those don’t look nearly as fun on Instagram or Facebook. 🙂

You guys know the real me. You see my good side and my bad side, up close and personal. Thank you for loving me like you do despite not being the perfect dad. I love when I walk in the door from work and you come running up to me giving me one of those big hugs of yours!

My goal is to continue to learn how to be a better dad for you. I don’t remember my dad every saying “I love you” to me or my brothers. I don’t remember him ever praying with me, or teaching me about God. I don’t want you to have the same memories of me.  If anything I want to say “I love you” and “I’m proud of you” so many times that you literally get sick of hearing it.

I could go on and on talking about all of the ways I love you, but you just need to know…I love you. I’m your biggest fan. Your biggest advocate. Your biggest supporter. I want you to do any and everything that you set out to do in life. Noah, you’ve overcome a lot of obstacles and have worked very hard in your short life. When I say I am proud of you, I mean it in the most sincerest of ways. I. am. proud. of. you.

I love you Noah, and I’m so glad you’re our “little” boy!

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About Rick Smith

Hi, I'm Noah's Dad and I'm passionate about giving the world a window into our life as we raise our son who was born with Down syndrome. I also enjoy connecting with other families, so let's stay connected.


  1. Hello Noah. Happy down syndrome day. Youre unique and special, remember that, always… love you 🙂

  2. gail olsen says

    Hi Rick,
    I have been following you and your beautiful family that God has blessed you with.Noah is one amazing little guy who faces every day challenges as a super hero.Rick you and your wife have been so blessed with two beautiful and loving boys.I am excited to hear the news of a new addition to the family coming in Nov.God bless you all, and I look forward to every day that I see those beautiful posts.Love and God bless you all every day.

  3. U inspire me to be a better mom to my 18 month old son whom I love so much

  4. Thank you rick. In case you ever come to London, please give me a shout and we will come to see you all wherever you are. Awesome post. Happy wdsd 2017.

  5. Mandy Horrell says

    Noah is growing up into a fine young man not to mention incredibly handsome one . I can imagine hes the best big brother ever . .With the loving and supportive family he has the world is his oyster and there is nothing he cant do . .. Big love to you all .xxx

  6. Nessie Smart says

    Hello Rick and family, I have enjoyed following your story since it all began with Noah then Jaxten, now you and your wife are about to add another one of God’s little blessings to your family.
    Congratulations to you all, I know Noah and Jaxten will enjoy being big strong brothers to your new little one.
    I wish you and your family every blessing Rick and will continue to follow your lovely stories videos and photos.
    God bless from Nessie in Melbourne Australia……

  7. Love your posts and following your journey as we travel our own.

  8. Hi! Great post! ? Thanks for sharing ! We have a 4 yr old boy with ds. He’s sooo much fun! Hope you have a great day!

  9. Aracelis Villafañe says

    Always I like so much to read about Noah and your family. We like you have the blessing to have a very special boy in our family and we feel as the same manner

  10. Luis Harder says

    Thank you, Ptr. Rick. That’s more than inspiring, you also wrote down the words I wanted to say about being a father to Adeline Lois, my 6 year old daughter with Dow Syndrome. The love and joy we learn from our children, I guess that’s what their extra chromosome is – a gift God wrapped in their bodies for us, to make us better persons and to allow us to experience and live the best of life this world can give.

  11. Greetings from Ottawa, Canada!

    That was an awesome tribute to Noah on World Down Syndrome day! I wish I had read it before writing my own to our Jonathan on FB yesterday, which while acknowledging the many gifts our little guy has brought to our family, did dwell on some of the sacrifices we have had to make over the last 6 years as well.

    Of course you are correct, having a child with DS is a blessing, as these kids enrich our lives immeasurably, and any sacrifices we make are minor to what our kids bring us.

    It has been a while since I have been on your site, so congratulations are in order for your upcoming family addition!

  12. Liat Shlasky says

    So exciting to read what you wrote!
    We are also very proud from our son Matan/ Here’s a picture
    Liat from Israel

  13. Deniece Barker says

    Reading your heart over Noah is exactly what mine says over Presley. My granddaughter who has Downs. Presley shines like a diamond and people can’t help but be drawn to this little, precious girl. Maybe it’s the innocence that draws them. Innocence most of us have lost years ago. All I know is life is so much better, so much fuller, so much fun with our little Presley. Thank you for your posts and for Noah.

  14. Dear Rick
    Its so good to hear from you as its been a while since I have seen and read one of your stories and let me tell you I have missed them. I feel I have missed a good part of the boys growing up.
    You are lovely family with two beautiful children who are a credit to you both.
    I have to admit I did not realise the importance of 3/21 Downs Syndrome Day but now I won’t forget..Anyway I could go on and on so to finish I would love to say happy 3/21 to Noah, congratulations to you all with your awaited arrival and last but not in anyway least, God knew what he was doing. xxxx

  15. Karen Barrett says

    I’ve enjoyed watching your journey with Noah from afar for several years. Our first grandson, now ten years old, was born with Down Syndrome. He has been joined by two siblings and nine cousins since then–my husband and I now have twelve grandchildren!–but our Clayton will always have a special place in our hearts. Thank you for all your posts and sharing your Noah with all of us. May God bless you and your wife as you continue to be his greatest champions and advocates!

  16. Toni brannan says

    I love reading your posts Noah is a gorgeous little boy and his brother is fab too we have welcomed a precious little boy only 12 weeks ago and it came as a total shock to us when Aidan was born as we had no idea I choose not to have the Down’s syndrome scan done as I did with my first son now 3 I was always led to believe a women of my age at 27 had a really low chance of having a baby with Down’s syndrome now I know different.Aidan brings us so much joy and we’re glad we never got tested because he’s ours and we wouldn’t change him for the world having a child with a disability makes you look at life in a whole new way and open your eyes to things you might not have payed much attention to before Aidan is tube fed as he doesn’t take a bottle he also has a cleft pallet the combination of the two makes it difficult for her if you could give me any advice and building low muscle tone I would really appreciate it hope to hear back soon. Toni

  17. jennifer Dungan says

    I love your stories and I love your pictures. God bless you and your family

  18. Paula Hilston says

    Hello again to Noah and his special family. Ryan will be ten in a couple weeks…his brother and sister as almost 9. 9 years ago t was three set of diapers an cribs and bottles. Today all three were on the swings. I wouldn’t change a moment of our life with Down Syndrome and Autism. I thank God every day for gracing my life with these amazing grandchildren along with their two college aged cousins. What a thrill that another young life. Is joining you wonderful family.

  19. Thank you. You have been an inspiration to me. It is stories like yours that made me appreciate my son. He is four and also has down syndrome. I was scared and so i deligently read your posts because they came from a different place. A place i wanted to go to and to be. And i am there now. I appreciate my son so much and he has added a lot to our family. I do realise that my experience can also help someone here in Kenya and i am working on doing something about that. Thank you and God bless you so much.

  20. Hi Noah’s dad. I have followed quite a lot of posts about y’all. You are an amazing family and a great dad. Wow!!!!! How Noah has grown as it’s been some time since I have been on.And how Jaxten has grown as well. When is the new baby due-please keep everyone informed-I know you will. Love & hugs to a super family!!!

  21. Beautfull and wonderfull letter! I think Noah is going to read it soon as he learn pretty fast!he is perfect and your familly is amazing!just go on!

  22. Elaine Browne says

    You are a lovely dad and I love reading about Noah.

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