by Lauren Enriquez | LifeNews.com | 1/7/15
When Andy and Mercedes Lara began sharing Sunflower Mae’s story, she captured the hearts of thousands. Sunflower has Down syndrome, a chromosomal abnormality that is caused by an extra chromosome in each cell of the body. Individuals with Down syndrome have special physical and developmental needs, and the Laras were ready for the challenge when they intentionally sought out a child with special needs during their adoption journey.
Today, the Laras have two children: Sunflower, who is nineteen months, and Rhodes, who is a newborn. We spoke to Andy about the joys, challenges, and lessons he’s experienced raising Sunflower. Andy’s perspective is refreshingly direct, and his fatherly love is palpable. You might be surprised to know that the Laras would love for Sunflower to grow up and marry a man with Down syndrome, or that Andy thinks all of us can see Down syndrome as a “road map” to our own challenges in life.
The cutest thing Sunflower does:
Recently she has started reading, so she will grab one of her favorite books, tuck up her knees and rest it there, flip through pages and talk (very loudly) and point at whatever she is looking at. It’s really adorable.
The most frustrating thing Sunflower does:
Considering that most folks might suspect there are more of these moments than there are, it’s quite the opposite. There aren’t a lot of frustrating moments. However, she has this bad knack of trying to scratch my face every time I pick her up out of the bathtub. It’s like clockwork, I try a new method each day to avoid and correct. She’s learning not to, and I’m sure this won’t be the only experience like this.