Once upon a time, On August 13th, 2000, in the bustling town of Kragujevac, Serbia, a baby was born. A boy. His parents and older brother were very excited! They named him Djordje. The family loved that boy so much! When the doctor came into the room and said, "This baby has Down syndrome." and walked away, the family was left confused...and devestated.
Today I remember Axel's birth family. As we celebrate Axel's birth 11 years ago, they are also mourning the loss of Djordje. There is much to his story I will never be able to tell here, but I do know this: Axel's birth family loved him enough to know there was a better life for him on the other side of the world.
In May when I met Axel's birth family, I held the woman with whom I share a child. We will forever be connected through Axel Djordje.
Since then, through pictures, emails and blog posts, they have watched him grow and change. They watched him get on the bus for his first ever day of school. They've watched through tears as he went through spinal fusion and the agony of living in a halo. They cried tears of joy right along with all of you when Axel got his halo off.
Today, as we celebrate this beautiful boy, we also remember his other family. His first family who loved him so much they let him go.
Axel Djordje is a boy twice blessed, with two families who love him very much. Today, his 11th birthday, we sit on opposite sides of the world celebrating his birth.