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For the love of Delaney: Down syndrome advocate's powerful journey to motherhood

Michele Dynia had been looking for love for a long time. Little did she know, it was coming to her in the most unexpected, precious way.

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio — Michele Dynia always wanted the kind of love that would give her the family she dreamed of.

"I always joked that watching the movie 'The Backup Plan' with J.Lo, like, 'When I hit 35, if that's me, I'm gonna do that.'" she recalls. "I always joked, told my family, and everybody's like, 'Okay, whatever.'

"Well, 35 came and went, and I always held out hope to do it the traditional way, and it just wasn't in my cards. I had dated somebody; it didn't work."

Yet, she still longed for a child. 

"I was getting ready to turn 38, and I was like, 'Why? Why keep putting us off?'" she said.

It was fear holding her back, not of raising a child, but of having waited too long.

"I was scared of Down syndrome," Dynia said, through tears.

According to the CDC, women over the age of 35 are more likely to have a pregnancy affected by Down syndrome than women who are not. Down syndrome is a genetic disorder in which a person has an extra chromosome.

"I was afraid of it," Michele admitted. "I didn't want a child that had it."

Her honest admission was admirable. After all, she was still working through the "what-ifs."

Michele listened to her heart. It told her what to do.

"'I'm thinking of doing artificial insemination,'" she remembered telling a friend.

In November 2020, she did it. There was only a 10% chance of success, but Michele made it into the favorable stats.

It was a girl; her family was stunned.

"They got the shock of their lives," Michele said.

Soon, she would, too, at a routine checkup.

"[The doctor] called and said there's a 93% chance she had Down syndrome,'" Dynia remembered. "My dad looked right at me and said, 'We love this baby no matter what.'" 

That's exactly what they did.

"The support I received was like, it blew my mind," Michele said. "Coming out of the woodwork to just say like, 'You're amazing, your child would be amazing,' that she was a blessing, and she was going to the right person." 

On July 11, 2021, Delaney Catherine made her debut.

"Everything was just perfect," Michele gushed. :It was everything I ever dreamed it would be."

Little miss sunshine, otherwise known as Delaney, is now 16 months and pure joy. She is the queen of the castle and a dancing machine! Her favorite is Justin Timberlake.

Most importantly, she's the love of her grandparents' lives.

Michele's been sharing their journey on an Instagram page called "Going up, Not Downs." It has more than 5,300 followers from around the world, and she's doing to show just how much people with Down syndrome can thrive.

"They can lead normal lives," she stated. "They can have jobs, they can play sports, they can go to school, they do everything that a typical child can do."

Dynia also wants other moms to know that while it's okay to be scared, people should hang on for the love, because there's so much there.

"I cried before because I was afraid of her diagnosis," she says of Delany. "Now I cry because I just love that girl so much. I can't imagine my life without her."

Delaney will be something extraordinary when she grows up. Michele has no doubt.

"When she wants to do something, she'll do it," Michele said, "and I feel like that's going be her her whole life, and I will never have to worry about her."

In the search for love, remember: Sometimes, you don't have to go very far to find it.

"God doesn't give you what you want," Michele explained. "He gives you what you need, and I needed her. I needed everything about her, exactly the way she is."

 Editor's Note: The following video is from a previous, unrelated report.

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