We are the Balozi Family
This is us – the Balozi family. I’m Hayley, my husband is Reagan and our two sons are Skyler and River.
Where it all Began
I’m originally from Wales, and in 2008 I traveled to Tanzania for what was meant to be 8 weeks of volunteering. Well, a husband, a successful business and two children later and here we are. We live between the Uk and Tanzania, running our art business and raising our beautiful family.
Me and Reagan met in 2008, he was a struggling artist and I bought one of his paintings. We got married two years later and exactly a year after that our first baby Skyler was born. Our chilled out, smiley baby who grew to become the sweetest, kindest and wonderful little boy.
Three years after that River made a flying entrance into the world and gave us everything we didn’t even know we needed. He flipped our world on its head and it was the best thing that could have happened to us. We didn’t know River had Down Syndrome until he was 6 months old. He was born in the UK, and for months and through many appointments it was completely missed. It wasn’t until we had moved back to Tanzania and took him to a private Kenyan hospital that we finally had him diagnosed.
Nothing changed for us, we had been blessed with 6 months of just getting to know our new baby and we already knew he was amazing. We hadn’t had the initial fear of being told at birth, we hadn’t had to face the numerous medical tests or been overloaded with information about the things he would never do, or the health complications he would face. Luckily River is completely healthy, other than a few minor digestion issues there is nothing. We hope it always stays that way, although we will face what the future holds for us together .
We’ve Learned So Much
Rivers diagnosis feels like so long ago. Since then we have just carried on with our lives, and it’s a wonderful life that I wouldn’t change for anything. We’ve learnt so much from River, he is our biggest teacher and has shown us what life is really all about. Yes he has Down Syndrome, but it’s such a small part of him. He is River, a brother and a son first.
I started a Facebook Page for River (I am River) 6 month ago and enjoyed it so much I thought I’d give blogging ago. I have found writing about our experiences and my thoughts really therapeutic ,as if getting it all down on paper helps organise my mind.
Having a child with down syndrome can be a mix of wonderful moments and constant thoughts of whether you are doing every possible to give them a great life. I guess I’ve found that getting all the thoughts written down my mind can be clear and focus on the positives. I want to show the world that Down Syndrome is nothing to fear, in fact it’s pretty amazing. Can it be hard? Yes. Can it be a worry? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely!!!! The good by far outweighs the bad and I wouldn’t want to swap places with anyone.
Now what you’ll probably notice by this blog is that I am totally clueless when it comes to computers. In fact, my knowledge is probably equivalent to that of a 90 year old woman. But I like to think I’m pretty good at stringing a sentence together so I thought I’d give it a shot. Apologies for the layout but I hope you at least enjoy the words!