Down Syndrome woman became pregnant and lost friends, but 27 years later, she remains “proud” of her child

Lisa Newtop, a mother with Down syndrome, gave birth to a boy named Nic in 1996. However, during her pregnancy, some of her friends distanced themselves from her due to concerns from their parents that she could be a negative influence on their children.

Lisa Newtop was a feisty and headstrong woman with Down syndrome who was fiercely independent and determined to carve her own path. At just 16 years old, she declared her intention to leave home and pursue her own destiny. When she became pregnant at 30 with her boyfriend, it came as a surprise to her mother, Patti White.

Despite having a job and being in a committed relationship, some of Lisa’s friends doubted her ability to become a mother. However, Lisa remained undeterred and with the unwavering support of her incredible mother, she gave birth to her precious child with Down syndrome 27 years ago.

Lisa and Patti are trailblazers who have paved the way for others with Down syndrome to start families, despite the challenges that they may face. Lisa proudly expresses her love for her son, and they both feel that their journey has been difficult but worthwhile.

Patti fondly remembers the moment she learned she was going to be a grandmother. While checking her messages, she received a voicemail from Lisa that said, “Hi, Mom. I just wanted to call to let you know that you’re going to be the [sic] grandmother.” Patti was so overjoyed that she listened to the message three times.

Despite Patti’s support for her daughter’s pregnancy, her close friends were not as accepting. Patti remembered their suggestion that she should consider an open adoption instead.

Patti had only been married to Norm for a few years and couldn’t bear the thought of giving up Lisa’s baby to someone else. She was worried it would be too much for Norm to handle.

However, to Patti’s surprise, Norm showed unwavering support and declared, “No matter what you decide to do, I’m going to be there for you.”

In contrast, many of Lisa’s friends distanced themselves from her due to their parents’ fear that she could be a negative influence on their daughters.

On February 10, 1996, Lisa and her boyfriend Tim welcomed their son, Nic, who also has Down syndrome. Lisa faced challenges in motherhood after his birth.

Lisa was very sensitive at the time, and she would feel responsible whenever Nic cried because she thought he was in pain. Patti explained that Lisa couldn’t understand that babies often cry for no apparent reason.

After Nic’s birth, Lisa and Tim decided to move closer to Patti and Norm in Sacramento. Patti stated that they knew Lisa and Tim would need a lot of support and services, and seeking guidance from experts was one of the best decisions they made.

When Lisa had difficulty selecting the appropriate toys for Nic, the Whites knew exactly what to do. They sought the help of an expert who visited their home and demonstrated the proper way of choosing toys. However, the road to motherhood was not without challenges. Patti recalled how, in the beginning, Lisa would get frustrated with Nic whenever he did something that bothered her. Patti admitted, “When he was little and did something that annoyed her, she thought he was doing it on purpose and she’d get upset.”

Sadly, when Nic was only 5 years old, his father passed away due to heart disease. Despite this tragic event, he grew up surrounded by love and care from his two mothers, Lisa and Patti, who have supported him every step of the way.

Nic is now 27 years old and resides with Patti in Stockton, California, while Lisa has an apartment nearby. Despite the loss of his father, Nic speaks highly of his two mothers, describing Lisa as “loving and caring” and praising Patti’s culinary abilities. “I’m lucky because I have two moms,” he says.

Nic has grand aspirations and ambitions, such as becoming a busboy, rapper, DJ, and director. He has already made appearances as an actor in films and TV series. According to Patti, Nic is constantly writing scripts, and she hopes that he will write one featuring himself and his mother.

Despite Lisa’s love for boasting about her son, Patti reveals that Lisa sometimes finds it hard to allow Nic to make his own decisions and still treats him as if he were younger than he is.

After Norm’s passing in 2021, Patti has been seeking support from her friends at the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. As for Lisa and Nic’s future, Patti, who is 75 years old, is still figuring out a plan. She admits that the question of what happens when she can no longer care for Nic is a challenging one for any parent with a disabled child.

However, despite these concerns, Nic completed the Wayfinders program at California State University, Fresno in 2020 and is now eager to move out of Patti’s home and into a place of his own in the coming months.

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