Monday, March 21, 2016

World Down Syndrome Day

Today is March 21 (3/21) which means it is time to celebrate all the awesome people in our life that sport that extra chromosome.  For some reason today I have been very emotional thinking about the last 11 years as I have parented David and walked this journey of raising our sweet boy.
Here is our gorgeous David one week old.  He was tiny, floppy due to low muscle tone, and the sweetest baby ever!!  I was so proud of him but I was so scared and so overwhelmed.  When the doctor shared the news with me that our baby was showing signs of Down Sydrome I said to her very frankly "God made him and made him for us" and that is how I knew that God was so present with us during his birth.  The day he was born was sacred because that was the day Mike and I were forever changed. 
How could we not be overwhelmed in love for this beautiful baby that needed us so?  How could we not be in awe that God chose us to parent this child?  When you have faith in God, you know that everything he makes is perfect.  So therefore, we know that our David is simply perfect.  He was given to us to teach us all about God and his glory. 
This angel baby has taught me how to love.  Really love. Deeply and tenderly.  He has taught me to see that everyone has gifts that can be used for God's kingdom. David has taught us all how much God loves us and how to truly praise Him.  David has also taught us to see the world through a different lens and this is what I am most thankful for.  Life is not measured by how much stuff we have,  or how many accolades or worldly success one can attain.  Life is measured by how we serve and love each other.  Life is also measured by how we serve those who cannot serve us back. 
David has taught me that good friends do not count chromosomes as he has always blessed David with a wonderful village around him. 
I remember laying in the hospital bed worrying about the kind of life we could provide David.  A day post partum I felt so overwhelmed and I worried so that he would be lonely and sitting on the sideline of life.  How absurd that sounds now, but when you are 28 years old laying in a hospital bed cuddling the baby you did not expect to deliver, those dark thoughts tried to sneak in.  Clearly we can laugh now since David has a bigger social life than any of us!  God has blessed this little guy with sports, church, school, and activities. 
Eleven years ago we also did not know that besides the twist in the road of Down Syndrome we would also watch this warrior face and fight cancer.  We now watch him on the other side of intensive treatment victorious and as an ambassador for UVA children's hospital.  I had no idea on his delivery day the fight and strength this child would show fighting cancer.  Things like childhood cancer do now make sense on this side of heaven but it has been another twist and turn in the journey of parenting David.  We are all forever changed due to his presence in our life.
We are so thankful for all those folks in our life that encourage and love our boy as much as we do.
We are also so thankful that he has two siblings that will always have his back.  Kyle is old enough and articulate enough now to tell me how David has changed him as well. 

We will never know why God chose us to be David's parents, but 11 years later I can only give praise to our God for giving us his fearfully and wonderfully made child who has taught me how to be the woman god wants me to be. I am forever humbled to be called David's Mommy.

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