Today we found out the news we were expecting and, quite honestly, dreading; our son, the baby we’ve been expecting for 20 weeks and thinking was a girl this whole time, has Down Syndrome. Heavy stuff…
No one has visions of kids playing the back yard and one of those kids having Down Syndrome…we just don’t think like that. The reality, though, is that for thousands of people each year, this unexpected drama becomes their reality – we are just one of many. The other reality is that we can’t change this situation. By all accounts and from every story we’ve heard and read, we shouldn’t want to change this story because although this wasn’t the dream we’ve been having for all of these years, it’s a dream come true and a blessing beyond our wildest dreams. That’s a hopeful perspective that I am choosing to buy into wholeheartedly.
I am having a great day today because I am really at peace with this reality and am choosing to only see the upsides. Thus, I immediately grabbed my computer and started this blog to document our experience and the changing tide that will be our life for the next several months and years ahead.
Will this be easy? Certainly not. Will this be scary? Certainly. Will this be doable? ABSOLUTELY! Will this kill us? NO WAY.
I’m not creating a false sense of hope or artificial positivity – I actually am excited for this opportunity and do see this is a special challenge and blessing for us and the reason we are faced with this is because we can handle it – not everyone could, but I KNOW we can.
It’s been easy to let the “why me?” thoughts creep in over the past few weeks of waiting for results and confirmation, but ultimately the answer to “why me” is simple – because this is MY BABY, that’s why. This is MY SON. This is MY FAMILY. So, why me? Because this baby is part of me and it’s going to need me to do a job that no one else could do but me. Also, in many ways it’s not about me, it’s about giving this baby every chance in the world to have an amazing life, have an amazing family, and have everything we would have given a “normal” kid. I have a feeling we’ll all be better than we could have ever imagined through this, as well.
Michelle has had a really good day today with this news. I imagine she’ll have some roller-coaster emotions in the next days and weeks and that’s totally OK. I am gonna be strong when she needs me. I will have moments in the days ahead, too, but I am choosing to never let this defeat me, control me or change the fact that I am a father and this is my son. He’s not flawed, he’s not imperfect, he’s not less than any other kid we could have had – he’s simply different and that’s actually a wonderful thing.
I just spoke to a person I know in our community who has a 16 year old daughter with Down Syndrome and I called him to see if we could talk, meet with his family and start building a relationship so we have their support and resources going forward. He could not have been more excited for us. His passion, enthusiasm and positivity was a real inspiration for me right off the bat and an affirmation of the approach I’m taking with this.
One thing he mentioned was that his daughter has been the absolute best thing for their family and he never would have all he’s had if he’d just had another “normal” kid. That was a wonderful thing to hear. I immediately connected with that spirit. I see this boy as someone so special and unique and while we have the most amazing toddler ever in our 2 1/2 year-old daughter Lydia, I am excited for the completely different experience this baby boy will bring us.
I could go on and on. I’m really pumped up today and I know this is gonna be a rocky road for awhile, but I am just gonna choose the positive path at every step in the process and I know it will all turn out great because I won’t let any other outcome happen.
Thanks to everyone (the few of you who know at this point) for your love, prayers and support. That has meant a lot and will continue to be vital in our journey. Feel free to share our story and stay tuned for lots of updates going forward.