I see you in your room. You just got the news of a lifetime about your new baby: a diagnosis of Down syndrome. It’s dark. And you’re crying your eyes out. I don’t blame you. But now it’s three years later. I wish I could tell you what we’ve learned:
It’s going to be okay. It really is. Your world feels shattered right now, but it isn’t. The journey you are on will be richer, deeper, and more meaningful than you could ever imagine now. It’s a beautiful ride, with an amazing tour guide.
You will love him. Oh you will love him! So much your heart will feel like it will burst.
Parenthood is a process, and learning to help and parent a child with special needs is too. Don’t get overwhelmed with thoughts of what you might face when he is five or fifty. Just snuggle and love that baby and the rest will work itself out.
It’s okay to cry. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your child. But also remember that there is so much beauty ahead.
The hugs. People who don’t have a child with Down syndrome won’t ever understand. His hugs are different. They’re special. And they will make everything right.
Sometimes perfection doesn’t look like you thought it did. And maybe it means something different, too.
He’s going to learn to walk and talk and do all of those things. You’ll go to the park and read books and watch movies together. You’ll giggle and be silly. He’s just a kid afterall, not a diagnosis.
You don’t have to know everything all at once. There will be people all along the way to help you. Special programs, friends, doctors and therapists who know the ropes, and they will teach you.
You’re going to meet some of the dearest and truest people that the world has to offer. Beautiful people who you wouldn’t have met otherwise, often even strangers, whose kindness will bring you to tears. You’ve just been inducted into a community of some of the best people the world has to offer.
Your journey will be dotted with love and miracles.
I dare say that you will love this special child more, or perhaps differently, than your others. Because you will be so invested in his everything. He’ll work so hard and so will you. You’ll appreciate every milestone so much more.
You’ll get a glimpse of Heaven in those eyes and that smile. And you’ll wonder how you ever thought you were whole without him. You’ll say to your family on a regular basis that you feel like you won the lottery…and you did.
Life is going to be Simply…Perfect. ©
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