The Diagnosis You Didn’t Get

When we received our son’s diagnosis, I cried my eyes out. It was all a blur, really. All I can remember was a doctor’s shadowy figure against the wall of my dark hospital room in the middle of the night. And something about “mental retardation,” a long list of developmental delays, and all the things the medical establishment saw as “wrong” with my sweet baby. What that doctor failed to tell me, however, and should have, was that this child would fill my life with so much joy and love and beauty, that I would hardly be able to stand it. That this baby would be my greatest happiness and blessing. That I would be grateful every day for the gift of having him in my life. And that glaring omission needs to change.

So for those of you with a new little angel, here’s the diagnosis you didn’t get, but should have:

Congratulations! Your child has just been diagnosed with Down syndrome. He has an extra copy of the 21st chromosome in each of his cells, which means that he was born awesome. He literally has something extra that the rest of us were not inherently blessed with: extra love, extra heart, extra joy and extra light in his eyes. Your child is in no way defective. No, quite the contrary. Your child is as close to perfect as they come, more perfect than those of us with fewer genes, profess to be. In fact, you will find that you will aspire to be more like your child. More patient, more kind, more joy in simple things. Your child will also introduce you to some of the most beautiful people that the world has to offer, and help you make friends wherever you go. You will find that your journey with this child is paved with endless love, kindness and miracles.

So, congratulations. You have quite literally won the lottery. But try not to noise it around too much. We don’t want to make the other families jealous. #theluckyfew ©

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