It’s October, and in honor of Down Syndrome Awareness month I’d like to share a bit about how my son with Down Syndrome and how he’s impacted our lives.
In 2001 some measurements on my routine ultrasound indicated some soft markers for Down Syndrome. I was devastated and didn’t know how I was going to cope with one more family diagnosis. I spent the remainder of the pregnancy praying that it wasn’t the case.
In the operating room following my planned c-section, his almond shaped eyes were immediately obvious. The hospital staff was silent. I didn’t stop crying for days and didn’t know if I could ever accept him.
15 years later, I can look back on the many life lessons that Nicolas has taught me. As it turned out, having a child with Down Syndrome wasn’t the end of the road…it was just a little bend. A road less traveled. It hasn’t always been easy, but the impact he’s had on our family is immeasurable.
- He’s brought dozens of wonderful people into my life that I would not have known if it weren’t for him.
- Wherever we go, he always seems to know someone.
- He’s had a great impact on everyone who’s ever volunteered with him and they’ve all come to love him.
- He’s taught us compassion and acceptance of people of all abilities.
- He’s probably been in our local papers at least half a dozen times because his smile is just that magnetic.
- He inspired his older sister to become a speech pathologist.
- He taught me, his introverted and shut down mom to learn to use my voice to advocate for him and awakened my long dormant gift of stringing words together and got me started blogging.
- God has used him to drive much of my self-centeredness away.
- He continuously teaches us true joy and worship.
- He inspires me in my own physical struggles with dystonia to never give up.
I previously wrote:
Over the years I’ve noticed people with Down Syndrome have a unique way of assessing a situation and speaking the truth about it in a very simple, yet profound way. They are also fun. They’re all about the party and the outfit. Many are phenomenal dancers. They go to work. They live and they love. Their angels are always close. Those who love and care for them are themselves transformed. That extra chromosome is truly the “love” chromosome.
What the future holds for him, I don’t know. I get scared but trust that God is in charge and do the best I can to help him achieve the best independence that he’s capable of. But his worth and his right to be here doesn’t depend on a college diploma or career.
He just is, and that is enough. Here’s a few of my previous articles about Down Syndrome: