Friday, June 18, 2010

On the Inside Looking Out

Dearest Lily,

Sometimes it hits me that I have ten children.

What I mean is, most of the time we're just living in the moment, so to speak, and I don't really think about the big picture.

What's really funny is when we're out and about, and I see a family with 5 or 6 kids, and I think -that is a LOTof kids! It looks overwheming from the outside.

So too, with your diagnosis. It's like we're just living day to day, enjoying life with you and taking things one sweet moment at a time....and I don't really think about having a baby with ds. Things are so normal, and you are such a typical baby, that it just doesn't seem like a big deal to me.

I wonder (now) what people are so afraid of when they hear the words "Down syndrome"...possibly during prenatal testing, or an ultrasound, or maybe just talking about having a baby later in life.

Because I used to be one of those people. But now I find myself drawn to websites promoting adoption of babies with ds overseas, who are abandoned in orphanages. I can't understand how moms can discard these babies.. like tossing aside diamonds in search of pearls...

Maybe it's like raising a large family...from the outside it looks daunting, difficult, maybe even overwhelming. But from this side of things it's It's just normal. Maybe some days are a little more crazy than others. But we didn't just wake up with ten kids one morning. We grew into this, and as the dynamics of our family changed, so did we.

And it's not so different than life with 2 kids or 3..there's always ups and downs and tears and laughter and unexpected events and predictable ones too, familiar routines and surprise situations, and maybe it's multiplied a little bit more, but it's all good.

So maybe there will be more challenges as you grow...but there are challenges raising any child, and there are no guarantees that any of us are going to sail through this parenting thing unscathed by life's curveballs.

Something funny happened recently that made me realize I've come to a different place..maybe a new me. A friend of a friend had a few markers show up on an ultrasound for her baby. Possible markers for Downs. And as I heard the news, I didn't feel sympathy..I felt ...nothing. Isn't that strange, Lily? I felt like...what would be so bad about that? I wanted to call that young Mama and say- there's nothing to worry about. As someone on the inside, please believe me- it's all good.

Photobucket What a journey we've been on together, baby of mine. What a long way I've come in a few short months of knowing you.

Loving life on this side of things,

Mama oxox


Anonymous said...

I know what you mean...Living life on this side of things- kind of like with adopting a child- people I'm sure wonder if you can love that child unconditionally - or as much as one that came from your womb...and you CAN and you DO- and it all seems so natural to me- because of the journey and living it. My girls are my very own- and sometimes I have to remind myself they are adopted - if someone says they don't look like you- do they look like their dad?- or too if they say "Jade looks just like you". I'm sure there will be challenges down the road with adoption- but God knows I've had challenges with my biological daughter too :) (j/k- she's perfect)
Can't wait to hold Miss Lily and see you next Friday!!

TheFoleyFive said...

I LOVE this post...its so true. Even just me and three in three years, SO many questions about how do you do it? or you must never get anything done! And i'm always confused, but then I see a mother with three little ones all at once and think, it DOES look hectic...amazing how we cope and thrive with what we have huh?
I love your letters to Lily...they're letters to every mum who's wondered if she could do it..

Mrs. K said...

If someone were to have told me we would be grandparents of 19 I would have laughed and said NO WAY. WOW! Never in my wildest dreams! Being an only child I always wanted a big family but found out early I just did not have the tempermant nor patience for more than 3. But God saw to it that I would have a big family and I thank Him for all our grand"babies". I am so proud of each and everyone of them as I am of their parents. I love to see each family and how lovingly they respond to each other in so many ways. God has truly blessed me with the big family I have always wanted.

Anonymous said...

Loved this post. I totally agree -I know that I was truly fearful of DS before Charlie was born. But then again there are many things in life we could fear, the unknown mostly...

DS isn't an unknown in our lives anymore. It isn't scary or burdensome. In fact it is a very small part of our beautiful boy. And my hope is that by raising our boy with joy we can help to erase some of that fear that others may have...

Beautiful blog, beautiful family, beautiful story.