It's a beautiful Sunday afternoon and you just woke up from your nap, smiling your beautiful sleepy grin at me...
While you were sleeping I was reading about Kareen's mama and daddy...they just landed in her country, and in a few days they'll be able to meet her. I tried to read the post out loud to Daddy, but as usual the words were stuck in my throat. I can hardly believe that the beautiful little girl who stole our hearts last December is being rescued. I remember staring at her sweet little cherub face, praying so hard for a family to come forward for her...and here less than six months later it's happening. And while I'm quite sure God could have orchestrated that rescue a million different ways...I am so over the moon that He let us be a part of that.
And you know what is amazing, Lily? In a very real sense...it's because of you.
When I think back to my pregnancy, when you were still safely tucked inside of me, holding a secret that only God knew...I really can't believe what a treasure I carried. I say it all the time, but truly you are one of the greatest gifts I've been given in life.
Having you opened our eyes to what children in other nations are facing, and for that I am forever grateful. I might have missed out on the miracle that is unfolding right now for Kareen, if you arrived in life as the baby I prayed for. Because honestly? Who prays that their baby girl will have Down syndrome? In fact, since my last three babies were born after I turned 35, my heartfelt prayer each pregnancy was that I would not have a baby with Down syndrome.
I'm so glad those prayers went unanswered. I'm so glad that God knew what He was doing when He sent me you. You weren't an accident or a mistake; I can't believe that. Although the world might look at that extra chromosome and see misfortune, although doctors and medical experts might see your diagnosis as something to be feared, I am confident that you are exactly who God intended you to be.
I glanced at who was coming to read about you today, sweet Lily. And again I'm convinced more than ever, that there was a purpose in God giving me you.
Someone from overseas came by typing keywords into google..."please reassure me about my down syndrome babies". Another came for help "dealing with people who mock my down syndrome child." In a perfect world we wouldn't need reassurance about our children. In a perfect world mamas wouldn't ever worry about the cruelty of ignorant people.
But isn't it amazing how God allows our trials to be turned to gold? Because the thing that I feared- giving birth to a baby with Down syndrome- has now become my greatest blessing.
I went back and read a letter someone gave your daddy the night after you were born. I was recovering in our hospital here in town, and you were a few hours away in a NICU with Daddy. One of the nurses on duty was a man named Larry.
Larry had a son with with Down syndrome...coincidence? I don't think so. I think God knew Daddy would need a friend that night, someone who recognized a gift when he saw one- because he had been given one himself.
When we brought you home from the hospital, one long week later, I found a letter hidden in the pile of papers we'd been given. It was from Larry, and more than any piece of information we were sent home with that day, those words held the answers for our future.
Sam and Patti,
I know you will get a ton of advice whether you ask for it or not. Please excuse me giving my 2 cents...I just thought I would encourage you to just enjoy Lily. I know there are plenty of questions about medical and practical things, and I think you will get the important questions answered. I just think that one of the most helpful things I have seen/learned from my wife Janelle, was to just enjoy our son. He/Lily are a gift from God just like our other kids. I think the more I just enjoy my son, the more the rest of the things seem to fall in place.
Hope to see you again,
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17
Loving my perfect gift,
P.S. so honored to be HERE.