It's been awhile since I've written you a letter here. When you were in my tummy I wrote to you constantly, because I just wanted that connection - I couldn't wait to see you face to face. When you were an infant I wrote even more...because in those first months after you were born I was sorting through so many emotions, and writing just seemed the best way to process everything.
But now, as we're approaching your third birthday, my letters to you are growing further and further apart. And it isn't because I don't have anything to say to you...but now I say it face to face.
We're so connected, Lily. And that's something I'd always wondered if I'd have with you. I don't know why - maybe I had a picture in my mind of what life with a child with special needs would mean. Or maybe, like so many experiences in parenting, I just really didn't know what to expect. But I'm so grateful for what we share- the mother/daughter bond that is the exact same bond I feel with all of my children, no matter how many chromosomes they have. It's the feeling of waking up to Christmas morning - every morning - just being your mama. You don't even have to say a word, just a little smile or a hug lets me know how much you love me. I just can't get enough of that feeling.
I read a thought provoking blog post the other day, by another mama of a little girl with Down syndrome. She talked about things I've often wondered myself, and things I don't have all the answers for. Mainly she just wondered - will our children have Down syndrome in Heaven?
I believe with all my heart that you were no accident. I truly believe God knew exactly what He was doing when He created you. I believe that verse that says "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." I don't believe we can pull that verse from the Bible and only apply it to "typical" children... I don't believe God makes mistakes.
But I also know that we don't live in Heaven right now. We don't live in sinless perfection, and just as children...people...have weaknesses and flaws, so do children with special needs. God paints such a perfect picture of Heaven for us- "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." And one of my favorite verses (in the King James language, because I think the cadence is so beautiful) "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."
We shall be like Him.
I don't know entirely what that means, dearest Lily ... because I trust that believers in Jesus will be uniquely ourselves in Heaven. But at the same time, the Bible says that we'll be changed.
So one of the things I truly believe...with all my heart... is that as connected as you and I are right now - and as much as I treasure that connection and bond - I will truly see you face to face in Heaven.
No limitations. No language or speech barriers, no cognitive delays, nothing to impede communication - you will know as you are known.
And maybe there will be something of that extra chromosome that remains, something to distinguish you from others, perhaps some of the innocence and lack of pretentiousness that has stood out to me as something unique to Down syndrome... but I'll leave that to God.
For now I'm just grateful to be your mama.
"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." 1 Corinthians 13:12