We just finished our morning ritual of breakfast, play time and bath, and now you are curled up in your pink hooded towel, fast asleep in the overstuffed chair beside me. As I was getting ready to write this post, I clicked on the feedjit tab on your sidebar, opening it up to see who was coming to visit you today. One of the referring sites was as usual, babycenter...but instead of the post being one from our usual group, the Down syndrome boards, it was from another group.
And Lily, I choked back tears at the words that led someone here today.
Without going into too many details- there is a little life that's hanging in the balance because of the possibility of Down syndrome. You see, not everyone understands the beauty of that extra copy of the 21st chromosome. For some, the fear and uncertainty of what that means is almost too much to bear, and they have have no way of knowing what I know....
...that a baby born with Down syndrome is not a burden and not a nightmare to be avoided- that in fact they might be about to throw away the greatest gift anyone could receive in life.
And it wasn't the first time that this has happened- someone finding their way here because of a quad marker screening or amniocentesis. The truth is that just about every day there are mamas who are receiving a diagnosis or potential diagnosis of Down syndrome for their babies, who come here looking for answers. One little gadget installed on my sidebar has given me a glimpse into a world of hurt and dispair that is out there- people coming by googling their fears..."chance of Down syndrome - help" or "sick with worry" or considering abortion".
I pray with all my heart that they will see your sweet little face staring back at them and choose life. I pray that reading our story makes a lasting impact on mamas facing those lifetime decisions, and that they somehow find an anchor to hold onto.
I wish so much that they could hold you for one minute, sweet Lily. Just one minute looking into your star studded almond eyes, or holding your tiny hand with the little bent pinky... and they would know.
They would know what I know, knew instinctively from that first moment I held you in my arms on that fate-filled and faith-fueled day so many months ago. That you were indeed fearfully and wonderfully made, and that no amnio or quad marker could have foretold the love I feel for you.
Nothing could have prepared me for that overwhelming sense of gratitude and awe for being entrusted with such a gift. And even now I wonder if there will come a day when doctors and medical professionals arm their patients with pamphlets and websites and information that show a truer picture of what life with Down syndrome means.
Because it means this...
It means a journey just like any other journey of parenting- forever having your heart go walking around outside your body. It means experiencing a greater sense of purpose because of the life that has been entrusted to your care.
It means wondering how you could have ever doubted your capacity for love, and wishing you could somehow go tell every fearful and anxious mama: It's going to be so good.
Holding you closer today,