This is the time of year where we think about all of our blessings and those things that we are thankful for. I do this and encourage my 6 children to as well. I found something interesting as of late though, I have been thanking God that my son has Down Syndrome.
I am thankful my son has Down Syndrome because…
There is a whole community of the most loving, kind, and amazing people that I never knew existed.
People have sent me messages, emails, and even a few gifts because we made a connection based on a chromosomal count. I have never in my parenting life seen such an intense and instantaneous bond as between families who all love someone with an extra chromosome. It really surpasses age, gender, socioeconomic status, and culture. We all get it, it’s hard at first, we almost all experience the same emotions but then we see the joy.
My son wouldn’t be who he is without Down Syndrome
I remember the first time I saw a parent write that and I was baffled. I truly couldn’t comprehend when I heard a parent she wouldn’t take away the Down Syndrome if she could, I get it now. I would take away some of the struggles that my Cedar will face, I would take away the stereotypes and the ignorance, but I would not take it away because it is what makes my Cedar uniquely him. None of my other children have allowed me to watch them work so hard to achieve a milestone and have let me enjoy the phases of baby life that I get to enjoy just a little bit longer this time. None of my other children have been so laid back, easy to please, and gentle as this one.
Just a different placement
I know of a number of mamas who have expected a baby, like I did, and then later learned that their child was to have a Trisomy of another kind. Down Syndrome is extra genetic material on the 21st chromosome, however, there is also Trisomy 13 and Trisomy 15 both of which are more often fatal. Because my son has Trisomy 21, and not one of the other Trisomy disorders, he is here with me and not in heaven already. For that I am infinitely thankful.
I have found a new purpose
I have always cheered for the underdog, but I now do it with a fervor that has yet to be matched. I have found a new purpose for my spare time and I love helping others and connecting people all across this great world of ours. I was a social worker before I began staying home with my children a few years ago, I have always been a people helper, but this is a whole new lease on helping others. I want to help them see the potential in disabilities and help my son find a place in this world. I want the world to know that God does not make mistakes, my faith in his plan has helped me fine tune how I direct my efforts.
Down Syndrome is not to be feared, it is for us to learn from
I have heard it said that we learn more from our children with Down Syndrome than we could ever teach them. I have already started to see the truth in this. I am learning from my son, learning patience, learning tenacity, learning peace. Those who I have meant that are young adults with Down Syndrome possess a satisfaction with themselves and a level of confidence that most of us would love to attain. I like to think that it is kind of what we would see if we could see ourselves through God’s eyes. God doesn’t see the imperfections we think we have, he sees a miraculous creation, most of those whom I have met with Down Syndrome seem to possess a bit of this vision.
The interesting thing is I can remember praying so hard that our son would not have Down Syndrome when we first began to suspect it, I prayed and yearned for God to answer that one prayer. He did not answer it in the way I wanted back then, but as always, he knows what I need more than I ever will. Now, I thank him for letting me be a part of the world of Down Syndrome and seeing it through the eyes of my son, Cedar.
If you think my perspective is unique, let me share something with you. There is a whole tribe of mamas out there who also feel this way about their little ones. They too are Thankful For Down Syndrome. Here are a few other bloggers who will tell you why.
Courtney is a mom of three including beautiful twin boys, one with an extra chromosome. She began her blog Inclusion Evolution to advocate for inclusion in school and work for individuals with Down syndrome. Her goal is to empower parents, teachers, employers and self-advocates to create better opportunities for our loved ones through advocacy.
Be sure to find her on instagram @InclusionEvolution
Trista and her beautiful Bernadette are showing the world that they are thankful too Trista blogs over at TristaPark.com and says “I created my blog is to process through the journey. The prenatal diagnosis, the heart surgeries, life in general. It’s been a really good outlet for me to process all the emotions and events especially those of this last year. And through that, I hope to encourage other moms with kiddos with special needs that they are not alone and all the feelings are ok!”
Be sure to find her on Instagram @mrs_t_park
Joy has a unique perspective here too, she has 2 biological children who BOTH have Down Syndrome. Both Rudy & Desi show their family joy and that God has a purpose for all of us. Joy and her family also have a passion for homesteading and you can find all of her inspirational posts at The Beanpost Farmstead.
Find her on Instagram @beanpostfarmstead