Saturday, March 13, 2010

Who I Was Then; Who I Am Now

One of my favorite Down syndrome threads on any message board asked the question who were you before you had your child with Down syndrome, and who are you now that you have is my response:

I'm a person who believes that there is a plan, and that there are reasons for everything in life, but you don't always see them when you are going through them.

I've always been drawn to the most interesting people in the room - not the most typical - the ones I consider most interesting. One of those most interesting people in my life is one of my best friends. I met him in college. He is fun, and funny, and he grew up with two permanent foster brothers (and a sister for a while) with Down syndrome.

I have a nephew (who is a genius in his own special way) with a condition similar to Muscular Dystrophy. My cousin's little piano playing wonder girl has DiGeorge syndrome. I have a co-woerker with a little boy with William's syndrome. I have a friend whose child had neuroblastoma (cancer of the stomach discovered at 8 months old.) A neighbor has a child with CP. I have an uncle with an adult son who is autistic. Disabillity was, if you can imagine, "normal" in our lives.

But, when I got the odds that Violette had a 1 in 16 chance of DS, I was shocked. I thought it would be the worst thing in the world. I had always considered myself the luckiest, most blessed person I knew. For a few weeks after she was born I questioned that.

But I went back to my favorite four words of the Lord's Prayer "Thy will be done" and realized that a person as lucky as I was, as blessed in this world as anyone I've ever met, wouldn't be let down. And I started to think about things.

Every day, more and more I realize that Violette being that 1 in 16 was just another way of God telling me how much he loves me. And I know that having "the 1" is indeed the lucky one - not those other 15 who don't have someone like her in her life.

I can't say that she has changed me - I'm still fundamentally the same person as I was before I had her. I can say, though that she's totally reinforced what I thought before I had her - I am the luckiest person in the world.


amy flege said...

hey you!! how have you been!! your little V is sure growin up!! love your post!

Chromosomally Enhanced said...

that is a great question...who were we before..i think u r on 2 something...i am the same person before Maddox..but I have started to notice everything around me more...i have become more empathetic and less selfish...thanks for the thoughts! smiles

ds.mama said...

That's beautiful.

Tara said...

Indeed! Love it!

Kelly said...

Thanks for sharing this....definitely something to think about! I too feel very blessed and lucky that I was the "1 in 3":) Great post!!