Sunday, May 27, 2012

Parenting a Child with Down Syndrome

(I chose this title because I hope a new mom might come across this post someday and find a little good news while she is in the midst of fearing the unknown.)
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Two years ago today, I was afraid. I was afraid others wouldn't love my sweet baby. I was afraid our friends would be too uncomfortable to be around us anymore. I was afraid people would make fun of him. I was afraid of so many things.

Levi was born around 1:30am on May 27, 2010. At 7am, one of the pediatricians told us he suspected Levi had Down syndrome and ordered a blood test. I have pictures that prove it wasn't non-stop, but I cried more than I didn't for 48 hours, wondering if I would ever be normal again.
 This tiny, weak little boy couldn't even grip our fingers, and my heart was broken. I knew our lives would be forever changed.
I just didn't know they were going to be changed for the better.

Because of this little boy, I have a compassion for others I never knew. I have new friends that mean the world to me. I can't wait to see what the next year holds for us. We are so blessed to have this awesome kid in our family.

I think all moms, at one time or another, want to appear like they've got it all together. I have learned that admiration isn't friendship, and the appearance of having it all doesn't compare to being accepted for being genuine...genuinely imperfect. Levi gives our family more character and adds personality to "us." And what I used to see as imperfection, has become something I never want to be without. An extra chromosome can become a family's badge of authenticity. No masks, no pretending. This is who we are.

And we love who we we are because of him.
Happy Birthday, Big Guy!
You are rockin' that extra chromosome, and we are proud you belong to us.

14 comments :

Becky said...

Yes, he is rocking it out! Happy Birthday! Beautiful words that a new parent should read...because I could not agree with you more. I was actually playing with Kristen today thinking just how much I love her and everything about her, including that extra chromosome which makes her the amazing person she is. We are so blessed to be able to experience this incredible journey our kids have put us on!

Teri said...

You have said it perfectly! My son Joshua has blessed our lives for almost 13 years now. He has taught our family so much and has touched so many others around us. I hope others who are just starting this journey will truly hear your words of hope.

lovemy3 said...

Beautiful! Happy 2nd birthday!

Jenny said...

This was beautiful April. Happy 2nd Birthday to Levi :)

wendi said...

He is a blessing to everyone. I'm so happy to know Levi. He is the definition of pure love, just as God intended.

Leah said...

Sorry we were not there to wish him Happy Birthday yesterday! I was thinking of him! :) Beatiful post! You know how much love him!!!

Leah said...

Happy birthday to your sweetie!

teal915 said...

Happy birthday, big boy! He's adorable.

Life with Kaishon said...

Happy Birthday to your beautiful baby boy Levi! I love his eyes. I love his smile. I love that you shared this. I will tweet it so perhaps more people can see this. Wishing Levi a lifetime of happiness!

Ilisa Ailts said...

Happy Belated Birthday Levi! I am so sorry I do not get to your blog nearly enough. It is gorgeous!

So, Calvin and Levi are connected with this date, but he was born July 23rd. We had an amnio and received the results on May 27th. Crazy connection! We were both rocked to the for that day 2 years ago. Your boys are sweet and adorable and I love brothers! Thanks for visiting my blog!

Melissa said...

Happy belated Birthday Levi!!

I had exactly the same fears as you did. Fears for our baby, fears for us, and 2 years later those worried days seem so far away. Now it's motherhood, not Ds, that is kicking my butt!

Laura said...

Happy, happy, happy birthday Levi! Can't wait to read about all your adventures in year 3!

Katherine said...

happy birthday to your beautiful baby...

Amber Marie said...

Levi is absolutely adorable. My cousin is going to be 11 this year, and he has Down syndrome, and before he had his open heart surgery, our Pastor told my aunt and uncle that God only gives children with Down syndrome to those who can love them enough, or something along those lines. He's a handful, but he's the most loving boy ever.

6 years ago my friend gave birth to a little girl with Down syndrome too (all her tests were negative so this was a huge shock for her), but again-cutest little kid ever.

Those two kiddos have changed my life for the better, and they're not even mine. I can only imagine how much your life is changing when the child is yours.