Sometimes the very thing you never thought you wanted becomes the very thing you would die for.
Sometimes the dying gets real – putting to death pride, offense, ignorance, whether it’s within ourselves or in those around us.
I never thought I would have a child with Down syndrome. The concept was foreign to me as I would soon find is to so many. No one thinks “it” will happen to them.
I wanted no part of it.
At one time, I would have been one of those shouting, “Hallelujah,” when a diagnosis of Down syndrome was negative.
And I would have said, “I’m sorry,” when a parent got a diagnosis.
I would have continued to say, “I don’t care if it’s a boy or girl – as long as it’s healthy.”
Maybe I would have inadvertently and ignorantly used the R-word.
I would have, until I knew better.
But my most gracious God gave my husband and me a gift, wrapped in a slightly different package. Opening this gift opened up a whole new world.
It gave my other children the gift of compassion and fierce love along with the courage to defend and be proud of him and love those like him.
In life, the paths we anticipate to travel change in a moment and our journey changes for a lifetime.
A single chromosome.
Something too small to be seen with the naked eye, yet displays itself for the world to see.
Today, that world celebrates that little something extra.
But many still fear Down syndrome. For many it is the enemy. Many wish it away and even fight to eliminate it by eliminating those with it before they even have a chance to be born.
It’s not the desired outcome.
The irony is that the undesirable are often the most loving and become the most loved.
Today as I scroll through my Facebook feed I see the beautiful faces of those being celebrated and read words of those who celebrate them. Famous people and not-so-famous people alike honoring those they love.
Down syndrome in my world isn’t uncommon. I live with it, around it, through it. It envelopes and surrounds. I am always aware and never preoccupied. It is never far from my thoughts and yet it is never on my mind.
An extra chromosome. Minuscule yet enormous.
An enigma, this Down syndrome.
Such a part of him, but not who he is.