October is Down syndrome Awareness month. Six years ago, I was aware that there was something called Down syndrome. Our close friends had a daughter with Down syndrome and I took care of her while her mom worked a part-time job. But two years later, when my daughter was born with Down syndrome, my awareness changed.
I was aware I did not want to have a baby with Down syndrome. I was aware of my broken dreams for our future. Aware that I had become a special needs mom without any say in the matter. I was aware that God had a plan, but I didn’t like it. Not one bit.
So I cried and shook my fist at God because I didn’t think I deserved a baby with Down syndrome. I lived my life to serve God, I was a pastor’s wife, why was He doing this to me? Why did He choose a broken baby for me? I wanted my baby to die because I couldn’t handle her diagnosis.
Then I got a call from my baby’s doctor, he was concerned about her health. A possibly terminal liver condition. Maybe she would die if we didn’t do something about it. And my awareness changed once more.
I became aware of how selfish I was. Aware of how little I knew about unconditional love, and how consumed I was with my grief. I became quite aware that my baby wasn’t broken. I was. So broken.
And then I chose love. With everything in me I was going to love my baby because I couldn’t bear the idea of standing before God without loving His child, the beloved He had entrusted to me. I had a change of heart. God was beginning to mend my brokenness.
Now, six years later, I am aware of how beautiful my daughter’s life is. I am aware that she brings me more joy and love I thought I could have in my life. I am aware of shades of color I never knew were possible. I am aware that there is love, oh so much love.
And I am aware that she is the little girl I always wanted. My pride. My joy. My heart.
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