You can’t see it now, but it’s OK. Actually, it’s more than OK. You’ve honestly hit the jackpot. I know that sounds crazy, but just wait.
Right now your vision is clouded. All you see is a world of closed doors. You’re asking yourself if you’ll ever get to take that European vacation with your husband. You’re wondering if your new son will be able to go into the men’s room by himself when he’s older. Will he read? Will he drive? Will he fall in love? Your brain is in overdrive.
Let me offer you a suggestion. Stop thinking and start loving. Trust me, it’s not going to be hard to love this kid with every bit of you. When they wheel you down to see him in the NICU, don’t study his crooked pinkies or almond eyes. Just kiss them. And kiss them again. You won’t be able to resist anyway.
I can’t tell you that it’s not going to be hard because there are going to be days that are just really hard. When his little friends start walking. When you find out he has a heart defect. When you’re juggling what feels like constant appointments. There will be times in the coming weeks that you think you can’t possibly have any tears left.
But when I say it’s all worth it, it’s not a clichéd statement.
It. Is. All. Worth. It.
This little boy will teach you how to love. He will teach you how to measure success. He will open your eyes to a world you never knew existed. You’re going to learn how to stop and smell the roses, as they say. You’re going to appreciate all the small things. Bottles finished will feel like your son just finished a marathon. First steps will be met with tears. You will truly understand what hard work looks like.
And all those fears you have? Just quiet them. Your daughter will fiercely love this kid. She will beam with as much pride as you will when he hits his milestones… maybe even more! Your marriage only keeps growing stronger from here on out and I'm sure you'll take that European vacation one day. And your faith in God grows in leaps and bounds because of this little boy.
You’re about to learn that Down syndrome isn’t scary. You’re going to take that truth and shout it from the rooftops.
It’s hard to see it now. And that’s fine. You’re blindsided. Being a special needs mom was not a part of your plan, but trust me when I say before you know it, you’re going to be so glad that God’s plans are greater than ours. You're not going to believe how much love your heart can hold.
Bio: Melinda lives in Houston with her husband and three children. A former high school journalism teacher, Melinda uses her love for writing and photography to document her family’s story at asfatewoodhaveit.blogspot.com andfacebook.com/apolishedarrow. Some of Melinda’s writings have been featured on themighty.com.
This letter is part of DSDN's October Down Syndrome Awareness Month campaign. We asked our members to write a letter to themselves during the time they received the diagnosis. Do you know a parent with a child under the age of 4 who needs connections and support? Let DSDN help and get started here.