I know this is not the situation you expected. You envisioned getting the call or email from the adoption agency about the “perfect” baby. You had waited 5 ½ years, endured the pain of failed IVF treatments and were ready to adopt. You even told the adoption agency that you would accept a baby with “mild or correctable” special needs. Down syndrome didn’t fit that criteria.
So when you got the email about twin boys due in only 3 months from then, one with a confirmed diagnosis of Down syndrome, it wasn’t what you had envisioned. And I know that even after praying about it and knowing deep down in your heart that this is the moment that you had been being prepared for all of those years, in some ways, you felt jipped. After all of that time and pain, God was asking you to adopt an “imperfect” baby.
You are wondering about how he will impact your family, or maybe how he will limit your family. Your feelings are valid, but those fears? You will look back on them and think, “how silly was I?” He will only enhance your family. He will open eyes and hearts of nearly everyone he meets, and when you look at him, most of the time, you won’t see Down syndrome, you will just see Asher.
Your future life is beautiful and amazing and you have things coming that will change your life in ways far more profound than having a child with an extra chromosome. You will realize that he is so far from what your limited vision of “imperfect” was and that he will give you a brand new definition of perfection.
I know you aren’t worried about your ability to love him, but your are worried about whether or not you want to take this on. There is so much unknown. One thing that I can assure is that you will not only love Asher, but you will love being Asher’s mom and you will recognize it as the privilege and honor that it is.
There is also this other amazing part of having a child with Down syndrome. You will meet some of the strongest and most amazing moms you have ever met you in your life. You will make lifelong friends who will understand you in ways that others can’t. You will gain a whole new community and it will be far better than you could ever imagine.
Can I let you in on a little secret?
I am still scared.
I still have fears of the unknown as he grows.
Fears I will probably look back on and think, “how silly was I?”
Bio: Jessica is mom to Asher who is 3.5. They live in Northern NY with his twin brother Lucas and their dad Elias. They have a beautiful open adoption with Asher and Lucas' birth family.
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.