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until you came along

Dearest Hailee and Harper,

For most of my life I felt kind of awkward around people with disabilities.  I never really knew what to say to them.  I fumbled for my words. I avoided them in the shopping centers.  I looked the other way.  Sad, but true. I was a dork!  Totally clueless.

Until you came along.

I never knew what a blessing Down syndrome is.  It was always something I was afraid of in my pregnancies.  I breathed a sigh of relief when the test came back “negative”.  I just had no idea. 

Until you came along.

I never knew the absolute JOY that the beautiful extra chromosome could bring to a family.  Joy unspeakable, really.  And unconditional love?  Well, I didn’t fully grasp that either.

Until you came along.

I used to rush around and do a million things a minute, never really stopping to savor the moments.  I lived my life in fast forward–forgetting to live for the day, for the moment. 

Until you came along.

I forgot to cherish each and every milestone–and etch them in my memory forever.  I didn’t pay much attention to the milestones our children reached.  On most days I forgot to praise even the smallest victories they achieved. 

Until you came along.

I worried about tomorrow, fretted about the future, and gave way too much attention to the things that really don’t matter.  I got caught up in the mundane, trivial stuff time and time again.

Until you came along.

I thought I understood that each and every person was fearfully and wonderfully made just the way they were.  But I didn’t really get it. 

Until you came along.

My ears had never heard the judgments, the snarly remarks, seen the horrible prejudice, the mockery, the snickering, and the evil that is so often targeted at people who have special needs.  I was oblivious to it all in my own little world.

Until you came along.

I never in a million years ever thought that I had the ability to parent a child who struggles in this life.  I always prayed that God would give the job to someone else.  Anyone but me God, thank you very much.

Until you came along.

I felt bad for families who had one of those kids…..


And while I still have a very long way to go in getting things right most of the time, and I am one of God’s biggest works in progress……

Because of you, I am changing.

Because of you, I am becoming a better mom.

Because of you, I am learning to linger in the moments like never before.

Because of you, I seek out those who have “special needs” just to tell them how amazing I think they are.

Because of you, I am more patient, more understanding.

Because of you, my relationship with God is richer, deeper, more intimate.

Because of you, I see ALL children as valuable and priceless.

Because of you, I am learning to love unconditionally…just as you do.

Because of you, my life will never, ever, never, ever be the same again….it will be better!

Because of you, I am blessed beyond description.

Until you came along I had no idea how absolutely wonderfully and exquisitely created the glorious 47th chromosome truly is. 

Our God never makes mistakes.

I know that now.  With all my heart I know it to be truth.

This week we celebrate World Down Syndrome Day with many, many other families who have been exceedingly blessed with priceless treasure such as you, our sweet daughters.

You are a GIFT to us.

In more ways than we ever imagined possible. 

God knew that we needed you!