One whole year of life with our Dayna.
One whole year later and I can say that a doctor confirming that your child was born with Down Syndrome is not the end of the world. After our surprise news following her birth, the doctors and medical staff were able to tell us a lot about what we could expect according to her diagnosis. In the hospital, we were handed a pile of articles, websites, and research to take home with us. Some of it was pretty scary, jarring, and completely changed our outlook for the future of our family. It certainly wasn’t the feelings we expected to have intertwined along with the joy of her arrival.
Along with the normal hormonal rollercoaster that occurs with any new parent, we were thrown an unexpected curve that left us confused, hurting, and doubting God’s goodness in His plan for our lives. But we were also given little nuggets of hope in those early moments and days. My OBGYN told us the morning after she was born that Dayna had been given “the gift of happiness,” and he was right!
There is absolutely nothing easy about receiving a diagnosis that your child has been born with a disability. As we stated in our post after her birth, “we are grieving for our set of dreams and expectations for her life and it is still an active process.” But I also am confident in saying that just like any child, there is so much about Dayna that no medical professional could have told us or prepared us for as we began our life together. Her Down syndrome diagnosis is just a part of who she is as a person. And wow…have we enjoyed every minute of getting to know her over this past year!
They couldn’t tell us how she would charm everyone she meets with her delightful personality.
They couldn’t tell us how seamlessly she would mold into our lives, enriching our activities, making the mundane feel special.
They couldn’t tell us how she would love to do pull ups with her daddy and then snack on his knuckles afterwards as a prize!
They couldn’t tell us how her cousins would absolutely adore her, play with her, and fight over who got more time with her!
They couldn’t tell us about all the conversations she would have with Gerald the Giraffe, her remote control, or her own reflection in the mirror.
They couldn’t tell us how we would feel the first time we heard her laugh, or how her contagious joy makes a bad mood impossible to hold onto.
They couldn’t tell us how she would meet her milestones and how we would swell up with pride as she accomplished, big and small, what every child manages to do.
They couldn’t tell us how she would look just like a mini version of her daddy (with a small hint of her mommy mixed in).
They couldn’t tell us how sweet our mornings together as a family would be, snuggling, playing, and enjoying being in each other’s presence.
They couldn’t tell us how she would love tummy time or the inevitable nap that would come after her workout!
They couldn’t tell us how she would learn about the world with the same blue eyes as her mommy.
They couldn’t tell us that she would be a perfect travel companion, more than willing to go anywhere as long as her mommy and daddy were there!
They couldn’t tell us that most days, we wouldn’t even “see” her Down syndrome, only the lovely, happy, fun little girl that she has become.
One thing the doctors could tell us (and one did): that she is the child that so many prayed for, and that she is the child God planned for us to have the privilege to parent.
One whole year of being parents to a child with Down syndrome. One whole year of getting to be mom and dad. One whole year of endless kisses, tummy raspberries, giggles, and looks from her that tell us that we are her whole world. One whole year of life with our Dayna. Thank you, Lord!
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
Psalm 105: 1-3
I’ve been better, I’ve been worse, I have loved a pretty girlBen Rector, “30,000 Feet”
I’ve seen a couple places that I never thought I’d see
I’ve walked into harder times, I’ve walked out the other side
It seems like you end up getting what you need
Yeah, looking down from 30,000 feet
Life’s been good to me.”
Thank you Michele Alexis Photography for our lovely photos!