Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ralph

Within minutes after Ralph was born the midwife said, "I think your son may have Down Syndrome." He was having difficulty breathing, so this didn't seem terribly important at the time. However, James and I have known people with Down Syndrome and we were totally OK with it right from the start. We had faith that our sovereign God placed him in our family by design.

We have had more heartache than I can describe in the past 17 months since Ralph's birth. I've seen him overdosed. I've seen him crash more than once. And as terrible as the difficult times are, nothing outweighs the joy that he has brought to our family.

Here he is at one month of age.

And again, one year later.

I often wonder what my pregnancy with Ralph would have been like if I had a pre-natal diagnosis. Would we have been encouraged to abort? Would we have been devastated? Would we have worried? I don't know.
I do know that 90% of women with a pre-natal diagnosis of Down Syndrome abort their babies. In my opinion there is a poverty of thinking in this. Must we make it through our lives without difficulty and pain to be fulfilled? We end up sacrificing authentic joy and meaningful life lessons. I could go on, but not today.

I've heard many wonderful things about people with Down Syndrome - they are so happy, they are angels and so on. These are generalizations. I'm certain there are elements of truth in these sayings but above all people with Down Syndrome are individuals with unique gifts, talents, hopes and dreams.
I'm so very thankful that Ralph is a part of our family. I am just getting to know him, but here is my take: He has taught our family all about acceptance of people with and without disabilities. He holds no grudges. He knows how to celebrate. He loves without fear. He takes his time. He makes people happy. He is so many things that I wish to be.

1 comments:

therextras said...

Thank you, Barbara