Friday, January 1, 2010

What a difference a year makes!

Happy 2010!

It's not only the start to a new year, but today Nate turned one.  It is so hard to believe.  On one hand, it feels like SO long ago that we first held him, and on the other, it feels like the year flew by.

At this time last year, we were only 9 hours into parenting Nate.  We were in shock and very, very sad.  His diagnosis would not be confirmed until a week later, but in our hearts, we knew Nate had Down syndrome.  We cried so much that week.  There were many times I cried so hard I could not even stand.  I was afraid to be alone - overwhelmed by the thoughts and unknowns running through my mind.  It was the hardest time in my life.  I suddenly felt like the pregnancy I'd just experienced had all been a lie.  Like I had an expectation and a vision that was so completely different from the reality of what would be.

Reading reflections on other blogs, I often read that people wish they hadn't wasted time being sad at the beginning.  That now that they were several years down the road they realize that their sadness was not neccesary.  So, today I asked myself if I wish I hadn't had the reaction I had.  If I wish I hadn't been so sad.  If I wish I hadn't spent hours on my knees begging God to take Nate back.  If I wish I'd recognized him as a gift from the start.  My answer: NO!  If I hadn't had the reaction I had a year ago, I wouldn't be able to realize how far I'd come today.  I wouldn't be able to relate to the fear and sadness so many have when they get the results of pre- or postnatal testing. 

Over this last year I have grown a lot. 

I've come to understand that this life I'm living is not all about me.  This life I'm living has purpose.  This life I'm living is capable of changing other lives.  This life I'm living may look different from "the norm", but I'm guessing it may end up being a lot fuller because of it. 

In those early weeks after Nate was born, I wanted to hide him.  I was embarrassed by him, felt like there was something wrong with our reproductive capabilities, didn't want anyone to ask questions or make comments.  I'd go to the store and make sure he was fully hidden in his little carseat. 

Now, I show him proudly!  His smile and innocence melts the hearts of just about anyone who comes in contact with him.  I honestly, truly, deeply believes he is a gift.  And gifts are meant to be shared.

In the coming weeks I hope to share some of the thoughts I had at this time last year (especially since I didn't start blogging until March).  This may be especially helpful for those who are new on this journey, but I also hope it will show you how far I (and we) have come.  God is so good.

Thanks again for all of your support and love.  We are grateful beyond measure.


  1. Oh, Danielle. God is so good! I am so blessed to call you friend.

  2. Wow! What a difference a year makes, indeed. You are truly blessed with two amazing little boys. I look forward to reading your upcoming posts on where you were and what you were feeling a year ago. Give Nate a big birthday hug for me!

  3. Wow is right! You never surprise me but you always amaze me! Love, Gramps

  4. God is still at work - Yay! Thanks for sharing your gift and grace with the world! Love to all, Cindy

  5. You've brought tears to my eyes because I remember those early days when Jen F. had me contact you and how I hoped this day would come for you and I just knew it would. I'm SOOOOOOO happy for you and your family. Love you!

  6. Danielle -

    I'm so excited for you! I can just tell that such a burden has been lifted from your shoulders and that you have truly breathed in the life and love that is surrounding you and your family. Those early days are hazy, scary and just plain hard. What a wonderful feeling to truly embrace life and the feeling of freedom that comes with it. You are a wonderful mom and inspriration!

    xx libby

  7. what a difference a year makes....your strength and grace still amaze me! Happy 2010!
    Madge :)

  8. Danielle - just came over from Libby's blog - love reading these today vs. past posts! Parker is almost 8 months old and I see the storms clouds lifting. Looking forward to seeing God's purpose unfold in our lives! Blessings! Lara