Thursday, September 23, 2010

We Get it Now!

It seems appropriate that on this first day of Fall, I take a moment to think back on this Summer.  For us, it was the Summer of TRANSFORMATION!

After Nate was born we received many phone calls, emails, notes and random-passerby-mentions to the effect that our son would "bring us so much joy" and "be such a blessing".  In those early months we wanted to tell them to keep their happy thoughts to themselves.  When Nate passed 6 months, then 12 months and was closely approaching 18 months, I started to wonder when this joy was going to come.  I wasn't feeling it.  I posted about it a while back and got several responses to be patient, it would come.


Both Bob and I have experienced a major transformation over the last couple of months.  And yes, I can say it, loud and clear, "NATE IS AN ABSOLUTE JOY AND BLESSING"!  There, I said it!

Nearly everywhere we go, Nate just spreads his joyful spirit around.  I often have people ask me if he's always "this happy" and I tell them, yes, pretty much, about 95% of the time.  There is a pure love and joy that seeps out of every last ounce of his 25 pound sack-o-potatoes body.  It's really hard to be down for long when I'm around him and I happily tell people to come spend time with us anytime they need a pick-me-up.  Really, I think it should be called "Up Syndrome".  Why did the darn guy who discovered the triple 21st chromosome have to be Mr. Down????

No, I'm not saying having a child with special needs is all roses.  But, honestly, if I had to choose a disability, I'd choose to have a child with Down Syndrome.  He will eventually be able to do everything.  And in the meantime, he is lighting up the world one wide-mouthed smile at a time.

God, thank you for answering our prayers with exactly what you thought we needed....Nate.



  1. Danielle, this is beautiful. I've been observing your journey from afar and appreciating your honesty.

    Part of my interest was that of all they myriad of things that came up as concerns during my pregnancy with Sage and Lucy, one was a 1 in 13 risk of DS. Knowing that they were identical twins, we began mentally and emotionally preparing for the possibility of two with Downs. When we were subsequently presented with a whole host of horrible other possibilities for what was going wrong with the pregnancy and ultimately needed to do an amnio to reduce the amount of fluid around Sage, we ruled out DS (and Trisomy 13 which had become a very serious concern as well).

    Although it didn't end up being our fate, throughout the pregnancy and our months in the NICU, I found myself playing a mental game of what challenges I would chose for my child - as if God said I had to pick one (and only one). Autism v. DS. Cerebral palsy v. blindness. From the great experiences I've had meeting amazing kids with DS like Nate, DS almost always came out on top of my silly mental game as I tried to gain control of a situation in which almost nothing was in my control. For you, it's not a game, it's your reality. But being in a position to know, its wonderful to hear you say that it would be your pick, too.

    I wish great things for Nate. God knows that you will care for him and give him every opportunity to shine that bright wide smile on people everywhere.

    Thanks for sharing your journey and letting me observe what could have been from a far.


  2. You are making me cry!!! So happy for you and love you!

  3. Oh I just KNEW it....I'm sure I was one of "those" people telling you it would happen and I'm just so HAPPY to read this!!!! There are still "down" days that will creep up now and again but all we need to do is look at our little guys and their smile and it disappears quite quickly. YEAH!!!!!!

  4. Yippee! So happy for all of you! And those pics are fabulous! He made MY day, and I don't even live with him! :)

  5. I think this is such a great post. I just love to hear how other moms get to this place of complete joy! Isn't it fun? And I agree.....Up syndrome would be a much more appropriate name!

  6. This is so great, Danielle. I'm so blessed to know you, and be getting to know you better. You are a beautiful example to so many of us. Love you!

  7. Happy tears falling here, Danielle. Yup, you get it. I was one of those who always knew it would happen eventually... Nate is so incredibly adorable! Not every day is peaches and cream around here, either, but I'd never trade in my little guy for anyone else. He's definitely a keeper :-)

  8. It makes me SO, SO HAPPY to read this, Danielle! Each parent reaches this point in their own time and once you do it is the best feeling.

    And Nate is more adorable than ever! xoxo

  9. Dani - i knew this day of joy would come eventually... Thank Jesus it has! I keep your family close to my heart and I see Nate's picture every day when I wake up. BTW, i need to get a new picture, he has changed so much and is so precious. Love ya...

  10. Hi dani- just catching up with this post tonight- wow- amazing- Nate's joy is very contagious and it stuck with me for a long time after I came to meet him. I have learned so much from your journey and I continue to be amazed at how God has blessed your family with Nate. I miss you friend. I hope to catch up with you on the phone very soon. Much love- Kathy