Saturday, January 4, 2014

And then my son was born with Down Syndrome

Brian and I are nineteen months in.  Nineteen glorious and memorable months in. Nineteen months I wouldn't trade for all the wonders of the world.

For nineteen months, we have held and snuggled our precious Baker.
For nineteen months, we have gone to sleep at night and woken the next morning with a little one snoozing in our home.
For nineteen months, we have fed and diapered and clothed him.
For nineteen months, we have high fived each other and wahooed for surviving another crazy wonderful day of parenting.
For nineteen months, we have dissected each decision and found failure with many of our actions, promising and praying to be a better mommy or daddy the next day.
For nineteen months, we have worried, we have fretted, we have celebrated, we have enjoyed this journey.
For nineteen months, we have played tag for the night shift and played rock, paper, scissors over dirty diapers.
For nineteen months, we have prayed all the prayers, and wished all the wishes, and dreamed all the dreams for Baker.
For nineteen months, we have lived and loved a life only to be described as a dream come true.

Dreams are funny like that.

When I thought about having a baby boy, my dreams for him were something like a checklist:
_____  Little league baseball player, homeroom hitter, game winner
_____  A perfect mix of Teacher's Pet and Class Clown
_____  Camo wearing, gun toting, daddy's little boy and fellow hunter
_____  Rough and tough and all boy for all his days
_____  Levi's wearing, boot stomping, truck driving teenager
_____  SGA President
_____  Varsity football player
_____  Scholarship recipient
_____  College graduate, law school applicant, husband, father
_____  And all the things that come in the years before, the years during, and the years after my very artificial meaningless checklist.

And then my son was born with Down Syndrome.

And my dreams changed.

Not that, for a single second, do we believe Baker is anything short of a dream come true. Or that he isn't fully capable of achieving everything on this list and then some. The reason my dreams changed is because they weren't dreams that mattered. They weren't really the dreams I wanted to come true or the wishes I really wished for my little one.

Through the birth of my son, my son with special needs, I realized the dreams that need dreaming aren't about sports or school. They are fun things along the way, sure. The dreams I dream for Baker now are the prayers I pray for him, the wishes I wish for him, and the hopes I hope for him.

I hope my son lives a life that glorifies Jesus and points others to the Son.
I pray Baker comes to know Jesus as his Savior and Lord.
I dream of him accomplishing everything he was created to accomplish, and then some.
I pray he learns his daddy's work ethic.
I hope his spirit stays so sweet, and he puts others' needs above his own.
I wish for his smile to continue to bring joy to everyone he meets.
I pray those he encounters throughout his life encourage him and build him up and give him strength and hope.

These nineteen months have been the sweetest, most joy filled nineteen months. When I wake each morning, I think of the things I want to teach Baker; yet when I go to sleep each night, I think about the things I learned from him.

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