When you start thinking about becoming a Mom the first things that pop into your mind is whether you will have a boy or a girl, what will the name be and what they will be when they grow up.
You don't stop to think will he/she have special needs! Down Syndrome!
So when you are given that diagnosis, you feel that your whole world has shattered! You are scared! You feel alone! The room is silent and all you are wondering is "What does all that mean?" "What does it mean when they say my baby has an extra chromosome?"
You hear the doctors say that this beautiful child will have learning disabilities. That they may have a host of other medical conditions that come along with Down Syndrome -- congenital heart defects, low muscle tone, and hearing issues.
And all the time you are sitting there wondering why me? Why him? Why us? I know I did. As I wrote in my book entitled Jacob's Journal -- My Journey Home:
I experienced the disappointment, the anger, the joy, the overwhelming love for a child, and the fright of not knowing if I would be able to care for a child with special needs. I remember asking myself "why me", "why him?"
I'm not ashamed to admit that I dealt with a bout of postpartum depression, as I remember standing in the shower on days just crying. At the end of the day I am only human, my emotions were very real, and my experience was very personal - it was my son with special needs."
I'm not going to say that caring for a child with special needs is easy, at times it's not! It can be very exhausting, but always very rewarding. So as you start to do research and ask your questions, know that the traits or facts that are being given to you, may not even apply to your child. Keep an open mind, don't see your child as broken or "different." Don't let those generalizations define your expectations of your child. Believe in your child, believe in their potential. Don't see the things that they might not be able to do, but encourage them to do the things they like or want to do.
Another part from my book:
As I lay my head down on the pillow at night, exhausted from the days events, I find myself saying thank you to God for blessing me with such an amazing child. As I look down at his peaceful face sleeping, I feel such an overwhelming feeling of love, joy and pride, and I find myself saying "I can't wait to wake up and do it all again."
So enclosing let me share with you a poem I wrote to my son entitled "Special."
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