August 4, 2009

Perfect Because of (Not in Spite of) Down Syndrome

When I started reading the Down syndrome mom blogs, I was struck by how many of the mothers would say that they would not take away their child's Trisomy 21 even if they could. Feeling guilty, I wondered if I would ever agree that I would never want to change Chase's diagnosis?

I loved Chase with all my heart, and loved everything about him, but as a mother I wanted to take away any potential hardship and frustration that Trisomy 21 could cause him. I wanted him to have an easy and carefree life - one without limitations. I wanted to be able to give him whatever his heart desired throughout his future, including the ability to run when other little toddlers at his age could run, or to be able to excel in school just as easily as his typical classmates. I realized that many kids with Down syndrome grow up to achieve their dreams, and nowadays can do practically anything they want if they take the extra time and effort to do so. But why would I want to keep Chase's diagnosis, if I could somehow lift that "burden" for him?

Although I sometimes still feel the sorrow and grief that first accompanied the first days of Chase's diagnosis, I am confident that Chase's life is better with Down syndrome than it would be without. Here is what I know:
  • It was God's will for Chase to have that extra 21st chromosome ("For you formed my inmost being. You knit me together in my mother's womb." Ps. 139:13) - God was in control even at the split second when his 21st chromosome triplicated - and the Lord is good, his love endures forever. (Ps. 139:15)
  • Despite what I see as hardship, God has great plans to prosper Chase. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jer 29:11)
  • Many people like to reiterate that Chase will be a blessing to others, but more than that I know that his diagnosis is somehow a blessing for himself. Romans 8:28-29 says that "all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." We know that all things happen for the glory of God, but also for our good. Chase's life would not be as blessed if we took away his diagnosis which is so integral to who he is and God's purpose within him.
Were I to try to change Chase's diagnosis, who knows what kind of life I would be giving to him... it obviously would not be the good and perfect plan of God. I must keep reminding myself to trust God; to trust that Chase's Down syndrome makes Chase perfect through God's plans for him; to trust that all of our lives are better by abiding by God's plan and by praising God for whatever those plans might entail.

"I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well." Psalm 139:14


  1. I always think that Carly was perfectly made by God. And, that we were lucky enough to receive her as a very cherished gift.

    As a mom with two older children (nearly grown actually)I have always wished one thing or another for them too. I wish life would be easy for them. Such as school, friends, health, etc..The fact of the matter is, nothing is in our control. We are all given what we've got, from God above. We just need to roll with the punches. And trust that He knows just exactly what He's doing!

  2. Beautiful post! As one that has just begun this journey with Down syndrome I really needed to read that. So thank you. You're so right!

  3. Amen!! Chase is a cutie pie {{{CHASE}}}}

  4. Exactly! I couldn't have said it better! In fact, I think I'll link this to a discussion I'm having about this very thing.

    I think that sometimes we get hung up on the "easy" we want our lives to be. But, I really don't think that's the least not according to Scripture. I also know, after having five typical kids, that life is never easy even without Ds. :)
    Blessings to you and to Chase!

  5. Welcome to SITS!

    Chase is sooo cute! He *is* perfect!

  6. What a perfectly cute picture! I am sure he is a blast to love.
    Welcome to SITS! We are excited to have you!

  7. He is adorable. Everything happens for a reason. I believe that. You are blessed with everything you have.

  8. This is an amazing post. You are SO right to trust God in his widsom.

    I'm stopping by from SITS Welcomistas to welcome you. You'll love it, the support at SITS rocks!

  9. What an absolutely touching post! I am head-over-heels in love with you and Chase now. ;)
    This little angel could not have asked for a better mother than you! I know that as a mother, you want the absolute best for you child(ren), and it's never easy having to deal with these types of complications.
    I love your commitment; your strength; your faith; and your determination! Chase is BEAUTIFUL in everyway, and he's going to be just fine. He's got a great mother by his side. ;)
    Stopping by from SITS and wanted to welcome you to the SITStahood!!!


  10. I agree and you put it so well.

    I feel the same way about Autism, that God has His reasons for it and they are loving.

    I have to say, the people I have met with Down Syndrome are a blessing to be around and nothing is out of the question; the young lady I knew before with Down Syndrome ended up going to college.

    The world would be missing out a lot if God only made cookie cutter "regular" people!