The Elephant in the Room

February 24th, 2010

Susanna, to Joe,  “I’m thinking of writing a post called, ‘The elephant in the room.’  Do you have any guesses as to what it will be about?”

Joe, to Susanna, “Uh, will we be having any more children after this?”


I think the core question here could logically be re-phrased this way:

“If you had known Verity would have Down syndrome, would you still have been open to receiving her, or would you have tried to prevent God from creating her in the first place?”

Susanna, to Joe, “What are your thoughts on this perspective?”

Joe, to Susanna, “Wouldn’t that be like saying to God, ‘If this is the kind of child You’re going to give us, we’ll pay You back.  We’re going to do everything we can to keep things out of Your hands from now on?'”

A friend recently wrote this in a note to me~

“I know a family with seven children, their daughter with Down syndrome, then two more children.

I have always been so impressed by their youngest two children, know what I mean? It was such a bold, visible statement to the world that Rachel wasn’t such a big mistake that they couldn’t risk another.”

Recently I haven’t been doing much research on the medical aspects of Down syndrome.  But I’ve been reading!  Besides being hungry for the truth of the Word, I have been devouring true stories written by parents of children with Down syndrome, both in book form and blog form.

One of my online friends is in the process of adopting two orphans with Down syndrome from overseas.  She loaned me two books edited by Kathryn Lynard Soper.  The first is called Gifts: Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives and the second is called Gifts 2: How People with Down Syndrome Enrich the World.

I also found this page while I was following up on some links, and emailed the author to ask her for the book Road Map to Holland, by Jennifer Graf Groneberg.  (I was surprised and touched to receive a warm, personal and very helpful reply, written while she was away from home for the weekend.  Then she sent us a copy with a hand-written note in it to me!)

Wouldn’t you know that one of the first things I look for in each story is whether or not the parents remained open to receiving more children?

So, if you were wondering what we think about having more children after Verity, we have some questions in return.  “What has changed?  Has the character of God changed?  Has He changed His Word?”

If the Word of God and the opinions of man collide, we don’t believe that God is the One who should bow and stand aside.  I’ll tell you what is changing.  The more of the truth we learn, the more our fears are changing into excitement that God has chosen to send us this blessing.

Here’s a quote copied from Emily Vesper, one of the contributors to the Gifts book~

“My plans are filled with selfish desire, but the Lord’s plans are perfect.”

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6 Responses to “The Elephant in the Room”

  1. Marci says:

    I love you, Susanna and Joe! You both are such blessings and inspirational to me!

  2. Cole says:

    I think we all go through what you are in thinking about this, when our littlest one was born w/ Ds, we had initial thoughts of- oh- so are we done? Then when we found out about her heart condition, it was more- Oh- we are done. Then as time went on and we got to know our sweetie-pie- we realized that the issue of her Ds- isn’t the real issue here. She’s a baby first- and a lovely one at that. I couldn’t hope to know a more amazing human being- and I would greedily take 10 more of her. The issue, to me is that the blinders are pulled off. You can’t go along pretending that the next time you are pg, you won’t worry. You know the real, reality that is a gift and a miracle that any child is born. And you hope, so very much to receive that gift again.

  3. Joy Horton says:

    Susanna & Joe ~ I’m so intrigued reading every morsel you write. Your faith is so solid – even when you feel your humanness. It’s so precious to read these entries and such an honor to be alongside you (as much as one can online!) in your journey and to be praying for precious Verity DAILY.

    We love you!

  4. Missy says:

    What a great thing to wonder about. I think so many of us, after a bit of time getting to know our child with Down syndrome, feel that having another with DS would be a blessing. I’ve said before (and for some reason people don’t believe me) that if I weren’t 42 years old, didn’t have three children and a full time job with a ton of responsiblity, I would gladly have another child, and wouldn’t mind one bit having another with Down syndrome (the other thing preventing me personally is the idea of being a 24/7 milk truck again – nursing 3 children for 4+ years, including pumping full time for 2 years has soured me from any new baby.)

    My husband and I often comment that the creation of Violette is some of our finest work together…we view her as a masterpiece…

  5. Leah says:

    Susanna, I don’t know you very well but I’m also due in July. I’m on the MOMYS Due in July list and have just been able to catch up there after a month of being away. I just want to encourage with what you already know, your little girl is a precious and amazing gift from God! She will impact your lives and the lives of those around in ways you could never imagine.

    I had the privilege of having an aunt who had Down’s Syndrome. She was born in the late 50s and the doctors tried to get my grandmother to put her in an institution. My grandmother refused! My grandmother went on to have another child after my aunt with Down’s Syndrome. All of my cousins, siblings, and I absolutely loved our aunt! She was such a joy to all of us! We are so thankful to the Lord for putting her in our lives or should I say us in her life.

    I will be praying with you for the things you desire to see happen throughout the rest of this pregnancy and after Verity’s birth.

  6. Susanna says:

    Thank you, Leah!

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