One year ago tonight

February 7th, 2011

One year ago tonight, I was sobbing my heart out.

Why?

Because I had just learned that our unborn baby daughter had Down syndrome.

If only I had known that one year later we would be working double time and paying extra and praying fervently for the high privilege of bringing another precious little girl with Down syndrome into our family.

Tonight’s post was written for those of you who could possibly have even one more baby.

It has been on my heart to make a very specific appeal to you.

Ever since we found out about Verity’s extra chromosome, I have wondered who would be the next mother in our circle of friends to be blessed with a baby with Down syndrome. Did you know that 80% of babies with Down syndrome are born to mothers UNDER the age of 35?

Maybe because I was unprepared to hear our news, I’ve thought for a long time about writing this. I hope my bluntness is not offensive to anyone. And I know that some of you don’t really need this. But some of you just might.

In a way, if you are pro-life, every time you choose to do what married people do to make babies, you are choosing to receive a child with Down syndrome. I think it would have helped me to really picture that and get to the point of embracing it long before Verity came along. I could have celebrated the child God was sending right from the get-go instead of grieving some nonexistent child I had in my head.

Because if I had known the kind of joy that comes with having a Verity, I would have jumped up and down with glee in my room that night instead of crying until I felt like I was turning inside out.

At times I still feel like some folks don’t REALLY believe that. They REALLY think that the hardness outweighs the joy.

Could you take five minutes to look at some people who were made in the image of God?

As you watch, please picture more than 90% of these lives being snuffed out because their parents were told that their existence is a tragedy, and that their life would be senseless suffering.  Do these children look like joyless burdens?

If even one of you mothers sees this, and is more prepared when you have your ultrasound and hear “Down syndrome,” or when you look into your baby’s eyes after the birth and see that almond shape, and your heart leaps with excitement that you were chosen for this LOVE adventure, instead of free-falling through scary and grief-stricken space, I will be profoundly thankful.

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11 Responses to “One year ago tonight”

  1. Shauna says:

    You are so right!  I think that I knew this deep down too and that’s why it only took me a couple of days to be completely happy after Reagan was born.  I love the blunt way you put it though.  So perfectly true.

  2. Angiedawn says:

    So precious……I  was fine until I got to the picture of Verity.I wasn’t expecting her to be on there and I totally and instantly choked up.My girls were like “VERITY!????”  :)My children watched it with me and I was telling them how alot of people get rid of their babies when they find out the have down syndrome and they were just shocked.THEN my little girl who can’t read very well wanted me to read all the names to her and I had such a hard time even reading them.Some I just had to skip because I couldn’t talk.
    Down syndrome isn’t something I have ever thought about much but I do have SUCH a different opinion of it now Susanna.I know my children will too.

  3. Susanna says:

    Angie, I can’t speak when I am watching it, either! And I am “used” to it, now!

  4. sabrina says:

    Beautiful.

  5. Maureen says:

    tears runnin’ down my face…. :)

  6. Denise says:

    Wow– what a difference a year makes—  Joy TRULY comes in the morning!!!

    SO happy for you!!!!!

    Beautiful video!!!!  

  7. Tami Swaim says:

    Happy birthday Verity!

  8. Susanna says:

    She’s still only 7 1/2 months, Tami, because we found out about her Down syndrome halfway through the pregnancy, but it felt like a birthday to me, anyway! :)

  9. Marilyn Osborn says:

    I remember when you shared your news with us.
    This post is beautiful.  I, too, totally choked up when I saw sweet Verity.

  10. I remember when you first requested prayer and I prayed for you not knowing even for what at that point.  It has been amazing to see you walk this journay and be so full of joy and now you are adopting another precious child of God.  ((hugs))  May the Lord bless you Susanna, you ahve been a blessing to me this past year and Verity is beautiful!!

  11. Stephanie Blanchard says:

    Susie, I watched this yesterday afternoon with my girlies without previewing it.  (I knew it was safe because I trust your judgement.) Julianne and Lainey “oooh’ed and “awww’d” and cheered when we saw sweet Verity.  At the end, Lainey asked me why there was a video of lots of babies.  She was rather confused since I do look at adoption registries and listings a good bit, but she knew that Verity was your baby girl.  So it didn’t make sense to her.  I gently explained that some people “get rid” of babies that have Down Syndrome.  “They pick another family for them? Like how C picked you for Xander?”  No sweetie… some babies aren’t allowed to be born.  The look of horror on her face is etched in my memory so deeply.  And I saw her wheels turning… “But, but, mommy… every baby is fearfully and wonderfully made by God!?”  “Yes.. That is what God tells us in the word isn’t it?”  Heartbreaking moment to experience as a mother.  My 8 year old gets it.  Oh to have the world get it!   

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