I love watching Ellie playing with Nichole. She is so sweet. Sometimes she is overwhelming, but only because she wants to give more hugs and more kisses. She simply wants to love on her baby sister, and that is how she knows to do it. I would say that Nichole, is also learning to show her affection that way, as her little hands grab your face as tight as she can and she pulls you into a big open mouth kiss. Wet! But so precious.
I decided I am going to be very honest. After all, this is what has been on my heart lately.
What has been the hardest thing for me with Nichole having Down syndrome? The letting go of my dream of having two little girls so close in age. I pictures two little Ellies, wearing ballerina outfits and playing dollies. Family vacation as the two best friends giggle in their tent, telling stories and sharing dreams. Having a shared circle of friends as they grow up. Maybe shopping trips together or hanging out in the house as they do their nails.
All these things they will be able to do, regardless of Nichole having Down syndrome, but I know, that it will be different. Different from my dreams. (Again my... selfishness again?)
I watched a movie the other day where they said that "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your dreams." How true. Not only that, but I know my dreams are so small in comparison of what He has, for me, for my husband, and for my girls. Maybe at some point I was sad for Ellie, sad that she would not have a typical sister. maybe I was sad for Nichole, sad that she would have a sister that would be embarrassed about her. But who am I to know, what is best for my daughters. But God knows, and He knows exactly, what each one of us needs.
I have thought a lot about this lately, as I watch the world either receive Nichole or ignore her, maybe pity her for not being "normal". You see, Ellie will never have to worry about that, she will always be received. As a Christian you might say, we all face some rejection, but that is not what I am talking about. I am talking about the simple fact, that some people only see Down syndrome, and not Nichole.
What will this do to their relationship? What about my dream? But God is good. Matthew 7:11 tells us that He gives us good gifts, because he is our loving Father.
God, in His faithfulness, has also given me new dreams. Dreams where I know that Ellie will be able to be as free as she can be in play with her sister. That Ellie will always know that Nichole will love her and think she is the greatest regardless of what anyone else thinks. That Nichole will see Ellie for who she is in God's eyes, and not who she is in the world's eyes, and Ellie will know it. That when Ellie is sad, or heartbroken, or tired, she will be able to come to her sister, and let out her emotion sand feelings like she would never be able to with anyone else in the world. That Ellie will know that there is nothing like her sister's embrace, and maybe, just maybe, those will be hugs straight from God. They will giggle together, play together, and go shopping together. It might be different that what I envisioned, but the new dreams are so much richer, and so much deeper.
So as I mourn a loss, I rejoice in what lays ahead. All the wonderful experiences that I will see my daughters share, and the bond that they will have simply because Nichole sports and extra chromosome. Who Ellie will become because of her sister, and who Nichole will become because of Ellie. God knows that they are perfect for each other, that they are perfect sisters. And that is good enough for me.