There was recently a show on TV that showed a segment on Down syndrome. Dr. Sears, and Dr. Sear Jr. were invited to be a part of the show (I believe Dr. Sears Jr. might be one of the hosts.) What many people do not know, is that Dr. Sears has an adult son with Down syndrome. Which in turn means Dr. Sears Jr. has a brother with Down syndrome. I did not watch the show, but read through the reviews and the comments.
Two things struck me. First, and on a positive note, they did a very good job at talking about the beauty of Down syndrome. They spoke not only from a doctor's perspective, but from a father's perspective, and a sibling's perspective. I read even one of the doctor's mention the devastating statistic that 9 out of 10 babies diagnosed before birth is aborted. To this a female doctor replied that not all women can handle it and they have a choice. This is what I would like to say to that...
Oh really? And what makes you an expert on that? Because believe me, I never thought I could handle it, and neither did any other mom that received the surprise, yet, we have handled it, and discovered along the way how wrong our thinking was, and how wonderful these children are! That, and not to mention that abortion is wrong. Psalm 139 talks about God knitting us together in our mother's womb. God does not make mistakes, not the Lord I serve.
Second, I started reading through some parent comments. As you can imagine, most were from parents that have children with Down syndrome. But there was one that really caught my attention.
This comment was written by a loving parent. They talked about God not making mistakes, how precious their daughter was, but then it said, that unlike other parents, they still prayed that the Lord will take it away, and they believed He will! They said that they prayed that God will make their daughter normal!
It broke my heart! If God does not make mistakes, then why would He change what He has created? For what purpose? I looked at it this way, I could pray very hard that the Lord will change my big ears, I can pray and pray and hope that one morning I will wake up and realize my ears are smaller, beautiful, and proportioned to my face. Could God do that? Of course He can! Will He do it? Probably not. My ears are a genetic condition, just as much as having an extra chromosome is a genetic condition. Their daughter is not sick with Down syndrome. Down syndrome is not a disease. Down syndrome is the way that God specifically, and lovingly, created her.
It broke my heart that even though they wanted to believe so hard that God does not make mistakes, maybe they do. Because I cannot imagine any other reason they would pray for God to change the gift that He has given to them. God's own daughter that He entrusted to them.
Which brings me to realize something.
If I say I love someone,
but wish they were different,
pray they were different,
is that love?
is that unconditional love?
It is selfishness.
Love is patient and kind
Love does not demand its own way
Love rejoices whenever the truth wins out
Love never gives up
Love never looses faith
Love is always hopeful
Love endures through every circumstance
Is this how I love?
Is this how I love Nichole?
I hope so.
At least, I am learning to.
But one thing I do know. She does love this way. I know much of what she has taught me about, is love, unconditional love, God's love. She gets it! I don't. Sure, she is only a baby, but she has already taught me this much. Wow, I have so much more to learn as she grows up!
I would not change anything about her. She might seem broken to some, less than perfect. But in the matters of the heart, in the things eternal, she is hole, and I am not. It turns out, I am much more broken than her, I need more fixing. It turns out, that if God needs to take something away from one of us, it would be me, my selfishness.
If I prayed for Nichole to be different because she seems broken, would that be true love?
I really don't think so.
I love her, completely. With everything in me. Just the way she is.