Thursday, February 9, 2012

So Full of Love- Siblings and Down Syndrome

“Mom, sometimes, when I look at Nichole she is so cute that I feel like crying because my heart is so full of love.”

There are times I look at my children and I feel like crying because of the intense love I feel for them. It is a love so hard to contain that it spills out in tears.  I get this feeling, I am a mom. However, coming out of the mouth of Ellie, my 6-year-old daughter, it surprised me. It made me realize how uncommon this is, and how perfect these 2 girls are for each other.

When Nichole was born with Down syndrome, one of the hardest dreams I had to let go of was the type of relationship I envisioned my girls having. They are only 25 months apart, and I had great plans for them. They would be best friends forever. Because of Nichole’s Down syndrome, I wrongly assumed their relationship would not be close.

They are not playmates:

They do play together, but mostly, Ellie adapts to Nichole. Often, Ellie gets frustrated with Nichole stealing her toys and running wild throughout the house or dangling Ellie’s dearest Rapunzel by the hair. Nichole has a thing for yelling at Ellie in order to get her attention, which is not necessary, but rather bothersome. It is true that my girls are not the best playmates; however, they are closer than anything I could have imagined.

They are sisters:

 Every morning, they sit together on the couch as they watch a show before getting ready to begin the day. At school, Ellie hugs Nichole before they part to their respective classrooms, and if they see each other throughout the day, they try to get another hug. When I pick up the girls form school and we arrive home, Nichole runs to Ellie for more hugs. If Ellie picks up a book, Nichole nestles herself close to Ellie in order to listen to the stories and look at the pictures with her big sister. If Ellie jumps, Nichole jumps. If Ellie laughs, Nichole laughs. If Ellie dances, Nichole does too. If Ellie cries, Nichole runs to her side for a hug, a pat on the back, and gently strokes Ellie’s hair until her big sister stops crying. 

I am amazed at the ways in which Nichole has molded Ellie’s heart. A heart that is full of compassion, acceptance, and gentleness. I see it in the way Ellie loves and treats others, or the way she loves her little sister. In turn, Ellie molds Nichole as she teaches her by example.

There is so much love:

This relationship they have, even this young, is simply incredible. The love they have for each other is a love that surpasses any expectations I had. It is the love that drives a 6 year old to “get it” in a way that few children her age could even grasp, including some adults.

So I sit back and marvel about this love we live with, this vast love we get to experience. I worried so much about what the extra chromosome would do to my daughters’ relationship, but I had nothing to worry about, because there is so much love.  

Here they are, cuddling in a laundry basket. Ellie allowing Nichole some minutes of pure bliss as she holds Rapunzel, the culprit of so many sisterly disputes and chases around the house.

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  1. This beautiful post greatly touched my heart. Bless you, and your two precious daughters.

  2. This is beautiful! They are beautiful! How we can be so wrong when we presume our life story, yet God has penned it perfectly. Love this!

  3. Ellen-

    Visiting from No Ordinary Blog Hop (my first time over there). I am so excited you were the post before me and look forward to visiting your blog more often. We have similiar heart beats. . adoption (2 of our kiddos are adopted) and love to speak (which I would love to talk to you about privately). I am also interested in reading your posts about cerebral palsy adn down syndrome as my girlfriend feels like God is asking her to adopt a little girl from China with special needs. .and she is scared. I look froward to reading your perspective and wisdom and sharing with her. I feel like it was a "God thing" that I landed here. Happy Day!

  4. Thanks for sharing this very real, very sweet post about your concerns and the way your daughters have adapted and love each other. God is so good to teach us through our children.
    Thanks for joining Bless a Blogger Friday. I pray that your writing ministry will continue to touch hearts and lives.
    Bless you,

  5. This is simply beautiful! What wonderful girls you've got! <3

  6. What a beautiful post. I too worried that my daughers would have a different relationship with my son. I was so wrong.

  7. Life is an adventure--especially when we lean on the Lord. I enjoyed reading about your 2 precious daughters. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  8. Hi Ellen - such a beautiful post. God is so gracious to us and blesses us so much. I love how your eldest's heart is so much bigger with love because of her precious sister. God's love in real life. Thanks for linking up with winsome Wednesday. I hope others come over and be encouraged as I have been
    God bless

  9. What a touching post. And what sweet girls you have!!


  10. Ellen:

    This is beautiful! Your girls are beautiful! Down's syndrome did not take God by surprise and I'm confident that He placed Nichole into the perfect family for her.

  11. I believe that God protects his most precious spirits from this increasingly wicked world by placing them in bodies with an 'extra chromosome'. And then placing those most special spirits with equally precious families who will give them the love they need and deserve. Thank you for this beautiful post. And for sharing it on NOBH!


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