As Bennett approaches his first birthday, I've been looking back at some of my older posts, the ones before he was born. The first post I ever wrote, "Our Story", was a very honest description of how I was feeling at the time. I was scared and still very sad- I had only found out 2 weeks prior to writing it. This picture of him was taken at 24 weeks, the same time we found out about what type of heart defect he had. But I've always had the mentality of- if I can't change it then I must embrace it some how. Now on the flip side of that, if I can change it, I totally obsess over it and do everything I can to fix it-not always good, I know.
But the thing is, is that I can't change how God made Bennett. The more I think about it though is that God gave me a son, simple as that. And to most people in the world God gave me a son that has a disability, a son that is imperfect. But having Bennett, I've realized that I don't think God sees Bennett the way us humans do. In fact people like Bennett (those with Down syndrome or other disabilities) tend to grow up living lives that God prefers us to live. Loving unconditionally, forgiving, accepting others for who they are, slowing down and taking the time to enjoy life and for the most part loving life and living it to it's fullest. I'm not saying they are "perfect angels" but perhaps not knowing or fully comprehending all the sin in this world, they are able to show us how we should live. I don't like to say God sent me this angel but I'm starting to think that he does send people like Bennett into the world to show
something simple that seems imperfect but yet if you look closely you see perfection.
I was talking to a friend the other day and telling her how I first felt when I found out about Bennett and how oblivious I was to Down syndrome. I told her how things like Down syndrome simply didn't "fit" into my life plan so it never occurred to me that any child of mine could have it. Having a child with special needs happened to other people but not us. And sometimes it's still hard for me to believe that I have a child with "special needs", that one of my children has that label. And it's not because I think "I'm too good for that", it's just, I guess you just don't ever think it's going to happen to you, because again, it's not in your plans.
I have to say raising Bennett this past year has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done. Now when I look at him, I can see what God sees, a perfect little baby that is going to show us how we should live. He's already teaching us to slow down and enjoy each and every day. He's changed my heart to show more compassion to those that are in need and to not turn my head when I see someone that is disabled but instead to smile and say hello. He's taught me not to fear the unknown. He's taught me to accept what I've been given and to totally embrace it.
I can honestly say I'm no longer upset or hurt that I have a child with Down syndrome. Sure, it's a huge change in my plans but the more I realize, "my plans" never really existed.
I'll end with two quotes I read recently (my friend Susan always has great quotes:))