Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Mom, why did God give Bennett Down syndrome?"....

I'm packing everyone in the van after one of Bennett's many therapies and this is the question I get from my oldest child. But before this BIG question she asked:

"Mom, does Bennett have problems?"

"What do you mean Ainsley?"

"Well, like he can't walk and talk like other people."

"He can't walk and talk like most 2 year olds but that's why he's in therapy, to help him eventually do that."

She then asked: "Does Colin have those things (orthotics) in his shoes like Bennett?"

"Yep, I think he does"

"Do all babies with Down syndrome have those in their shoes?"

"Many of them do."

And then she asked:

"Mom, why did God give Bennett Down syndrome?"

You see, Ainsley's been asking things like "Why does God make tornadoes" and "Why does God make bad people" and perhaps the most painful: "Why didn't God make Granddaddy better?"

My sweet girl wants so badly to believe that God is good and all powerful because she's been taught that but if he's so good, why does he let bad things happen? I've explained these tough things that adults don't even understand in the best way I know how but that brings me to her initial BIG question of this day...

When she asked it, I immediately thought-she's starting to see Bennett's challenges and that she may see Down syndrome as a bad thing. So I replied:

"Well Ainsley, I don't think God sees Bennett having Down syndrome as a bad thing. That's the way he made him and it makes him different but different is totally okay. We just work harder with Bennett and he'll get there."

Her reply: "Yeah, just because babies with Down syndrome can't talk as well doesn't mean we can't understand them, that's why Bennett and us learn sign language, so we can know what he's trying to say."

As I drive along I've got a huge smile on my face but I only reply:


But I'm thinking: That's right my sweet girl, that's right.

A minute later she asks:
"Mom, {preparing myself for another deep question} will Bennett always have dark brown hair?"

Sigh...with relief;), "Yes, sweetie, I think he'll always have dark brown hair."

And then that conversation was over, just like that. Her sweet, six year old self accepted my answer and hopefully she truly believes it as she gets older. I guess I can just hope and pray I know how to answer her tough questions as they come along.

But you know, sometimes I don't always know the answer or how to even come up with a reply because I often have the same question. To those questions, I suppose we'll find out some day but for now we just have to believe there is a reason for everything.
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  1. Great question. Great answer.

  2. Good job, Momma! What a sweet, smart girl.

  3. Ahh, this made me tear up. What a sweet post. I agree, beautiful question, perfect answer :)

  4. Oh Adrienne, I dread the day that my older son asks that question. He regularly asks me why Wesley needs so much therapy, and I always answer that God made some people so that it takes them a little bit longer to learn things and they need a little bit more help along the way. But I pray that when he starts to understand more and asks me what's wrong with Wesley that God will give me much wisdom to answer similarly to the way you did.

  5. Tough questions, but I think you answered her well! From being a teacher and seeing kids from gifted to severely delayed, I guess I look at things a little differently. Even in my kindergarten, my students notice that kids don't learn at the same rate. ("Red group" kids spends a longer period in small reading groups and those go to a resource class.) When they start asking why they don't get to go to the other teacher, I explain that she's helping them with things that they need help with, while we work on other things we need to practice. I tell them that God (yes, it's public school:) and that everyone good at one thing. Just because someone is quicker at learning one thing doesn't make that person smarter than another that needs more help~ that the other person is probably quicker in something we may not even do at school.
    I love that your Bennett was given that "extra something" that causes him to be good at simply making people smile. Children with Downs are usually gifted at loving and accepting people just as they are. We can all take a lesson in that subject. :)

  6. Adrienne, I absolutely love your response. It's real, and so important to talk about what your family is going through in a real way. I'm proud of your growth and outlook on life. I want to be a mom just like you some day!

  7. Adrienne,this has me to tears. I have heard these ?s too and you are right it is difficult to answer questions we dont quite understand ourselves. I have found that if we dont make them a huge deal about it our other kids wont either. William and Bennett are just the way God wants them to be:) Way to go on your response:)

  8. I think that is a great response, Adrienne. I get all sorts of interesting questions from Charlie - I think because he has a little boy w/ Ds in class. I don't know how many times I have admitted that I don't know always know the answer, but God does - and one day we will too.

  9. LOVE your answer and love her questions. You are such a super mama! And I love her last question. Love reading about your family.

  10. I LOVE that answer, because Of COURSE, often the things we see as "negative" or "bad" can be perfect and wonderful in God's sight. One day we will see like He does! Until then, we are left with hard questions. In all the tough times I keep having to remind myself, HE IS GOOD! HE IS GOOD!!

  11. I love both your daugters question and your loving answer. I have had to deal with this myself with my older son about our daughter. I will say that both my boys have a wonderful sense of people and are not at all frightend by differnces. They also have had the chance to see that everyone has special gifts and to appreciate people on a much more inculsive level. I was moved to tears watching my 12 year old help a 5 year old with autism one day as we were waiting for my daughter to finsh her Special Olympic training. I realized that having his sister in his life as allowed gifts in Tom that may have not had the chance to bloom if she was not in our lives. Plus, the gift of having "typical" brothers to interact with on an everyday basis is just great for our daughter because they raise the bar for her. Recently my son said to his sister, put your own seat belt on and I dont want to hear that little itty bitty voice! She did it and was thrilled with herself!! Totally made my day!!! Thank you for sharing your family!!! I love to visit your site!

  12. you couldn't have handled that any better! Ill have to remember your talk when my boys start asking questions

  13. Oh, how I loved this, thank you for sharing. My firstborn sounds like he is a lot like yours and I have been expecting to hear some questions from him soon especially when Chase starts to walk so quickly and I assume he will probably begin to make some comparisons because that's what kids do, it's their way of processing the world around them. I liked your answer a lot because it took Down Syndrome out of the context of other negative answered it perfectly and I am thankful I read this so now I am a little more prepared.

  14. Oh, be still my heart! These are some of the questions/situations that I worry about as we raise our family. Thanks for sharing. This makes me hopeful and shows me what I'm frightened of, you handled it with grace and honestly and it went just fine. Maybe I can do the same.

  15. Wow...that brought tears to my eyes. What beautiful siblings God has blessed Bennett with! :)

  16. We often find it hard but God only allows these things to bring about a greater good. We could never humble ourselves and serve others or God without becoming week or having weeknesses in society. We would be to prideful and independant like the most beautiful anget Lucifer, which meant "light bearer". He thought he was to good to serve God and he wants us to think the same way. To serve our children with disabilities isa witnessto God and the world of God's own love. that is why he allows children to be born so called " imperfectly". He is our strength in our weaknesses. I love your blog andyour love for your children it is so perfect and it inspires me to do the same!!

  17. crying. Love you and your sweet family. Thanks for sharing these moments.

  18. My seven year old daughter has asked similar questions. She asked me the other day, "If Down syndrome is not a bad thing, why do others not want it too?" That was a tricky one, but with God's help, we talked about, and I am glad. When we are honest and open and allow God to guide our words with the siblings, it always turns out just the way it should be.

  19. I wonder about the day when my Ainsley asks me the same questions about Will, her older brother. I have already been telling them both that God makes everyone just like He wants them to be; that everyone is beautiful and unique in their own ways. You gave a GREAT answer! You should be proud!


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