For so long I have fought having my identity being so closely linked to having a child with special needs. I dreaded being known as "the family with the little girl with down syndrome". I would much rather be known as "the cool family with the four girls and the awesome mom and groovy dad :)" As much as I have fought it, I have finally realized that Down Syndrome has become a huge part of our identity. It has shaped our values as a family, how we function as a family, and how I look at parenting. It affects how much energy I have, how much patience I have, and what my priorites are. That being said, I wouldn't change our family for the world (that's actually a lie... I would change the teenage bickering, the fighting over clothes, the hormones, and Sadie's incredible stubborness!.
We have been blessed to have Sadie in our family. She has taught us about love, compassion, and the gift of life. We are also lucky to understand Sadie's eternal role and the love Heavenly Father has for her. The following is a poem I found on another blog a couple of weeks ago that explains so of our beliefs.
A meeting was held quite far from Earth
"It's time again for another birth,"
Said the angels to the Lord above,
"This special child will need much love."
His progress may seem very slow
Accomplishments he may not show
And he'll require extra care
From the folks he meets way down there.
He may not run or laugh or play
His thoughts may seem quite far away
In many ways he won't adapt
And he'll be known as handicapped.
So let's be careful where he's sent
We want his life to be content
Please, Lord, find the parents who
Will do a special job for you.
They will not realize right away
The leading role they're asked to play
But with this child sent from above
Come stronger faith and richer love.
And soon they'll know the privilege given
In caring for this gift from heaven
Their precious charge, so meek and mild,
Is heaven's very special child.