What Other Parents Helped Me Recognize About My Son's Down Syndrome Diagnosis

I am reluctant to admit I was pretty sad when we received Henry’s birth diagnosis of Down syndrome. I thought I was going to have this “perfect” baby, and now my head was filled with all of the things I thought he wouldn’t be able to do. While I accepted the diagnosis relatively quickly and loved our son unconditionally, I still felt concerned about the future. What did this diagnosis mean for him? What did it mean for our marriage? What did it mean for our family?

I read several books and scoured the internet for support groups those first few weeks. I soon noticed a common theme.

When parents of kids with Down syndrome were asked if they would change their child and take away Down syndrome if it were possible, many parents I read about said no. I did not only read  about one or two parents, but dozens of families. Many of them expressed even if it were possible to take away the Down syndrome, they wouldn’t.

This struck me. I started to realize Down syndrome might not be so bad. After all, if it were, wouldn’t all of these families take it away given the opportunity?

It was the first step in me realizing our son’s future is as bright as we make it to be. He has many opportunities, the same as any other child. Down syndrome doesn’t take away from him, it makes him wonderful.

A family of four, mom, dad, little brother, and newborn baby with Down syndrome

I understand now what these parents were saying when they expressed they wouldn’t take anything away from their child if they could. I know whether Henry was born with 46 or 47 chromosomes, I wouldn’t change anything about him. Henry is Henry, and he’s everything we could have ever wanted in a child.

So Henry, if someday you read this, just remember like Bruno Mars sings, “If perfect is what you’re searching for, then just stay the same.”

Follow this journey at The Lucky Wells

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Down Syndrome

Businesses Founded By And For People With Down Syndrome

These businesses support the idea that people with Down syndrome are just as capable of success as anyone else. Read the full transcript: It’s time to stop underestimating people with Down syndrome. Here are just a few of the businesses founded by or for people with Down syndrome. John’s Crazy Socks – An online sock [...]
Selfie of autor riding in the car, she has sort blond hair and wears glasses, both her daughters are sitting in the back seat and waving at the camera.

Why I Don't Identify Myself as a 'Special Needs Mom'

I’m a mother. Many people might call me a special needs mom, but I don’t think of myself that way. I’m a swim mom, a dance mom, a music mom, a girls mom. But not a special needs mom. When my younger daughter was born with Down syndrome, it was initially difficult to wrap my head around [...]
Baby with Down syndrome sitting in a bouncy chair wearing a blue jumper and gumming a piece of bread

What Does It Mean When the Doctor Asks If My Son With Down Syndrome Is 'Thriving'?

I don’t like the word “thriving.” The Oxford dictionary describes the word “thriving” as, “prosperous and growing; flourishing.” If you looked up the word in a thesaurus, synonyms include, “advancing,” “blooming,” “developing” and “doing well.” I am not yet sure what it means in the context of parenting kids with disabilities. The National Health Service website [...]

What Inclusion Really Means

I can count on one hand the amount of people with disabilities I knew as a kid — a few from our church and a couple from the neighborhood. I did not know anyone with a disability from my Catholic school, my soccer team or acting class. I don’t think anyone with a disability played tag with [...]