My Son With Down Syndrome Gave Me the Gift of Hope
I will never forget the look the doctor gave me when he sat next to me in that hospital room seven years ago, to tell me my newborn son had Down syndrome. His eyes looked straight at me, striking like a sword through my heart.
Back then, not knowing better, I remember feeling despair, anxiety and mostly hopelessness. Hopelessness for what I imagined my son’s life would be like. Hopelessness for what I imagined the diagnosis meant for me as a parent. Hopelessness for how different I thought my family would look from the one I had imagined.
I was changed in an instant and forever by that doctor’s look. I truly felt I would never laugh again!
But now, looking back on that moment, I have replaced that anxiety, sorrow and fear with different emotions: hopeful ones.
Today, my son, Gerardo, has transformed me with hope.
Hope as I watch him reaching for his full potential, hope that he will be able to communicate his ideas and emotions in his own way. And furthermore, that he will continue to be a happy, outgoing and total love-giver.
All images of our future together, as mother and son, are filled with images of joy.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself what I tell now to the new mothers I have visited in the hospital; “You will laugh again! You will cry again about other things. You will enjoy many moments with your child that have nothing to do with diagnoses, chromosomes and doctors’ appointments. It won’t be easy, but it will be amazing. There will be days, many of them, in which you may totally forget your son has Down syndrome. He will fit perfectly into your family. Do not be afraid. You have been blessed with a beautiful child.”
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