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

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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

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Originally published: March 23, 2017
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