To Our Daughter With Down Syndrome: You Are Loved, You Are Enough
To our beautiful daughter,
We prayed for you. You are the most amazing gift we have ever received. You are beautiful and bold. You are funny and smart. You are loving and gentle.
We are in awe of you — of your strength, your courage, your tenacity and your grit. You are the stuff dreams are made of. You are the calm and the storm, depending on the moment — qualities that will serve you well as you journey through life.
You were born because you had a purpose to fulfill; because you have a message to share; because you are worthy of all this world has to offer; because you can offer a hell of a lot to this world.
You are meant to be exactly who you are; every fiber of your being is woven with threads of love, joy and persistence. You are made in the image of life — humanity, which you will find comes in many different forms.
You will do great things. Even the fluttering wings of the butterfly can put change in motion. You have power, you have grace and you have love.
We love you, with every beat of our hearts, with the very essence of our beings.
But not everyone will love you, or see your beauty or your capabilities. That is reality, and it’s OK.
There will be people who put your strength and courage to the test. Hang on, steady yourself with the calm, do not let them pull you down. If they succeed, because sometimes they will, raise the storm, rise up and move through without looking back.
There will be people who degrade you, misuse you, and pity you because they think they determine your worth. They do not. You were fearfully and wonderfully made; I believe only God can determine your worth. Be confident that you are worthy and that is why God sent you.
There will be people who take from you, withhold from you and refuse to accept you. They don’t understand the message you have to share because they are missing a crucial piece of information. Information you have — experience living your life. You can learn from them though — recognize that their treatment of you is hurtful and vow that you will never treat others that way.
There will be people who underestimate you. That’s too bad for them; their projections are not true reflections of your future successes. It’s OK to smile with pride when you blow them away with your awesomeness.
There will be people who are cruel and hateful and want nothing good for you. These people can sometimes be the most difficult to overcome, because it’s so hard to accept that humanity could be so cold and horrid. Love and goodness flow through you, though. Remember that. Remember that though there is ugliness in the world, there is beauty too. You are one of the little known gifts scattered about humanity — shine your light without reservations.
The best thing you can do, more important than anything we can even do as your parents, is to believe in yourself. Believe in your worth, your competence, your goodness. Believe in all the things we believe about you. Affirm your worth daily. Hold your head up high. You are loved. You are more than enough. No one can change that.
Your devoted Mother and Father