Monday, October 21, 2013

A special "BUDDY"

Yesterday, our family did something for the first time.  We attended our area "Buddy Walk" to raise awareness for Down Syndrome.  Until recently we weren't tuned into the event and honestly, it just wasn't on our radar.  But 7 weeks ago, one of my best friends gave birth to her second child.  We were all excited as our youngest children would be 6 weeks apart.  We've done a lot together over the last 6 years so being pregnant and having children together is not really that unusual.  She had come when baby K was 2 days old to visit us in the hospital so Big Daddy and I went to the hospital in September when her second child was born.  We were so excited to meet our new "nephew" as we call each other "Aunt Z or Uncle A" and vice versa.  We got off the elevator in Labor and Delivery and realized they were walking in front of us.  Being the goofballs we are, we started calling out to them and making lame jokes.  But the moment they turned around, we knew something was wrong.  Both of them had been crying.  So we went to her room and learned that the baby had just been admitted to special care-an experience we both shared with our first born children.  My heart broke for her in that moment.  I felt a sense of guilt that we had finally gotten the delivery and experience we wanted with baby K-free of special care and now she was not getting that.  But it was the words she went on through many tears and sobs to tell us....... "they think he has Downs Syndrome".  I'm pretty sure my heart was broken in that moment.  All I could do was hold her and cry.  There were lots of tears in that room at that moment.  I was sad, not because he has Downs, but because I knew that their lives are forever changed and they will have a long and windy road ahead of them.  In that small moment, our lives were forever changed.

Big Daddy and I have had a lot of tough conversations over the past 7 weeks-questioning why God does the things he does-especially to "good people".  SK prays nightly for "baby L to feel better and thank you God for taking him out of Aunt M's tummy and thank you God for baby L".  In some way, I feel like she knows something we haven't said because she's said it all on her own since he was born.  So yesterday, our group of friends made a decision to support Baby L and do the Buddy Walk.  Can I just tell you, what an amazing experience that was-(minus my wimpy 3 year old complaining her legs were tired the whole time).  Baby L even won "youngest buddy"!!  But while we were on the trail, SK and I had a conversation that I wasn't sure what to say:

SK: "mom why are we walking for baby L?"
me: "because God made him really really special".
SK: "why?"
Me: "welllllll... I think he thought Aunt M and Uncle B were really good parents and he wanted to use them to be great parents to baby L.  He has really special plans for them."
SK: "so God made baby L really special?"
me: "yes baby.  Really Really special-and we get to make sure he knows that for the rest of his life."
SK: "that's cool mom.  Baby L is my best friend and I love him".

And so it hit me.  For 7 weeks, we have all struggled with comprehending a diagnosis that has changed us.  But as I reflect on the Buddy Walk and the ways that God has used Baby L to change us for the better, I find myself thanking God for this amazing gift instead of being angry.   Baby L will never know a day when he doesn't not know he is loved and cherished by us.  Our kids will be better because they will never know a day that baby L is "different"-he is their friend and they will stick by him no matter what.  They will stick up for him and they will let others know how awesome he is-in fact, I'm pretty sure they started yesterday.  I'm pretty sure our kids are teaching us adults a pretty valuable lesson-they (and we do too) love him for who he is...Baby L. 

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