Monday, October 21, 2013

October, 2011 Down Syndrome Awareness Month... Day 18

It is what it is...

(Note: I wrote this the other day as I knew I wouldn't have time today. Jon and I just celebrated our 15th anniversary and we're going away for a few days. I thought posting about him would be appropriate today, because even after 15 years, I still do!)

Jon is a very stable man (those of you who know him... stop laughing!!). By that, I mean, not much ruffles his feathers. He's very patient with my moods, he's patient doing homework with the kids, he's patient while he's rigging things up around the house (The fact that he can rig anything up without buying new? Well, that deserves a post of its very own!).

A few days after Josh was born, Jon shared something with me... he felt God had prepared his heart for Josh. It was the night before Josh was born, as he was walking upstairs to bed, the thought came to him "what if I had a kid with Down Syndrome?". Really now... we didn't know ANY kids with DS and we didn't know ANY adults with DS... this was clear out of the blue.

As he laid there that night, he said he had many thoughts going thru his mind. Lots of questions and the 'what if's' made it hard to fall asleep. He shared how disturbing it was at first, but then he felt some sort of peace... and thinks he actually said aloud "whatever, it is what it is, we'll just deal with it".

Imagine his surprise the very next night when I asked him "does he look like he has Down Syndrome to you?"

Two weeks later, we arrived home from the hospital with a big bundle of questions wrapped in a cozy blanket. The same blanket we had carried Caleb home in... but the feelings were much different. The kids were excited and the house was chaotic. I was overwhelmed, to say the least. The phone rang and Jon answered. I remember looking at him... his face blank, then the tears fell. It was the doctor. Test results confirmed that Josh did, indeed, have Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome).

It's funny how the news affected him. We both knew it to be true even before that confirmation. We saw it in him... we felt it in us. He had many of the characteristics, the almond shaped eyes, the space between his toes, the crease in his hand, the fat roll (my name for it, certainly not the correct medical terminology) on the back of his neck and... my favorite characteristic... my favorite spot to kiss... the flattened nose bridge.

But he still cried.

He left... went to talk with his parents (also our pastor) and was gone for a long time. It was like the world was spinning around me with all the chaos and now my husband wasn't there... it was like I was on the outside of my body, watching my living room floor filled with kids that I didn't know what to do with.

I have never asked him what they discussed that morning. We have never even talked about the feelings that we had. Because... life went on. He came home and jumped right into the roll as the bestest daddy ever... to Josh and every single one of our kids.

Jon keeps me grounded. When I get all overwhelmed, stressed, worried about the future, he's quick to remind me that 'it is what it is'... and we DO deal with it.

He likes to say... "I get to act like a kid 'til I'm old. We'll go fishing and camping long after the other kids have grown and left. We'll watch football and walk in the woods... I wouldn't change a thing."

I wouldn't change a thing either... 

Today's picture is my very favorite of Jon and Joshua... contemplating life, knowing we'll deal with what comes as we trust God for the day to day.

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