Our family’s religion teaches that each one of us came to earth with a purpose. And each purpose is as unique as the fingerprint of it’s owner.
I don’t believe in mistakes. I don’t believe that during the critical time of Parker’s in utero cell division that God was too busy elsewhere and, *opps!*, that 21st chromosome was replicated in triplicate instead of simply duplicate.
I believe that the extra chromosome embedded in Parker’s mortal cellular make-up was known in heaven even before Parker’s birth.
I believe that Parker, and others who live with disabilities, were given a special mission or purpose in mortality because of the greatness of their souls before they came to earth. They had already learned many of the things most of us are sent here to figure out. So they needed a different plan and blueprint of experiences.
I believe that Parker’s purpose is to teach. To lead by example. And to help make the path for those with disabilities who come after him easier. I’m quite sure that there are other things that I’m not aware of yet that Parker himself will make known as he grows.
I also believe that Parker is responsible for his own progression and learning as far as he is capable. An extra chromosome doesn’t exclude you from your own personal progression and responsibilities.
It then never fails to bewilder me when people express their sympathy and especially pity that Parker was born with Down syndrome. More so when those feelings are expressed by others who believe the same gospel principals as our family does.
Perhaps there are those who have forgotten that Christ taught that the blind man wasn’t given his disability as a punishment (nor did he identify it as a mistake of nature) but as a way for the works of God to be manifested. (John 9:1-3)
I’m gonna let you in on a secret here. While I don’t feel like I was a bad person before I had Parker, I do feel like I am a much better person now. My priorities are in better order. My understanding of what is truly important has never been keener. My heart never more full of joy. The gift I see in the opportunity I have to be the mother of a child with Down syndrome never ceases to bring great wonder to my heart.
Yeah. You read me right. The opportunity. The joy. The gift.
The reality is that our family feels kinda sorry for those who don’t have the understanding of the blessing Parker is in our lives. I know. It is right about now that you are really rolling your eyes. And you are telling yourself, “Yeah. But, like, what else is she going to say?” I know because I once was where you are. Listening to a friend tell me how blessed she was for her child with Down syndrome.
Quite simply, our lives are blessed as we learn lessons from those whose disabilities, innocence and humility invite the Spirit. They teach us a new dimension of faith, courage, patience, love, and individual worth.
Now I won’t go as far as to say that I am thankful for Parker’s health issues or for our nightmarish financial situation because of the never ending medical bills.
But each time someone donates to Parker’s medical fund, in whatever form, it makes my spirit soar. Because each donation made, each prayer said, reaffirms that there are others out there that believe in Parker. In his worth as a human being. In the worth of his potential. That is indeed a blessing.
So when the good weather gets here and you see me and my kid out for a stroll please come up and say hello. But don’t feel sorry for that extra chromosome. It is one of many, many things that makes Parker…….Parker. And we are thrilled with him just the way he is.
And remember, first and foremost, Parker is a kid. Entrusted with a life plan uniquely his.
Just the way it was meant to be.