Sunday, October 7, 2012

31 for 21: Knowing What to Say (7)

One of the hardest things Chris and I had to do after Colin was born and the diagnosis of Down Syndrome was later confirmed, was to tell our friends and family about it.  We weren't sure the best way to approach this (aside of course from telling our immediate family) so we opted for a letter via email explaining it to everyone.  I did some research and I found a generic letter on the National Down Syndrome Society's website that I used as a guide, and then added in some of my own thoughts and feelings.  

To be honest, we were nervous and scared and maybe a little embarrassed about having to do this because we weren't sure of the reactions we were going to get.  We have always felt lucky in the relationships we have with those that surround us, but when you are faced with a bigger trial in life, some people respond differently than others.  


I don't think Chris nor I expected the kind of outpouring we received initially from emails to cards and even visitors who all treated us as though we were any other parent with a new little baby.  The words of support and encouragement were truly overwhelming and to this day, am still so incredibly thankful for the way that they all reached out to us when we needed it most.  If there was a book on how to handle difficult situations, our friends and family had read it...

Some times there are just not adequate ways to say thank you without simply saying "I hope I can return the favor one day...".

As I sit here and write up this post, I can still remember those raw feelings I felt in the beginning when Colin was first born and we found out that he came with a little something extra.  I know what I felt then, but in rereading through all of these emails I have saved I can also remember how uplifted I felt in those very same moments.

We are so truly lucky to have the support that we do, because I know it's not always that way.  In any of the difficult moments in life, it's often hard to come up with the "right" things to say.  But just remember, just by being there and showing up means something even if you don't have the words.  THAT means more than anything...

To do this post, I went back through my saved emails from the beginning and took little pieces from different emails, and didn't even get to all of them.


“God chose you and chris for a reason...you are AMAZING people with an amazing amount of love to give...no child is luckier than colin.”… “he is the only innocent part of this world and that blessing is given to certain parents”…“Nothing can take away from the excitement of having a new member to our family and how much we are going to love him”…“Your son is adorable and will grow up to be as loving as the two of you.”…”He's cute as anything “… “We both love you and Chris so much and we are already in love with Colin without having met him yet.”… “God made a wise choice (of course, all His choices are wise!) in choosing you for Colin’s parents!”…  “Who better to care for Colin that two wonderful, loving and giving people. “… “He is beautiful because he is yours and I look forward to the many ways that he will bring joy and love into our lives.”… “You know we’re here for you!”… “You will have the best support group in the world, and always feel you can call or use any of the group.  I love Colin to death and he will have a special bond with all of us.”… “So for now, feel how you feel.... don't judge how you feel... do your research... love your son... I love you two... and I love Colin...” … “You are so much stronger than u think and portray.  i am in awe of ur email and excited to meet ur lttile man friday.” … “The love for him and each other will guide you through.”… “ The Lord Jesus always provides for us and NEVER makes mistakes.” … “ He will bring you more love than you could ever imagine and he will also do this to every person that he comes in contact with through his life. “ … “No adjustment time is necessary and I would love to meet Colin as soon as you are ready for a visitor. “ … “The three of you will fill each day, sharing and growing with the love you give to one another and will find happiness with each passing memory.” … “CONGRATULATIONS ON A BEAUTIFUL BOY!” … “He’s such a cute little guy and so lucky to have you and Chris as his parents.” … “There is something about the two of you that is special.  I can't necessarily say what it is probably because I don't know you as well as a lot of other people know you, but the two of you seem to have such a love for life and for each other that I know in my heart that God did choose you to raise this special little boy because He knows that you can do it.  This I truly believe. “ … “Your baby is absolutely beautiful.  ALL babies are a blessing from God and He wouldn't have given Colin to you if you couldn't handle it. “ … “Our hearts are so filled with love!!!  We are truly looking forward to meeting Colin and we feel so fortunate that we will be in his life. “ … “We want to do this for Colin, you and Chris because we love you and want to know that we are going to continually support you throughout our lives and I know everyone will join in and we will make this a yearly event!” … “ I will, as well as this entire church be on your team.  We love you, we will support you and Colin is so lucky to have you as parents.” … “Colin is fortunate that God chose you as his parents. I know your love, intelligence, and thoughtfulness will make him proud someday.” … “You know you are chosen...  You were born to love and be loved.” 



Thank you to our support group, which has expanded to include all of those we have met thanks to Colin.  To say we are lucky would truly be an understatement...

2 comments:

Nana said...

We were all blessed on April 20, 2009 and he has made us all better people! March 12, 2011 has also made us very happy! Many hugs and lots of love to your beautiful family! Love, Nana

Jenny said...

How beautiful. You have amazing friends and family. When Russell was born not one of my friends said a word to me...Their silence hurt more than anything wrong they could have said. You were sure blessed with an out pouring of support and love.