I posted a comment earlier today. Here's the link:
The thing is, someone had the audacity to look at my baby in his carrier and say, "But he's damaged."
Of course I was shocked. I never dreamed that a member of the church Brad served (we were in New Orleans at the time), could look at an innocent baby and refer to him as damaged.
Brad and I hadn't made a big deal out of the fact that the baby we were adopting had Down Syndrome. As far as we were concerned, he was just a baby. We wanted no special treatment, or kudos, or anything different. We simply wanted to be parents. That's all.
We didn't seek to adopt a special needs child. We didn't wake up one morning and say, "Lets go get us a baby with Down syndrome." It sort of fell into our laps. It's one of those things that just happens. We had questions, of course. Who wouldn't? But otherwise, Charley was just a baby.
He had this way of looking right through me. His eyes were intense, almost as if to say, "We'll, you got me, now do something about me."
As a new mother, I thought he was the cutest baby I'd ever seen. So when Mary Louise said, "But he's damaged," I gasped.
"You're kidding, right? How can you call any baby damaged? He's a child of God, just like you. Just like me."
She huffed out of the office.
I looked at the baby. His sweet face, his innocence. His beauty.
A friend of mine reminded me this morning after reading my post that we are all damaged goods, saved by the grace of God.
Yesterday, Charley came out of his bedroom to ask me about his birthday party. "My birdday comin'?" He said.
"Yes Son, your birthday's comin'!" I assured him that we would not forget. We wouldn't forget his party, or his presents, or his cake with candles.
"Don't worry, honey, we will remember."
How could we forget? His face. His grin. His funniness. His laughter. His wholeness.
It's weird, I know, but the comment that woman made so many years ago has stuck with me. Not because of the negative, but because of the reminder. It reminds me every day of how lucky I am. How blessed. How whole. How many years I've had love because of him.
I don't think so. Do you?