Everyone who reads this may, and probably will, have differing religions, spiritual beliefs and practices. However, because of my beliefs and the recent struggles I've had to make sense of, I feel a need to write about it. A good friend of mine asked me the other day about how I'm doing with the "Man Upstairs". And it's interesting that she asked when she did... I feel like there has been a sense to the pattern of things lately. The first book I decided to read from a short list of books that have something to do with Down Syndrome was "Expecting Adam". A book that's not really at all about Down Syndrome, but about a spiritual transformation based on undeniable occurrences that happened to one woman during her pregnancy and life with her son (who has DS) after his birth. Then, I picked up "The Shack", recommended to me by my OB GYN. All I can say is WOW. And I'm not even done reading it. I don't know what anyone else's response to this book would be, but I feel like it's reiterating experiences that the woman in "Expecting Adam" had and it's incredibly heart-wrenching, yet comforting at the same time. It's also not at all about Down Syndrome. It's about healing from a horrible experience and finding God despite it. Now, with that said, I was pretty shocked and scared and angry initially about the news that our son will have DS, but it is not a horrible experience- far from it. I was very angry with God right at first. It didn't last long, but it mostly stemmed from the how-could-he-think-we-will-be-able-to-handle-this idea (financially and otherwise). I was pissed and would yell, "Ok, God. If this is your plan, then it better be a damn good one, cuz we have NO IDEA how we're gonna do this. So, since we can't and you can, you'd better handle it!!!!"
I've gotten over the anger at God, but I'll admit that prayer has been a scary place for me lately. I'm scared that if I pray for something that God already knows won't be happening, that I'll be heart-broken, disappointed and pissed off all over again. My initial response was not to pray too much about Peanut. But, I think my OB GYN put it best. She said, "I like to think of it like this: I love it when my kids ask me for something. I can't always say yes, but I love it none the less. And I know God is like that too- he loves for us to ask him for things." (How cool is my OB, by the way???!!!) So, I finally started praying again...although quite honestly it sounds more like begging and pleading most of the time. I beg and plead for Peanut to have NO defects. I beg and plead for him to not need surgery when he's born. I beg and plead to be able to carry him to term. I beg and plead that I can have him naturally and vaginally. But, I know that this all may or may not come true. But, I'm praying again anyway. I guess that's progress.
Begging and pleading aside, I am blessed in so many ways. I cannot express adequately in words the support that the majority of my family and friends have expressed to us. Overall, I've never felt more loved and supported in my life, and I know how much Peanut is already loved and supported. There is still a little mystery to some extended family and friends that I struggle with a little. A few have sort-of expressed some care (without ever daring to mention the words Down Syndrome) and some got the news and I just never heard back from them. I get that most people don't know what to say, but I think because the vast majority of the people closest to me did say exactly the right thing, it seems even more out of place for those that say little to nothing. It worries me a little that this weirdness will persist. And, quite frankly, I want to be able to surround my sons with people who accept them fully- disabilities or not. So, I hope that the weirdness and "not knowing what to say" disappears when people see that we are okay- we are more than okay. And maybe we're even about to be blessed more than we ever thought possible. I think it might go that way. (But, every once in awhile I want to be confrontational: "Hey! I sent you a really detailed message letting you know what has happened in our lives and I never heard back from you. Did you fall in a ditch???")
P.S. If you're reading this, I can almost guarantee that this is NOT about you!! (Even though I've extended invitations to these people to read my blog, I sincerely doubt that it has happened.) This is in reference to some extended family and friends that were told the news either by me personally or through Charles, and then I heard nothing from them. Anyone who I don't normally speak to anyway is exempt. (Unless I sent you an email you never returned! :)) Okay, my venting is complete.