Meet Kaden

you look at this smile. The love, the innocence, the pure joy....and you know. It’s worth it. Every single second is worth it.

We didn’t choose this life. This life chose us. I mean LITERALLY. We didn’t wake up one morning and say “I want to have a child with special needs”. In fact, we were being proactive in not having any more children period. A tubal ligation is a pretty drastic measure. And yet, on that October afternoon, in the bathroom at work, I got the positive pregnancy test. Shock slowly gave way to joy…..maybe we would have our boy.

I still remember the evening I got the call. We had the fancy blood test done. I was 38 and the insurance covered it, and you could find out super early the sex of the baby! It was a few weeks before Christmas. My mind was racing with last minute gifts, wrapping, baking and Christmas parties. And then, the phrase that stopped time “Trisomy 21”.

I cried….a lot. I prayed, prayed for a “normal” baby. I could sugarcoat it and say I didn’t use the word “normal”, but I did. We declined an amniocentesis, so we spent the pregnancy waiting and worrying. Another complication arose during pregnancy, and I felt myself constantly worrying about stillbirth. I would feel my stomach hundreds of times a day, making sure I still felt the little kicks and movements. I was so relieved when I looked into the precious gray eyes of my little boy at 37 weeks 5 days, and immediately I fell in love.

The doctor was astonished. Both tubes were still clamped, but on one side, a tiny pathway, growing totally around the clamp. A pathway created by God to bring this child into the world. We got our definitive diagnosis when Kaden was a few weeks old. It wasn’t a surprise at that point….we knew.

It’s funny how an event like this makes you re-examine everything. For example, what exactly is “normal”. We use the word most likely every day, but what does it even mean? I have tachycardia and a goiter, Kenny has diabetes….is that normal? Is bottle feeding or breast feeding “normal”. Does your religious preference or political association make you “normal”. And we live in a society where people strive every day to prove how “normal” they are, and how “abnormal” their neighbor is. I find myself using the word “typical” now, but I’m not sure I like it any better. Are we not all created in the image of God, but unique in our presentation?

And the special needs life isn’t easy. There’s the worry, the constant worry. Therapy, appointments, milestones, medication, hearing aids, vision tests, equipment, colds, hospital stays….the list goes on and on…..

Then you look at this smile. The love, the innocence, the pure joy….and you know. It’s worth it. Every single second is worth it. For a soul that has touched more lives in 15 months, than I have even come close to in 40 years.

So stop searching for “normal” or “typical”. Celebrate diversity and uniqueness, and above all — love.

Kristy Stowers

error: Content is protected !!