Letter to the Father of a Baby with Down Syndrome

msi-2007-171Dearest Father of a Baby with Down Syndrome,

I saw you go forward, holding your baby son as the pastor at church asked those with permanent conditions who needed healing to come forward.

I wondered what it was that you prayed for. Perhaps he has a heart condition as kids born with Down Syndrome quite often do.  Or could it have been physical healing so that his features wouldn’t look any different from people like you and me.  I wondered if you prayed for his mind, that he would learn and grow, be able to adapt to our culture as he matured and could function in society in the same way as the rest of us.  I wondered if you understood what you were asking.

A good friend, Dale with a son who has Down Syndrome (pictured above with son, Brycen) just said to me a couple of weeks ago, “As Brycen is growing up, I am so afraid that people are going to take advantage of him, he is so loving and accepting.  I felt like I had to teach him to stick up for himself!  His little brother took a toy away from him the other day and he smiled at him, he was just laughing and dancing!”

He said to his four year old son, “Brycen!  Don’t let your little brother take that toy away from you like that!  Stand up for yourself!  Tell him, “No, that’s MY toy!”

Dale looked at me as he said, “I suddenly realized that I was teaching my son how to be selfish.  Brycen already seems to understand when Jesus says, ‘If a man asks for your shirt, give him your coat as well.’  Brycen will give anything to his little brother!”

“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children,

you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Do you realize Father, that your son may have a permanent condition, the kind that easily accepts that there is a loving God who made him just the way that he is, with purpose and intention, the kind of condition that leaves him wanting the most important but simple things in this life, like how to give and receive love?

Your son may never understand how to keep up with the Jones’s or how to get way over his head in debt.  Your son may never understand how to cheat on his wife or how to cheat on his income tax.  He may never understand how to become a really good liar or how to stab someone in the back.  He may never be able to learn how to drive a car and cut somebody off, he may never understand how to yell horrible insults while sitting in heavy traffic.

This I do know, your son will be able to love Jesus.  He will learn to worship and sing and dance. Your son will learn how to love and he will always have that childlike faith, the kind that we so desperately need, yet often forget.

Father of a baby with Down Syndrome, were you asking for healing of your son’s permanent condition?  Or perhaps, is God going to use him to heal us of ours?


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  1. I have often had thoughts like this, as the mother of a seven year old girl with Down syndrome, I ask myself, “exactly how adjusted to this sick world do I want my beautiful loving little girls to be?” So many of her best qualities make her vulnerable but bring all of us closer to the Heart of Jesus. She is our conduit to Him and I realize how blessed we are just to know her.
    Thank you Lord for Christina, help me to share the joy she brings us with the world so that mothers will stop aborting such children.

  2. Very good, Leticia. You know these thoughts first hand. You know the importance of these lives in our world. What a gift, what a blessing your daughter is to this world, so often overlooked and unrecognized. Thank you for being the vessel through which God has chosen to change so many hearts.

  3. What a powerful story! When I am frustrated with my severely affected son who can be a handful, I have been thankful that I will not have to worry if he will get involved with drugs or be promiscuous or many of the worries for children who are typically developing. This story reminded me to add in a few others like not cheating on his taxes, lieing, cursing at others, gossiping, stabbing someone in the back…thanks for the expanded perspective.

  4. Thank You Dale, well said! Jon looks thru his Childs Bible each morning, and I know he and Jesus have a special bond, Love their total Innocence, and acceptance! and @ Debbbie, I agree what a blessing to know our special kids won’t be involved in addictions, crime and things typical kids fall into, What a Joy our kids are to God and everyone they meet! I would be lost w/o my Jon!

  5. God is good! In my eyes special people get chosen by the Lord to have special children… I am one of those lucky ones… I am a proud mother of a 2 year old son with downs i was told the day after he was born that he might have downs, after the blood work came back with the results confirming that he did have downs. i cried not because i did’nt want him but because i did not know anything, only what the Dr. had told me at the hospital of all the complications babies with downs normally have so i was overwhelmed… All i can say is that Xavier “Xavi” is the best gift given to me and their is not one day that i don’t thank God for giving me my lucky ticket…thank you for chosing me and trusting me with your Angel. Dale and all other parents with a special needs child Congratulations! God Bless you.

  6. Thank you. I have a sweet 7 month old baby who has DS. She is such a gift. I have so many worries – this world is not always kind. I pray daily for both of my children. What a great letter.

  7. Thank you Dale. As a father of a son with Down Syndrome who struggles from time to time. That gave me some warmth when I needed it.

  8. I completely lost my way when Mikey ws born, now every time I look at his beautiful face, I feel grateful. Thanks Dale.

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