It is a day for celebration in our busy household!
Today marks three years since our amazing, beautiful wonder-baby, Ezekiel, joined our family and brought us the kind of light and joy that came unexpected and welcome . . .
|"Gotcha Day" . . . March 8th, 2010|
But his story started long before he made his way down the jetway and into my arms.
Long before . . .
Ezekiel's birth mother had no idea the baby she carried was a child with Down Syndrome. After his birth, she was still unaware. It was not until Ezekiel was two months old and birthmom took him to a clinic for a check up that a doctor shared the news that devastated her and thrust my precious baby into orphanhood. She was told he had not only Down Syndrome but a heart defect. For a single mother with another child, and an ill-paying job, she knew that a diagnosis like this would be expensive and she could not provide. So she did an extraordinarily unselfish deed.
She took him to an orphanage nearby in hopes that the people there could afford to fix his heart and find him a family.
But they said "no".
They, too, realized that a child with Down Syndrome is expensive to care for.
And hard to place.
So she journeyed on to try another orphanage and came to Gentle Hands.
She met a woman named Charity, the director. A woman who knows the value of EVERY LIFE . . .
And she said "yes".
|This is one of the last photos of birthmom holding Ezekiel on Surrender Day.||This was taken at the orphanage.|
Ezekiel was lovingly cared for and given medications and check-ups at GH. He was mothered by
a woman named Thelma who gave him her heart, knowing it was just a loan . . .
|Ezekiel and Thelma|
learned from Ezekiel the same thing we learned. Children with Down Syndrome are set apart. They bring unspeakable joy and an adjusting of perspective to all who are lucky enough to know them.
|Ezekiel and Charity . . . the one who said "yes" . . .|
|This is the family that God chose to bless with Ezekiel.|
|The brothers who protect him. . .|
|The people who cherish him . . .|
|The mother who would do anything for him . . .|
|The Kuya who adores him . . .|
|The Ate who takes such good care of him . . .|
|And the father who let faith triumph over fear to bring home a son who would always be with us . . .|
I can say with complete confidence that in the three years since Ezekiel has been ours, there has not been one regret! He fits into this family like he has always been here. I have often wondered if God miraculously changed his DNA to mine and his father's. But I would never want that.
I wouldn't change one thing about this boy's journey to our family.
Every life he touched needed touching.
Every heart he held needed holding.
Every sacrifice made for him needed making.
It is my heartfelt prayer at this three-years-home celebration that even one mother who has received a Down Syndrome diagnosis for her baby might stumble upon my blog. She might consider the cost and know the JOY and choose LIFE . . .
Maybe she is afraid that this life will be burdensome. Possibly someone in a white coat has talked of the heart defects, low intellect and lifetime dependence and she feels trapped. I won't lie to her and tell her it is exactly the same as parenting a typically-developing child. There are differences.
But they are not burdens.
They are privileges.
Happy three-years home to my little grace gift . . .
Made in the image of a Holy God . . .