Sunday, April 24, 2011

Our Children Will Save Us

We got “the phone call” from the geneticist on Friday, confirming what we already knew – that Daniel indeed has Down Syndrome.  Actually hearing those words as a definitive diagnosis hit me harder than I expected.  I think my mind suddenly rushed forward in time, trying to figure it all out and deal with everything – baby, toddler, child, teenager, adult – all at once.  Slightly overwhelming!  Back to today I come.  Living what is here and now – enjoying every precious moment with my sweet little boy.

I thought I would share something I blogged about a few months ago, but never hit the “publish” button.  It was the beginning of February.  I had started to feel OK with everything we knew.

We had Stake Conference a few months ago (November, I think), and I attended the adult session by myself (which is usual, since Jared goes to the Priesthood leadership session). To be honest, I don't remember a whole lot about the meeting - I'm not a very good note-taker.

But I do remember a statement by our Stake President. He said, "Our children will save us." I don't recall the context, but that statement really stood out to me, and it caused me to think about my own children and the relationship I have with them. I think he was trying to teach us that the things we learn as parents have the potential to change us, to bring us closer to Christ. And that when we're parenting in partnership with the Savior, our children will be better and stronger than anything we could ever do or hope for on our own. And our strength and goodness will grow in part because of theirs. They can’t make it without us, and we can't make it without each of them.

Over the past few weeks, I have pondered this statement frequently. It is one of the first things that came to my mind after we had our ultrasound in December, when we found out that our baby may have Down syndrome.

In all honesty, I felt pretty devastated about the prospect of Down syndrome. I feared for this baby - how he'd be treated, how his health would be impacted. I feared for our family - how we'd deal with this, how we may never be empty-nesters. I feared for myself - how I could ever parent a child with special needs when I feel so inadequate at parenting "typical" children.

But my mind has continually been brought back to what our Stake President said: "Our children will save us." This baby needs us - whether he has 46 chromosomes or 47. He needs us to love and care for him, to teach him and protect him.

But even more than he needs us, we need him. We need him to save us, and I know he will. He will help to change our hearts. He will help us learn things we never thought possible. He will help unite our family. He will save us.

As I sit here beside my precious Daniel, on this beautiful Easter morning, I am so thankful for the Savior and the wonderful gifts of the atonement and resurrection that He has given each of us.  I am so thankful that He has made it possible for each of us to be perfected – not just physically, but spiritually.  I know that He will make our greatest struggles into our greatest joys.  He already has!


  1. This was a beautiful post Heather! I sure hope that Daniel will be loved and accepted by all who get the opportunity to meet him. I've often thought that those with Down Syndrome are some of the sweetest and loving people I've met.

  2. Wow. I think that phrase is going to stick with me forever. So beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.