Saturday, July 12, 2008


I can't help but wonder . . . if conception had taken place a month before . . . an hour before, even a minute before it actually did - would that have made all the difference? If it had been two sperms over to the left of the one that got the egg, would that have made the difference? Or is fate a real thing - was all of this laid out from the beginning of time, destined to happen in our family, at this particular time? These are the thoughts that I can't get away from.


This morning Michael took the twins to dance class. He texted me while he was there telling me that he is suddenly positive that one of the little girls in their dance class has Down Syndrome. I never picked up on it all the times I took them to dance class - I just noticed her as one more of the little girls in the class.

I think about the girl who works at Ralphs, our local grocery store, who clearly has DS but is obviously high functioning. I've never given her a whole lot of thought before now. But now, suddenly, I think of her, with a job, and I think of the little girl in Daisy and Annabelle's dance class, and it gives me hope. Hope that Finninan won't just be a "special needs" kid, or the kid with Down Syndrome. There are possibilities for him, and the potential that he will be able to do normal things with normal kids.

I have to hang onto that.


Jody said...

Lisa... some believe that everything happens for a reason. Some just make the most of what they have. Many DS kids grow up to be many wonderful things... I am positive that with parents like you and Michael, Finn will reach his highest heights.... also with all the love of 5 siblings... his limits are limitless. I know you must be asking the question "why" but maybe "what now" will work better... First, get yourself some rest and second work on getting that little angel Finn home. You know Angels do come in all shapes and sizes. All my love...Jody

T-rex said...

Hmm, I am one that tends to believe in fate (or in my case, God's master plan for my life) and this is something that you didn't actively cause, and thus short of not having him at all (which would cheat you of all the wonderful things he has been bringing and will continue to bring into your life) could not have prevented.

You are going through so much right now in terms of adjustment and getting to know your new child - Downs or not! Don't be hard on yourself and don't expect to feel better overnight. We grow to love and understand our children even in the best circumstances - just take it one day at a time and realize that is MORE than enough for now!

Your kids should be proud they have such a loving, thoughtful mother. Really, you are handling this with a lot more grace than I would. Your strength amazes me.

Karly said...

This is a true story of a young gentleman with DS who has inspired many through what many might consider a menial position as a grocery bagger. I wish for both of my children to have a life filled with such beautiful meaning...

Angie said...

as a firm believer of "everything happens for a reason", You did not cause this Lisa, Finn will be a wonderful blessing for your family even though your struggle has just began.

You do need to look after yourself, you can't expect yourself to heal running of little sleep... please take a break lisa ((((HUGS))))))

Carla said...

I don't know if destiny is the word I would use to describe it, but I do believe that Finn was meant to be with you and your family at this time. I also believe that he is a gift and despite the mourning of many dreams you might have had for him, there are tons of other gifts he will bring that will open worlds for you and your family that you couldn't have otherwise imagined. Hard? Yes. Fulfilling and amazing? Absolutely. Just look at how he has opened your eyes (and mine) already with regard to the girl in the twins dance class and the woman at the grocery store?

My friend Rosy and I were discussing you and Finn and she said something interesting. We were talking about how people were saying "this was meant to be" and that perhaps people believe that just to make themselves feel better about an uncomfortable, unexpected situation. You know what Rosy said? She said she believes we go through our whole lives trying to "feel better" about things and that is, essentially, how everyone lives their lives, trying to feel better about their lives, their burden, the cards they've been dealt, etc. Essentially, it is human to try to find reasons behind things in order to feel better. I'm not sure I'm being very clear; Rosy said it better, but I hope you understand where I'm at least coming from.


Jodi said...

I've thought about this question a lot regarding different things and I've never come up with a good answer. Whatever the "truth" really is, I suppose we create answers that make us feel better and everyone should choose to believe whatever works for them. But, each theory has flaws.

If you believe "everything happens for a reason", I want to know the reason for the Holocaust, terrorist attacks, genocide in Rwanda, natural disasters that devastate communities, world wars, not to mention cancer, AIDS, drunk drivers, and childhood diseases. Not to get into a religious debate, but if I, as an admittedly flawed human parent, would do anything in my power to prevent my child from experiencing tragedy, what theory explains a loving God who has an actual plan that involves such tragedy?

But, the alternate view doesn't satisfy me either - the so-called "butterfly effect" (a butterfly flaps his wings in China and there's a tornado in Kansas idea) means that World War I could have been avoided if Archduke Ferdinand's car had turned left instead right. If we start to think about the weight of world war determined by every decision we make, none of us would ever leave our house. What if our death (or choice of restaurant) leads to World War III? You'd drive yourself crazy taking responsibility and blame for every minor decision leading to tragic consequences.

The idea I dislike most of all is the idea that "God doesn't give us more than we can handle" (which I hope you'll never hear). The idea that competence and strength is rewarded with difficulty and struggle doesn't seem fair. That if you were a terrible person, you'd get a progressively easier life or never have strife if you were too weak. I do believe that God gives comfort and relief to those who have faith, just like I believe good friends and family provide comfort and relief to their loved ones.

All of this to say, I don't have an answer for why bad things happen to good people (or good things to bad people).

But I do believe Finn couldn't have chosen a better family to love him and support him. I think you and Michael will be fierce advocates for him to be seen as a person first and Down Syndrome as a part of him, but never what defines him. And that is a gift for everyone who will know him.