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God's True Grace in Elijah's Eyes
God's True Grace in Elijah's Eyes

I need to speak to the parents, alone. Your baby's lungs sound good, blood pressure is fine, he appears to have Down syndrome, I hear a slight heart murmur, but heart rate is good, you can see him soon. All those words were said with barely a breath between. I wondered if the doctor thought if he said them fast and buried the main diagnosis in the middle that somehow it wouldn't be so painful to hear. But, now it was out there. "Appears to have Down syndrome" was suspended in air. My husband, Scott, was sobbing, but I couldn't comfort him. We had known there was some sort of issue with Elijah, but we weren't prepared for the truth. As I look back now, I wish I could say I handled it better and those were the only tears shed over Elijah's diagnosis. Elijah was always content and happy. Sometimes I would sit and hold him, staring at his tiny face searching for signs of Down syndrome. I didn't think that he looked enough like he had Down syndrome and I needed to see it in his face so I could accept it. I felt very inadequate and unsure of my ability to take care of Elijah. One of my friends, Angie Pace, also had a son with Down syndrome. I believe God sent Ben first to lead the way for us. Without Angie and Ben I would not have made it through the first weeks of Elijah's life. But I was still searching for something I couldn't find in Elijah's face. This is where God's true grace kicks in. One night, Elijah was watching me as I watched him. Then I realized something that changed the way I looked at him forever. He was searching for something in MY face. I didn't know what it was, whether it was for a smile to comfort him or for reassurance that I would always be there, but I think he was searching for acceptance from me for the person he was inside, not for some physical characteristic that said he was blonde, blue-eyed or almond-eyed. I could now see the gift he is and realized that Elijah's diagnosis is not his guiding force. My favorite quote is God doesn't give you the people you want in your life, he gives you the people you NEED to help you, to hurt you, to leave you, to love you and TO MAKE YOU INTO THE PERSON YOU WERE MEANT TO BE. I don't know why God saw fit to give Elijah to me, but I know, like so many times in my life, God saw a need and filled it. Elijah is making ME the person I was meant to be. All I have to do is look into his deep blue eyes and I feel refreshed and renewed. All he has to do is look straight into my soul with those eyes and I know everything is right with God.

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