Joining us today on our blog is one of our amazing grandparents – Rhonda Wagner. Rhonda is the author of The Joy of Avery children’s book series, including her two books, It’s Okay to Wonder and Braver Than Me.

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It’s Only Down Syndrome

My sweet grandson, Caden, was born four years ago today. Reflecting back, I stand amazed at the goodness of God over this little boy’s life. Although a hard and scary diagnosis, Caden’s birth was part of God’s perfect plan for our family.

He had prepared the way.

GiGi’s Playhouse Cleveland (an achievement center for individuals with Down syndrome) opened earlier that same year within walking distance of our kids’ home. Their staff congratulated the young couple and anticipated Caden’s birth with excitement. At two months of age, this little guy had the “best of the best” pediatric heart surgeons at the Clinic make some needed repairs so Caden could begin his very best life. A world of people all touched by Down syndrome in some way opened up and support entered our lives in a multitude of ways.

Fast forward four years. Therapies and doctors’ appointments might be more numerous than desired, but life is good for this family of three. Harder than typical, perhaps, but hard comes with such sweet surprises. Culture influences us to believe “easy-peasy-all-about-me-sy” is a better way of life. I say “not true.”

Harder is good. Milestones met are sweeter. Reliance on God is greater. Spiritual growth abounds in the hard. We are refined into better versions of ourselves.

Take it from one who knows. If you or a loved one experience a similar diagnosis one day, please remember “it’s only Down syndrome!” And know that you, too, can enjoy the sweet goodness that comes along with it!

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