so happens that October is a big “awareness” month. Great causes like Breast Cancer, Domestic Violence and lets
not forget Clergy appreciation! Among the many great causes October is near and
dear to my heart…Down syndrome.
son has more chromosomes than your son!
Cooper now almost 3 years old has Down syndrome, which occurs in one in
every 733 live births worldwide. It affects people of all ages, races and
economic levels and is the most frequently occurring chromosomal disorder. Down
syndromes occurs when there are three, rather than the usual two, copies of
chromosome 21 in every cell of the body. Instead of 46 chromosomes, a person
with Down syndrome has 47. Hence my pride in my little genetic
overachiever! There are more than
350,000 people in the United States alone with Downs. Sadly, an estimated 90
percent of unborn children diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted. I can’t imagine my life apart from
Cooper and my heart breaks for a world that eliminates the gift of any child
because of a misplaced priority on self.
take the chance whenever I get it to tell people about Cooper. Like any parent
who gets this sort of news Amanda and I were disappointed and even devastated
when Cooper was born. We like
every parent prayed and wanted a perfectly healthy and “normal” child…and we
got Cooper. We instantly became a
special needs family. Fearful
thoughts about how difficult life would be gripped us. We were forced to have to live by what
we believe. I think too often we
give lip service to God and casually claim our faith. We NEED the experiences in life that demand a real
faith. We NEED the experiences
that force us out of our comfortable faith and into a daily, desperate
dependence on God himself.
the midst of my own self-focused naval gaze God’s voice broke through via a
helpless little special needs child.
God convicted me that He sees me like I see Cooper. I have special needs! I have nothing to
offer Him. I cost Him a
fortune. I require His patience.
Through my son God changed my life deeper than any other experience in my
life. Each day when I look into
the face of my son Cooper I am reminded at the extravagant love of God to call
me His son.
easy to miss how much God truly loves us.
If we aren’t careful we can easily begin to think that due to our
success and skill and intellect that we somehow offer God some reason to love
us. Make no mistake – you have
special needs. The fact that God loves you speaks ONLY to the extravagant love
of God and NEVER to what you offer Him.
I encourage you to confess your special needs to God and thank Him for
praise God for Cooper. God has
knit our hearts together in a remarkable way and now I don’t see a child with
special needs I see my son. Just
as God looking upon us, through the sacrifice of Jesus, doesn’t see our
“special needs” He sees His sons & daughters and loves us deeply and only
wants for us to live in response to His love. Cooper is not considered “normal” – Praise God! If he’s not normal – then God forbid I
be normal. I would be a better man to be more like Cooper. He lives a life of
love and beauty and shows the world the love of the Heavenly Father.
pray this not only makes sense; I pray it helps you see clearly the love of our
heavenly Father. When you see
someone who appears to have Down syndrome – don’t turn away or be afraid to
speak to him or her or their family – they show us what “normal” should be.
also encourage you to watch a special video we did called “Cooper’s Story” I believe
it will touch you in a special way. It’s available here…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNU0Y3S-4hg