This Child

On the day she was born they told me this child had Down syndrome.

They said it in a way that left me broken.  Desperate.  And alone.

They said that if we were lucky she would learn to dress herself someday.

They said that she’d be mentally retarded.

They said she wouldn’t breastfeed successfully.

They said she had a hole in her heart.

They called her a “Downsie” with a callousness that still eats at me.

They said she might live to see forty.

I cried.  I thrashed.  I grieved.  I fell lower than ever before and believe me, I’ve lived through my fair share of stuff.

I bent over the bathtub of my empty hospital room and fell to pieces right there on the floor.  I prayed.

God see me through.

And He did.  I felt Him lift me up off of that floor.

The next day a dark African nurse with a very thick accent came and prayed at my bedside.  She was a mother, like me, of a child with Down syndrome.  She prayed as I cried.  She prayed that the Lord cast Cassidy’s Down syndrome into the sea.

He didn’t.

But guess what.

This child did breastfeed.  For over a year.

This child learned to walk.  And talk.  And even dress herself.

This child is strong.  This child is courageous.  This child is a light.

This child has more friends than I dreamed she would.  She’s cunning and cute and more frustrating than all three of  other children put together.

This child is a blessing.

And now.  This child is reading.

This child.  Is reading.

Did you hear that Dr. what’s-your-name in Augusta, Georgia?

Praise God.

48 thoughts on “This Child”

  1. I’m curious, because I have family working at MCG. Do you remember the doctor’s name? I have a hunch as to who it might be from the stories my cousin has told.

  2. PS- I wish I could do this the other way around, now and put y first message as the post script. But, that’s AWESOME! Praise the Lord! She looks so young and adorable in that picture. I would be just busting with pride if she were my little girl. Congratulations!

  3. Oh Darcie, she’s beautiful. Of course she can do heaps of things! I thought that medical science knew enough about syndromes by now to know that you cannot begin to guess at the level of disability in which areas, and the areas of strength any individual child may have. Some poor doctors and nurses get locked into the deficit model – thinking about what kids can’t do (or their best guess anyway). Those of us who have worked in special education and disability support know how positive each kid’s story can be! Finally, as we know, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things (Phil 4:8). Seems we’ve got a lot to be getting on with there!

  4. Hey Darcie, I loved this post. The emotions you felt remind me so much of my experience finding out Henry couldn’t hear.

    Your girl is beautiful, and I can see why you are so very proud. :)

  5. Beautiful post Darcie.

    Having met this amazing, strong, beautiful, SMART!, child I can sincerely tell you that my heart swells with pride for her, an you!

    There is nothing better than watching your child have success. There is nothing sweeter than celebrating the things we have been told are “impossible”! Thank you for sharing Cassidy’s success with us.

    She’s a living example of Matt 19:26.

    Kellie

  6. I just hate to cry first thing in the morning, but your post is just so touching that I can’t help it! Cassidy is beautiful. Anything is possible with God.

  7. Cassidy is PRECIOUS in His sight. She is PRECIOUS in yours. And she is PRECIOUS is my eyes too. Personally, of the Downs kids (and adults) that I’ve known, they are the HUGEST blessings! HUGEST.

    As a kid, I used to work with Downs kids at school instead of go out for recess. Something in my heart just REJOICES over them. Don’t know what it is, or if my soul is deep enough to even comprehend it. It may just be one of those things I won’t understand this side of heaven.

    What a privilege you have been given to parent this precious child.

    Thanks for sharing and for letting us rejoice with you over Cassidy and who she is!

  8. I’m crying. Definitely one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. Having actually met you, I can say that you are one amazing person. And strong. I hope that we will have the opportunity to hang again, maybe even at Disney :) xo

  9. Oh Darcie. That is WONDERFUL! What a heart-wrenching post. I have tears. But they are happy tears. What an accomplishment. You must be so proud of her.

  10. From the very first we knew she was going to be amazing. I have wanted to look up that doctor so may times in her almost 9 years and let him see what a beautiful little girl she is.

  11. Darcie,

    My entire heart just exploded in my chest. I haven’t been “out and about” lately reading blogs because of being so busy but then I came here. I had no idea where your post was going and then I read on…I am so ridiculously happy for you, if only I could scream it and you would hear me. That’s about how it feels.

    You are such a fantastic, descriptive writer too. I can seriously feel your joy and your love for that gorgeous little girl.

    Let’s go back to Disney…with the kids. : )

  12. Your post took my breath away. Your daughter is beautiful and clearly full of such joy. This is my first trip to your blog (Thanks to Metropolitan Mama), and I will be returning frequently. As a PICU RN (and a new mommy), I am so sorry for the way you and your precious one may have been treated. The “beauty from pain” you gals may have shines through…

  13. Hi Darci, I really needed this, thank you. Cassidy looks alot like you. I bet she is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. My Hallee recently turned 3 and like Cassidy is full of life. A dear friend of mine forwarded this to me, not knowing we are heading back to the hospital. Hallee has her 3 year check up for the hole in the heart that she was born with. I’m a little anxious but know God is in control, he closed the hole in her heart in the first place. I could say so much more, Thanks for sharing, Ronda

  14. Darci,
    What a beautiful Mother’s Day tribute. God bless you for your Faith and for giving Him the praise for little Cassidy’s progress and for your stength. He is faithful!

  15. Wow! What a VERY LUCKY GIRL to have YOU for a mother! As a former special education teacher I can honestly tell you that you are a huge breath of fresh air. It was rare in the schools where I taught to encounter a mother so positive about being the mother of a special needs child. I had so many parents who actually believed that their kids couldn’t be potty trained b/c a doctor made such a statement……..and so they hadn’t ever tried! You ooze love for that girl and THAT is why she is so successful — because you haven’t capped her potential based on what some doctor told you. May you continue to be blessed by that baby girl!

    Stacy

  16. Thank you for sharing Cassidy’s story so far. She is lovely and I know you are so proud of her. My brother Kenny was born with Down Syndrome. All best wishes to you all!

  17. I am reading through your favorite posts, and this is my favorite so far. She is so gorgeous, and her pride she has in herself just shines through!

    Thank you for sharing this.

  18. I didn’t know…I go through trials, but there’s no bigger trial than to see your own child struggling everyday… I admire your strength, hope, joy and your love for that little girl. She is so beautiful and lucky to have you as her mom! I pray she’ll be a blessing for you in days to come. And God for sure had a purpose, because He can turn bad things into good. God bless you on your journey!

  19. I’m reading through your posts and love them all. Of course I’m late to this particular party, but still thrilled to hear about your reading Cassidy! Caught the part about Augusta as well. I lived there for a few years and really loved it. Except for the time I had my youngest daughter. She was born at MCG. Long story short, she was born on the bed at MCG without anyone attending. Hearing of your experience and remembering my own…I believe the staff there could benefit from some sort of training. =)

  20. I just have to say…she is amazing! After re-reading this post again, it occurred to me that I loved those moments when Cass would crawl up on my lap and beg to read a book to my whole fifth grade class.
    Keep Dreaming Big!

  21. I’ve got tears in my eyes! May Allah bless this beautiful and SMART child . One of my coworker told me the doctor said to his mum similar thing so she decided not send him to school avoiding him heart from school kids. But later she discovers his SMART and cure city and start sending him to school. He is our civil engineer and now he completed his first degree and married and having kids. Insa Allah Ameen. (Sorry for my English)

  22. Hi Darcie–
    I stumbled across your website while looking for great hostess gift ideas–and loved what I saw! But then your family photo in the top right hand corner caught my eye–my daughter has Down syndrome as well. Thank you for sharing your story. I am sure that your daughter is as much of a blessing to your family as our Meredith is to ours!

    1. I’m so glad you found your way to my blog, Katie! Cassidy is indeed a blessing to our family. I write about her from time to time; I hope you’ll continue to stop by :)

  23. I stumbled to your blog by looking for Disney stuff, I LOVE this!! I have chills up and down my body reading it…so well written. SHe’s a beautiful and strong and girl. And you are a beautiful and strong mother!

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