It’s a good bet that life will have its fair share of challenges when the first words the doctor speaks at birth are,
“It’s a girl,” and “she has Mongolism.”
Thankfully, my birth defects were not a symptom of Down Syndrome, as the physician had diagnosed, and I avoided a condition that could’ve defined my life to a certain set of challenges. As you might expect, more trials, many of them physical, inevitably came my way. Before my 3rd birthday, a cat scratch to my left eye had doctors explaining to my parents, “she’ll most likely be blind for life.” Many, many years later, another doctor confessed, “I do not know what is causing these miscarriages or if you will be able to have children.” Like many in this life, I have endured personal difficulties, disabilities, infertility, career letdowns, and other struggles. Life’s ups and downs have made up the peaks and valleys of my story.
Life has held many challenges since that first misdiagnosis at birth, but there have also been beautiful blessings—being able to use my talents in a teaching career I loved, marriage to a good man, and the birth of 3 beautiful boys who all defied the 50/50 odds of inheriting my genetic defect. After 10 years of moving and schooling, we finally bought our first home, were settling into a career and a neighborhood, and doing the best we could to live a good life, when another storm hit with the words of yet another doctor.