The first in our series from community members on facing adversity and coming out the other side filled with hope and thanksgiving. As we come together this month as a community we are focusing on being thankful, and are reminded that it is in our broken that we are able to find the most meaningful parts of life. We are honored to share Erik and his family’s story with you.
Anything is possible.
That is the direction we chose to take the night we were told that our daughter was born with Down Syndrome. I remember that call. The place I was sitting. The voice on the other end of the line telling us what we already knew. And then…the “I’m sorry”. And for as fast as the doctor called she was even quicker to get off the phone. Things went a little wobbly after that.
We cried together.
Held each other and took a deep breath. We knew the cards were going to be stacked against us, against her sister and even our daughter herself. But together as a family we were going to do this. You see….I’m lucky in every aspect of my life; I just look at it differently.
Through those almond shaped eyes I have learned kindness and acceptance. I walk a path that is vibrant in color and rich in sounds. I’ve turned to face the storm of her open heart surgery at 3 months old and come through battered and beat but alive. Through those almond shaped eyes I’ve become a better husband, father, friend and advocate. And through those almond shaped eyes she has brought compassion and love to so many.
A miracle made perfect in the eyes of God.
Her name is Devan. She is our daughter. A little sister to her big sister Kendall. And she was born with 47 chromosomes. I have to be honest with you. It’s a “club” we never wanted to be a part of when we were deciding to have children. But after five years it is something we could never live without.
The unexpected joy, love and passion we as a family feel is something spectacular. For us there are no labels. No limitations- only ability and potential. And that is what I have found through this journey with the 47th chromosome.
The “imperfect” reaches perfection in love.
Advice I can give? Hold on……and let yourself shine through — don’t let the world change you into who you are not. Live simply so others can simply live. Know that others who have gone before you have blazed a trail to some incredible opportunities. And for that be thankful. To the others that will come after….please know we are doing our best to advocate, educate and inform.
Tomorrow is the beginning of our next adventure. And we all feel pretty blessed that the life with 47 chromosomes chose us.
Erik and his beautiful family reside in Easter Pennsylvania. We thank you for helping to Bridge the Gap in Communities by sharing your story with us.