God, are you there? Are you listening? Why us? That’s what I wanted to know, almost twenty-three years ago. I didn’t ask these questions twenty-four years ago when my daughter Danielle was born. Why would I? She had ten fingers, ten toes, was beautiful and was perfectly healthy.
My son, Keith was born thirteen months later and also had ten fingers, ten toes, was beautiful and had Down Syndrome. What happened? Why would God do this to us, to him, to his sister, to our family? I didn’t have the answers then.
I did know my husband and I had two beautiful children and we were very young ourselves. I was twenty-three and Ronnie was twenty-one. It was hard enough being married, let alone having two babies under thirteen months old. I remember being so scared. I also remember praying that I was going to wake up from this terrible nightmare. I did wake up, but the nightmare was still there, day after day. Finally I realized that I had better get strong and work for what the best for our family.
Danielle was such a good baby and helped me allot. She grew up very fast. I now realize that God gave us Keith because He knew we could handle it and that we would do our very best. I also know that God gave us Danielle first to pave the way for Keith. God and Keith both taught us all how to be accepting and loving at any cost.
I learned how to be a good mother to Danielle, and she taught me so much about her brother through all the good and bad times. I thought that Keith wouldn’t get to do the things she did in school, but he did, and in high school he was the bomb, she made sure of that.
Danielle has now become a Special Education Teacher and is doing a great job. When she got married almost two years ago, Keith and her dad walked her down the aisle, well, actually danced and laughed down the aisle.
When Danielle and her husband Trey announced to her dad and I that we are going to be grandparents in May 2006, to a baby girl, she also announced to her brother that he would be ” the world’s greatest uncle”.
I have learned so much from my children, but I have also learned that God did listen. He was listening before Danielle was born, and He was listening before Keith was born. He was always listening and still is. He gave me two beautiful and special children because He knew that we could handle anything with Him by our side.
So, yes, God is listening always and he gave us Keith and Danielle because these are the children we were meant to have, and we wouldn’t have it any other way! Sometimes there is no reason or understanding. All you can do is trust God.
* Stories From the Heart is an ongoing series of user contributed heart warming stories, that shine light on the Autism experience.