Too often, society perceived people with Down syndrome as something less and “a mistake.” To address this wrong perception, one celebrity dad from Tennessee wrote a compelling letter, saying “God makes no mistake,” and that his daughter with Down syndrome is a special gift from above.
American country singers Rory Feek and his wife, Joey, lived a happy marriage life. With the arrival of their daughter, Indiana (lovingly called as Indy), in February 2014, their future looked bright and beautiful. But sadly, Joey was diagnosed with cervical cancer, and passed away on Mother’s Day in 2016. She was survived by Rory and 2-year-old Indy.
Following her death, Rory, left to raise Indy alone, started sharing moments he spent with her daughter on his blog—This Life I Live.
In one post titled Crib Notes, Rory defended Indy, who was born with Down syndrome, for being called a “mistake.” The father contended that his daughter is a gift, and so are all children with Down syndrome.
“None of them are. Like typical kids, they come in all shapes and sizes. Some learn faster, some slower. Some are silent and some vocal. Some crawl and walk earlier than others and some, like Indy…take their time. But they are all beautiful. All gifts from heaven above,” he wrote.
Rory recalled how family and friends reacted upon Indy’s diagnosis with Down syndrome. The most common response he received was “I’m so sorry.” “That’s such a strange response to the birth of a child,” Rory wrote.
Rory didn’t blame them as he would’ve said the same thing if he were in their shoes.
“It’s what society has told them – told all of us… …awe, you didn’t get a regular baby… you got something less… a burden that will last a lifetime,” he wrote. “But it’s wrong. At least I think it is. And I know Joey did too.”
“The world has told us that they are less. A mistake,” he wrote. “But I don’t believe they are. At least I know Indiana’s not. When she was born, Joey and I said, ‘this is the child God wants us to have’, and we believed it. And we were right.”
To Rory and Joey, Indiana is not less than any other child. “Different is not less,” he emphasized. “Having down-syndrome doesn’t make her life any less meaningful than someone else’s or her dreams or feelings any less important.”
In fact, having met many children with Down syndrome and other special needs, Rory thinks they aren’t less.
Rory and Joey believed Indy is the child God wanted them to have. Thanks to Indy, Joey got to experience the joy of being a mom. Thanks to Indy, Rory was able to put the smile back on his face amidst grief and loss.
Rory feels blessed to be Indy’s dad and is looking forward to seeing her grow.
“I’m excited too. Excited to be her papa. And to see who she becomes…and who I become because she’s in my life. I still have so much to learn and I have no doubt that while I’m teaching her… she will be teaching me.”
“God doesn’t make mistakes,” Rory avowed.
Indeed, all kids are a blessing and a gift from above, and children born with Down syndrome are no different! Are you touched by Rory’s powerful message? Do share this story with your friends.
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Photo credit: YouTube Screenshot | thislifeilive.