I do not love my son despite his disability (nor because of it).
My son Noah is seven months old. He is super cute and totally adorable. He’s never even been bitten by so much as the flu. He did have a suspected UTI that landed him five days in the pediatric ward. Random swelling has left us in that corridor as well. This is of course after his three week NICU stay due to brain surgery. But generally speaking, I feel like my kid is healthy. Breast milk much? I think so!
That said, he was born with L1 Syndrome. I do not care what syndrome he has or does not have. And judging off the pictures I’m posting and character that Kara shows… she doesn’t care either. Daddy doesn’t care, either. So if we don’t care, if it makes no difference, if we are going to change dirty diapers, sing, play, and cuddle either way…. why do I not love him despite the disability?
Kara has curly hair. Would I love her differently if she had straight? Noah had brain surgery. Did I love him differently during surgery than I did before or after? NO!
While holding him, I’ve heard family members say, “We love you anyway, Noah,” or maybe, “[Mom], you are going to love him despite everything he has going on, you just have to stay strong.”
NO. NO. NO. NO. NO.
What if We Just Love….?
What a crazy silly family. We love, just because we love! Love is an end within itself. And a beginning. Ditch the word despite. Ditch the word despite. What if we just love, to love? While you may not have birthed a disabled child, I’m willing to put money on the fact that you’ve heard friends and family say: “I love him, but…..” or maybe, “I love her because……”?
Why must we condition our love for someone? Why? Do we not just love to love?
Several months ago, I stumbled upon an article written by a North Carolinian pastor. He wrote, what if, when his children were grown, they revealed to him they were gay. He wrote, “I won’t love them despite their sexuality, and I won’t love them because of it.”
Such a powerful proclamation!
What I Always Knew
From the moment I saw the positive on the pregnancy test, I knew God had a plan for this little one. A little less than two months later, when our Chorionic Blood Sampling tests came back contaminated at 13 weeks gestation, I had a gut feeling my child would have L1 Syndrome, and that my Little Bit was a boy. What I didn’t realize at the time was that there would be family members, friends, and strangers that singled Noah out.
There would be family members so moved by him, they would move toward Jesus. In their words, “feel called to Jesus” because they “see a miracle” they’ve never seen before.
They didn’t see a little miracle in Kara, my healthy two year old. They aren’t reminded of strength in Kara. In Kara’s birth, they weren’t reminded of the verses: Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female He created them,” and Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.”
But I did. I was reminded. I saw. My eyes were open. With both of my children, I rejoiced at the kicks in my tummy. I laughed at the cravings. I leapt with joy knowing they were mine. I knew that God had a plan for my girl, a place in this world for her. I knew that God’s boy would move mountains and light up shadows.
When we received the diagnosis of L1 Syndrome for Noah, doctors told us Noah would not live. At delivery, doctors told us Noah would not cry. In surgery, doctors told us he would not leave NICU. At home, doctors told us Noah would not nurse. It became our norm to hear what would child would not accomplish. No doctor ever said that about our healthy daughter, Kara.
hmm…… I keep wondering and thinking….
I’ve been told angel voices sing from Noah because he should not have cried.
I heard them from Kara when she cried.
I’m told Noah makes people want to fight because he fights.
Kara made me want to fight.
Everyone exclaims from the highest mountain top that that Noah is a miracle.
Kara, too, was my miracle.
One person mentioned to me that while Kara is full of love, and amazing to watch grow, Noah is different.
Let me return to: Not only do I not love my son despite his disability, I do not love him because of it.
If I loved Noah despite his condition or because of it, I am adding a condition. Love is unconditional. If I love Noah because of his disability, I love Kara because she is healthy. If I loved him despite his health, I would love Kara despite her health. & that is just totally ridiculous.
I see Jesus in Kara. I see Jesus in Noah. Kara makes me want to be better. Noah makes me want to be better. I see a miracle in Kara. I see a miracle in Noah. I see love in Kara. I see love in Noah. I hear the angel whispers from Kara. I hear the angel whispers from Noah. Noah is different. Kara is different. When they look at eachother…. they see….. eachother. They see themselves. They see love.
I am different, too. Not only do I not love my son despite his disability, I do not love him because of it. There is no condition. I just do.