In April of 2004 I received a call from our Doctor informing me that there was a good chance that our son would have trisomy 21 or otherwise known as "Down Syndrome". I remember I was in my car at the time and immediately tears started streaming from my eyes yet I was not visibly crying. My first thought, God why? As a Christian I had given my life to Jesus and considered the advantage God's blessing would be to me. Safety, peace, protection and knowing His love. Not doubting God’s love for me yet I just kept saying why.
Over the next few weeks while listening to my favorite music by Bach and other choral masters I would immediately just lose it. Really crying now. In the car, at home or anywhere. Sunglasses were now mandatory to cover my red eyes.
I also started praying all the time. Why God??? where is my answer? I know the bible tells us all things work together for good yet I see no good in this but hte opposite. Was I being punished for my sins or was I cursed?
I remember in school as a child there was a child with Down Syndrome. That was some 40 years ago and he was very bad off. He Had seizures in school and everyone made fun of him. This is how I pictured my sons life would be. Also I remember going to the store and seeing other families with a child with Down Syndrome, I thought what is wrong with those parents to have such a child.
A wonderful thing happened in prayer one day. God actually spoke to me. He said as clear as day, “this is My perfect will for you John”. Immediately a peace came over me and I was able to embrace my future. I told my wife and my wife and I knew that it would be okay.
Noah, our first child, was born on 08-10-2004. There was such a joy in the hospital room. I knew angels were there singing. I took a picture of my wife’s face and it was truly a picture that spoke a thousand words. She was glowing and had a big smile that light up the room. Dr. Cross, yes that is her real name, put little Noah on the scale and the digital display beamed a big 7.0 lbs. God’s number of perfection. I laughed as I read it and said oh Jesus you are so good.
Noah is the most precious loving boy I have ever known. He is always happy. Always giving joy to others. He is 8 now and just today told me that I needed to put my seatbelt on and daddy I love you! I get at least 10 hugs a day too!
You know I never notice if anyone stares or notices my son since to me he is flawless.
Another surprise happened in early 2007. My wife was pregnant again and this time we were all happy thinking that when my wife and I are no longer here there will be a sibling to take care of Noah. YEA! Not so fast though as I received the same familiar call from Dr. Cross. Guess what... another baby with Down Syndrome. We already knew her name would be Genev’e which means to” gush forth” which speaks of our overflowing joy. How could we not be overcome with rivers of joy at the news. When Genev’e was born they put her on the scale guess how much child number two weighed? Are you sitting down? She weighed 7.7 Lbs. God makes no mistakes.
I see my children in the light of the love of Jesus for me and now Noah and Genev’e are a daily reminder of His ways not being my ways. They are better. How wonderful is that.
My wife also loves Jesus and was diagnosed with M.S. a few years back. If you were to meet her you would say she is an angel. Why. She never complains. She just retains that beautiful glow. It's never left her face.
Visit our website at www.sandiegodownsyndrome.org also our Facebook page “San Diego Down Syndrome” and twitter page” SandiegoDownSyn” . YouTube search “Genev’e” to see a video of us too!
I really hope you are encouraged by our story.
John and Sarah Leslie
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