I visited them at their home in Phoenix. It was a tiny little place, but together they had made it into almost an Enchanted Cottage. They seemed blissful. And when I quietly inquired with him about future children, he told me maybe they would have them "when Lonni gets better." But he also admitted, her health would never get better.
Still they seemed so happy. And a few years later, her doctor allowed that perhaps the infusion of hormones associated with pregnancy would actually improve her health. They leaped at the possibility and soon were thrilled to welcome their first child: a beautiful daughter.
Then a second daughter. And a third.
Lonni laughingly said that her husband was immersed in estrogen. He was surrounded by a wife, three beautiful daughters, and even a female dog. They seemed again, the picture of bliss.
So it was a surprise, as I mentioned in the earlier blog that they were pregnant. And all their friends were thrilled for them to learn the baby was to be a son.
The pregnancy was troubled, but they got through it. Earlier this week, after ten weeks in the hospital, Lonni delivered a baby boy that at first seemed healthier than anyone could have dreamed. They joyfully posted the pictures on their blog. (I won't post a link. I'm sharing their story, but not wishing to blast away their privacy.)
I looked at the pictures and wondered. There was something unusual about the shape of the infant's fingers. I felt an immediate sense of worry. There was a sense of dread when her blog reported that "tests are being done. The results will be in on Friday."
This morning I saw the results were posted. It is as I suspected. The beautiful baby boy so long dreamed and prayed for is still a beautiful baby boy, but he will have his challenges. He has Down Syndrome.
As a child, I associated Down Syndrome children with baby birds, somehow connecting the childlike attitude and innocence that they retain throughout their lives with the down of a baby bird. Like a baby bird that grows up, but beneath the feathers remains the down. Just so do their bodies grow up, but beneath it all, the childlike innocence. And I have seen the truth and reality of this situation in a family member's son.
I know my friend can handle this. I know that she is capable and wise and will learn everything that she needs to know to be everything that boy and the rest of her family need her to be. I just wanted so much for her... and them... not to have to pass through this.
And I know that every situation and life has its own unique problems. Professionally, I've always known that every job has its own black bag of uglies. Some, more than others it has seen. It reminds me of a little embroidered sampler kit someone gave me as a child. I stitched it up and hung it on the wall in all the places I've lived.
"If all our troubles were hung on a line, you would take yours and I would take mine."I'm sure today more than most, Lonni would agree. Her blog explaining this new information about her son doesn't complain. It's simply titled, "Our Life Has Changed." And so it has, Lonni. And so it has.