“I have wanted to share this for so long. A little over ten years ago…at 21 weeks pregnant I was called into the doctor’s office at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Warwick, NY.
Being a Catholic Hospital, the doctor’s office was also the old priest’s office. This day changed my life forever. I remember the large wooden desk the doctor sat at and the Stained Glass that towered behind him.
It was a cloudy day, but the soft light danced through the windows into my eyes. Grady’s tiny feet were kicking my belly as my husband grabbed my hand so we could sit down.
His first words after we sat down were: ‘I’m sorry, your son has Down syndrome. You have two weeks to make a decision…’ The only decision we made was to NEVER go back to that doctor’s office or deliver there.
I have relived those words and that moment over and over again in my mind, they burned deep into my motherly soul. It was THAT very moment my son was named a ‘decision’ and ‘broken’ to the world, and also the day we named him a gift from God.
Today is Grady’s 10th birthday. To celebrate this milestone of pure joy, I photographed him next to stained glass to bring our story full circle.
To EVERY MARKER they see on an ultrasound or after a child is born that points to Down Syndrome or what the world calls broken, we filled in with gold.
‘Golden Joinery,’ like the ancient Japanese art of Kintsugi…an art that celebrates broken artifacts by filling the cracks with gold to bring it a new life…‘Kintsugi often makes the repaired piece even more beautiful than the original.’
Oh, my Grady, NO prenatal test could predict you are filled with a heart of GOLD. You are JOY and LOVE rolled into the most perfect child. Your challenges never ever outweigh your joy. You were sent here to help others fill in their broken pieces with drops of your gold made by the God himself. I love you, my boy. Happy 10th Birthday.
Love your mom, Erin.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Erin Witkowski. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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