I Do Not Love My Son Despite His Condition, Nor Because of It

 

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!

I Do Not Love My Son

The Beginning

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….?

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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

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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.

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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.

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Let me return to: Not only do I not love my son despite his disability, I do not love him because of it.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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22 Comments

  1. claire

    Love this post. I spent 10 years working with children with disabilities and I loved every minute of it, although it is getting better, people do still see the disability instead of the little person.

    Reply
    1. freshlymessy (Post author)

      Its so easy to see the disability. Its superficial, and most people are superficial. My thinking is, it shouldn’t be the ONLY thing you see. I know when I look at icecream, I see that its chocolate. But, I also dive on it and really get to know it. And it LOVES my belly. THIS is how people should love ALL the kids!

      Reply
  2. Madelaine

    I must admit, the title of the post made me click and this truly touched my heart. What a beautiful family and a blessing to have these children. As an ICU nurse, hang it there. It too will pass.

    Reply
    1. freshlymessy (Post author)

      Thank you, Madelaine 🙂 He’ll always have these issues going on, but as long as I have peace, we’ll get through it! Thank ou for caring <3

      Reply
  3. Crystal // Dreams, etc.

    This is beautiful! It baffles me that people would say those things to you.

    Reply
    1. freshlymessy (Post author)

      Noah isn’t old enough yet for most people to notice right off the bat something is amiss. He’s usually being worn and they can’t really see him anyway. I’m baffled by things poeple say to older kids and their parents. By all means, if you wanna know what’s going on with my kiddo – ASK ME! Just say, “hey! he is freeking adorable.” start a conversation and generally I’ll answer your quesiton wihtout asking because it’s my JOB to educate others about him. I just can’t believe people are downright MEAN to others.

      Reply
  4. Ginger Marie

    First of all, your children are FREAKING ADORABLE!! I totally agree with you on this one. I’m glad that you see it that way because so many do not. Your family looks happy and healthy and with the attitude you have, I know it will continue being that way! Keep being awesome, lady!!

    Ginger Marie | http://www.thegingermarieblog.com

    Reply
    1. freshlymessy (Post author)

      Thank you soooo much! I really do love and adore them!

      Reply
  5. Allison

    Thank you for linking up! This post is so sweet!

    Reply
    1. freshlymessy (Post author)

      I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

      Reply
  6. Sheryl

    Such a beautiful and powerful piece. Love has no conditions with it. Your family is beautiful.

    Reply
    1. freshlymessy (Post author)

      Thank you, Sheryl!

      Reply
  7. Keri

    I totally agree with you! Love can’t be conditional. What if those conditions change? Your children are adorable!

    Reply
    1. freshlymessy (Post author)

      Exxxxxxxxactly! It’s like someone can finally understand! Thank you!

      Reply
  8. Shellie

    This is a beautiful post with so much truth! Your children are beautiful and a sweet blessing from the Lord.
    Blessings ~

    Reply
    1. freshlymessy (Post author)

      Thank you so much, Shellie! Blessings they are; He showers us with blessings daily. Its up to us to open our eeys so we can ssee them.

      Reply
  9. Jenn Roberts

    wow, I’m amazed by what people say sometimes. Some people just don’t get it! I loved this post. Thank you for sharing and for linking up on my blog!

    Reply
    1. freshlymessy (Post author)

      Yeah, things get chaotic and stressful at times; but honestly, how can I expect someone whos never walked these shoes to know how to walk in them? You know?

      Reply
  10. Sandy Sandmeyer

    Your children look so much alike. There’s no doubt that they’re siblings. I always told my son that no matter what he did, even if he (God forbid) killed someone, I would still love him. God has been teaching me to love in spite of not despite. We need to love. Let God do the clean up. Forgive those that don’t GET IT. Pray for them. I’m sure that once that know that you little man, they will love him too.

    Reply
    1. Sandy Sandmeyer

      Thanks for sharing your post at the #AnythingGoes Link Party.

      Reply
      1. freshlymessy (Post author)

        Absolutely!

        Reply
    2. freshlymessy (Post author)

      Absolutely! How can one not love this little dude? He’s fantastic! By far the best little dude I’ve ever laid eyes on; although I understand I’m slightly partial 🙂

      Reply

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