Do you know that feeling when you find an author who has put your thoughts into actual words? When you find that someone has taken the chaos of feelings and beliefs running through your head and has somehow turned them into clear, concise writings? I love that feeling. It brings me clarity, validation and connection.
I experienced this over and over again while reading The Lucky Few, by Heather Avis. Heather is the adoptive mother of three children, two of which have Down Syndrome. I first found Heather through her Instagram account @MacyMakesMyDay. I admired how positively she wrote about Down Syndrome. It wasn’t a sad thing that happened to her children or a burden to her family. In fact, she describes her family as being some of the lucky few who get to experience life with Down Syndrome. This felt like such a truth to me and it shifted how I viewed Thor’s diagnosis (which is different from Down Syndrome). And her kids are freaking adorable…their lip syncing/dance jams will make your day!
Heather also does some public speaking and advocacy work for adoption and for the rights of people with different abilities. I was so excited when her book came out and I purchased a copy right away. I wanted to learn more about her personal story and about advocating for persons with different abilities. What I didn’t expect was to read such a powerful testimony of God and how His best is often found in the places we don’t want to go to.
“Like every woman I’ve met, I wanted healthy children, because healthy seems easier; healthy seems normal; healthy seem nice.
“What I did not know then is that ease and normalcy and niceness are not as important to Jesus as obedience, perseverance, and sacrifice. I didn’t know that easy and normal and nice would do little to build my character or make me a better and more complete human being.
“Somewhere off the rose-petal path where easy, normal, and nice bloom, true beauty lives in the muck.”
Now, let me say that I don’t believe parenting any child, even the healthiest, is all easy, nice and normal. I know it’s not. It is still hard, challenging and character building. The same principles still apply. What if instead of dreading/fearing the hard parts of motherhood, we humbly accept them with gratitude? What if we look for beauty and purpose in the discomfort? If we did this, I think we would find more joy and beauty in our lives. Rather than wallowing in the “muck,” we would be able to use those hard times as opportunities to grow and learn.
Soooooo much easier said than done, I know. But there is a very important truth there that I thought was worth sharing!
And one more final quote from the book that I just love:
“Motherhood is often about scooping up your child and gladly taking the bad with the good because he or she is worth it.”
Thor is so worth everything I have had to give up or take on for him. I say that without a moment of hesitation and without an ounce of regret.