I am a very lucky man – I’ve got an amazing wife and am the father to three wonderful kids. Lylli was born on Halloween in 2008, Gracie was born November 2010 and although she only lived for 17 months, she will remain as much a part of this family as the rest of us, and Mickey Gray, our first son, was born in June of 2012. I’m not going to say that life has gone exactly as I would have wanted, but it is a good life and I am determined to make the best of it.

This blog is an attempt to document my quest to become a dad that my family can be proud of.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Not just a new chapter, but a whole different book

After receiving the news that our unborn daughter, Gracie, has Down Syndrome, I find myself feeling like, and have been told by others that, I need to grieve, but I just can't. I see the sorrow in the eyes in almost everybody that I tell - but it truly is unnecessary. We are so lucky that we have been chosen to receive this gift. Every person that I've spoken to that has become the parent of a child with DS has told me that it's the best thing that has ever happened to them. Explain to me how this should be sad? I think about how much she will teach us and our other daughter Lylli about compassion and understanding and about inclusion. I look forward to the endless number of things that she will teach us every day. I know she will help me to become a more patient and better father - husband - man. She has already brought my wife and I much closer than we were before. I think of the book Tuesdays with Morrie where he paraphrases Mark Twain's saying ""Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth." Mitch Albom scheduled weekly visits to meet with a dying old college professer to get this wisdom. Wisdom that every parent spends their lives trying to instill in their children. I don't dance, I'll admit life experiences have given me a tentative heart, I only sing if I've had a few beers, and I often find myself not living my life as I should. I know I'm stereo-typing here, but I will tell you -- if you really want to see the living, breathing version of that Mark Twain saying, go to a summer camp for teens with Down Syndrome on the Beach Party Karaoke Night Dance and you will see exactly what he means. I've known for three days that Gracie has Down Syndrome and she is already teaching me. Yes, our life has changed and will no doubt be different, but if this baby makes it (and that may still take a miracle), I'm pretty sure its going to be better than I anticipated.


  1. Beautiful entry Rich. There is no doubt why God chose to give Gracie to you two. She will be lucky to have you. Praying things continue to go well. The Schusted's

  2. Rich, your words are amazing! I have have tears in my eyes as you touched me so much and joy in my heart for you, a baby is such a blessing - no matter what. I understand your statement about not feeling the need to grieve because your child has DS. When I was pregnant with Emery, they wanted to all sorts of testing for birth defects because of my age (greater chances the older the mother is) but I said NO - I did not care because it did not matter to me what could be "wrong" - I was having a baby! People commented to me a number of times and said - "as long as he as all his fingers and toes, or as long as he is healthy, etc" I really did not care - I would take what came and LOVE the little one with all my heart:) I have friends with DS childern and yes there are challenges but what little love bugs they are!!! Your statement about the summer camp kids is so true - they LIVE their lives to the fullest - some times we worry way too much to let our selves live fully. You are awsome Rich - I have always thought so. Congrats and take care of your wonderful family - I will pray that she makes it into this world:)

  3. I am so happy for you Rich, i pray she makes it through the rest of her hurdles.
    Jina Andrews

  4. Rich,
    Thanks for inviting me to your blog. When I was grieving (we found out before), one of my friends without any insincerity said “CONGRATULATIONS! Those kids are awesome!”
    I was floored by his comment. From that day I decided that instead of fearing all the things that might be wrong, I would assume that it would be awesome.
    It has been awesome. Best of luck to you.