First, some excellent news. In the wee hours of this morning Albert was moved from ICU (Intensive Care Unit) into the High Dependency ward. Once again, he has surpassed the doctor's expectations. We were
So much for the health update.
One of the many tests results we have seen in the past day confirmed that Albert tested positive to Trisomy 21, commonly known as Down's Syndrome. Whatever this means to you, dear friends, I beg you to set aside your preconceptions for a few moments and consider what this means for us, the Holmes family. This is a surprise, but not a tragedy. This is a change of plans, not an end to plans. We are not afraid of what the future holds for Albert. It means a different life for Albert, and for us, but no less a full and joyful life. There are a number of health concerns common to Trisomy 21, but early intervention programmes and excellent health care mean that Albert can look forward to a long and joyful life where he will be the delight and joy of his family, and very likely bring us much more in the way of joy and peace than we can ever give him.
We asked ourselves if it would have made a difference if we were aware of Albert's condition well before he was born. We think it would have changed things, but not for the better. We would have been preparing for a label, not for a person. We would have been steeling ourselves to deal with set of symptoms, instead of joyfully holding baby Albert and asking what we can do to enable him to flourish in his own right. I am sure that many people do not like surprises, and would prefer to be prepared for different circumstances in advance, but we know ourselves well enough to know that this is the best way for us!
So what about you, dear friends? Where do you fit in to this story? We don't want pity. We want you to share our joy at the birth of this new and precious soul! We don't want commiserations. We want you to share our hope for his joyful and amazing future! Yes, some things will be harder, and I have to admit we have worried that we may not be good enough parents to nurture this new little bundle of awesome person-hood God has given us. We hope you will be patient with us as we navigate slightly different waters. We know that many of you will continue to support us as you always have. But we hope that you will see Albert first as just another of those crazy Holmes kids :), and that you also share in the joy of his struggles and his happiness.
As I drove home from the first meeting with the doctor, I was praying that God would help me grow strong enough to be the father Albert deserves, when I realised that I was thinking and praying as if care of Albert was a one way street. Albert is a young man with health problems, but no less a man. It may not be that Albert needs us so much as we need Albert. I am excited, eager even, to see what surprises God has in store for us in Albert.