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Different disabilities, different strengths Tabitha's Story, Part II

What would you do if you found out your baby was born with Down Syndrome?  Shawn & Naomi frankly share their first response and early concerns for Tabitha… here’s how she’s changed their lives and family forever.

For part one of Tabitha’s story, click here.

Tabitha was born with Down’s Syndrome. Shawn & Naomi discovered this when she was born.

Shawn: I went home that night and had some good… not grieving, but just questions. How am I going to be a dad to Tabitha? Is she going to school? Is she going to work? Is she going to get married? So I’m thinking 20-30 years down the road, which wasn’t helpful.

The cardiologist was incredible. One of the first things he said was, “Don’t think of Tabitha 20 years down the road. Think of what do you need today to support her and to give her the best home that she needs,” and really brought things back into perspective.

He was also the first person that said, “Don’t put limits on her, because you don’t know what she will and will not be able to do. She may not have struggles like your other kids. She’ll have different disabilities just like all of your, you know, typical children, but she’ll have different strengths as well.

Naomi: She’s very joyful. She’s a lot of fun. The kids dote on her like crazy. She’s “the cutest baby in the whole wide world,” according to Rebecca. She also really welcomes people. I mean, maybe that’s just a baby thing, but she particularly works the room and she’ll go around and say “hi” to everyone, and makes sure she makes eye contact with everyone in the room.

So in some ways she has open doors for us to have conversations with people we wouldn’t have had before. She has made me understand where worth comes from: it’s not about my job or what I do that allows me to have worth; it’s merely the fact that I am created in the image of God. Tabitha is created in the image of God.

Shawn: Naomi and I went to a wedding last weekend. And, you know, just to look at Naomi and say, “You know, I would do it all over again, everything.” We’ve lived through my going through cancer, you know, miscarriage – two miscarriages – and being blessed with three incredibly beautiful children.  They all have their gifts, abilities and disabilities – some that we know about and some that we don’t. I would do it all over again.

Naomi: Our life is richer, for sure.

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