Monday, January 5, 2009

Kindred Spirits

Often on this journey of mine, I am inspired by all the other mothers and fathers of children blessed with Down syndrome. I have had the pleasure of "meeting" them through their blogs and sharing in their journey. Just today, I "met" a mother that I feel could be my kindred spirit. Everything she writes speaks to me as if they were my own words. Even her son, Malakai, could be Joaquin's brother. Her blog can be found at I have enjoyed every word I've read on her blog and I am overjoyed to see that she is looking into the Institutes in Philadelphia. I believe she lives somewhere "down under" but I haven't confirmed exactly where yet. I wish I could hop on a plane and meet her tomorrow.

On her blog, I came across a letter that she found in a local DS newsletter. I must share this letter because I feel the very same way about Joaquin. Another kindred spirit, these father's words could be my own.

"Always Reaching" written by a father of a child with Down Syndrome:

From the STL DS Newsletter
by Matthew’s Dad

Every time I see my son, I reach for him.

It doesn’t matter if he rounds the corner 4 seconds after I have seen him last, or if I am picking him up from school and have not seen him for hours…I reach for him.

I can be 1 foot away or 100 feet away…I reach for him just the same. I reach for him with my arms, with my eyes, with my heart.

I wonder sometimes what I am reaching for.

I have seen this in other people when they see my son.

My family, my friends and perfect strangers. They all reach for him.

I see the same movements, the same gestures, the same need to hold out their hands for him. They want him to come to them, some know him and some don’t. Some call his name and others just motion for him. But they all seem to want him to come.

For a moment, you can see his spirit reflected in their faces. I watch the smiles grow across their faces with a fullness that is unavoidable.

When he falls into their arms (which is what he does to everyone), I see a momentary peace envelop them, and their eyes close, they pull him in and they experience what I call “The Joy of Matthew”.

He gives it to you. He wraps you in it. He wriggles and squirms and mashes the love into you. If you did not know what to expect, you may be surprised and find yourself amazed at the feeling, overwhelmed at the emotion he carries with him.
I am lucky. I get to hold him all the time.

And I have been able to think about that feeling and where it comes from and what it may mean. I think Matthew is a window through which we see a pureness of emotion… pure happiness, pure sorrow, pure joy and pure love.

Despite what some may think, our special children are closer to God than we are. We see so much in them that we lack. We wish quietly in so many ways that we could be more like them. And when we hold them, if just for a moment, we feel closer to God.

That must be why I am always reaching for my son.

That must be why they all reach for him.


  1. oh, i love this letter! can i post it on my blog, too?

  2. WOW - thank you for your kind words! I honestly felt the same when I came across your blog - Kindred Spirit.
    Thank you and I look so forward to getting to know you and your beautiful family better through your amazing words!
    Oh... and I am from South Africa (on the tip of the African Continent... very far away from most of the world!!)

  3. Sunflower Mom- Of course!!! Isn't it so true?!?

    Loren- I've always wanted to visit South Africa! Maybe someday :) How wonderful would that be!

  4. I have found the same thing with Kindred Spirits...and I have fallen in love with their children. I see in each of them the same indescribable spirit I see in Bridget. Most people don't realize it, but we are the lucky ones...

    Thank you for posting the beautiful piece from Matthew's dad. The words could be my own as well.