After several responses to our post earlier this week about Rick Smith and his NoahsDad.com website, we thought it might be interesting to hear Rick’s first-hand account of the journey.
by Rick Smith
“I’m so sorry.”
Those were the first words we heard from my wife’s OBGYN shortly after our son Noah was born. Instead of flowers, streamers, bubble gum cigars, and the usual fanfare that greets a family after the birth of a child, we received those three (very powerful) words,
“I’m so sorry.”
From the second Noah was born, the world began to tell Abbie and me that we had just been Punk’d by God. That He just decided to take us from one story (a joyful happy one) to another (a sad depressing one.) You see, our son Noah was born with a third copy of his 21st chromosome, otherwise known as Down syndrome.
The world says that kids like Noah aren’t worth it. In fact, after Noah was born we learned of a heart-breaking statistic: over 90 percent of children who are known to have an increased “risk” for Down syndrome by prenatal testing are aborted. Let that sink in for a bit. That’s nine out of 10 children. Aborted. The world says that children like our son aren’t worth it.
Abbie and I learned that Noah was born with Down syndrome a few hours after his birth. We were blindsided. We never saw this coming. Having a child born with Down syndrome wasn’t “supposed” to be part of our story (at least in the one we had written for ourselves.)
We were scared, confused, excited, hurt, joyful, nervous, and hopeful. (I’ve come to learn that those feelings usually happen when God has something wonderfully better in store for your story.) Above all else, we knew that God knew just what He was doing, and so we trusted Him with our story. And we began to pray. A lot. Along the way, we also learned that God writes way better stories for our lives then we ever could.
We prayed almost nightly that God would somehow, someway use our story to help change the way the world thinks about people who are born with Down syndrome. We even prayed that all of these babies would be brought to full term, and have a shot at life. I know it sounds like a crazy prayer, but God likes bad odds.
The idea behind our blog, NoahsDad.com, was to give the world a window into what life was like for a family raising a child born with Down syndrome. To give them a look into our story and show the world that ours isn’t a sad story. It’s a beautiful one that deserves to be celebrated. To show people that kids like Noah are worthy of life.
The response has been overwhelming. People all over the world have begun to write in and tell us of the hope and encouragement they found through our daily one-minute videos. In other words, they found hope by us sharing our story.
Stories are powerful when they are shared. If we hide our story or think no one wants to hear it, no one will hear it. I hope our story encourages you to tell your story. To celebrate it. You never know how God can use your story to change the world.
Never forget that God loves bad odds. Just ask Daniel…or Noah…or Abraham…or Moses. 🙂
-Rick (Noah’s Dad)