"As one grows with the child and as the trip of life is unfolded, the special features become part of a collection of goodness and personalness that are your new child. When you reflect you can identify that that 47th chromosome has indeed made a difference but in the sum this difference has made an extraordinary human and someone for whom you could not have realized or anticipated the happiness and strengths that will be seen and felt. Parents tell me again and again how they have been unexpectedly rewarded and blessed by seeing with new vision. These babies have an unparalleled set of personal features that take us with them, open our eyes and fill our hearts. Perhaps one of the most profound experiences of a special parenthood is coming to realize that your old perceptions were too limited and that there is much waiting to be embraced. That extra chromosome becomes a ticket to some new warmth and features that change lives and change them well."
This quote from Dr. Allen C. Crocker was posted by fellow mom, Heather, on an online Down syndrome board that I frequent. It was taken from the DVD "Down Syndrome: The First 18 Months" where Dr. Crocker was discussing his thoughts about raising a child with Down syndrome. I have read and re-read this quote countless times. It is so beautiful, so warm, so heartfelt and I believe each word completely.
Dr. Crocker graduated from medical school in 1948 and has worked with children with developmental disabilities for his entire career. He has advocated tirelessly with the goal of bettering the lives of ALL children. He was instrumental in setting up the Down Syndrome Clinic at Children's Hospital in Boston and has been very active with the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress, among numerous other outstanding achievements. Eric and I were fortunate to be able to take Brennan to meet Dr. Crocker when Brennan was just a few weeks old. He was the most caring and optimistic doctor I have ever met. He spoke to us as if we had just won the lottery by having Brennan in our lives. Not a negative word was spoken - which was in great contrast to our experience with other doctors up to that point. Although I was still in a new baby/new diagnosis fog, I remember leaving that meeting feeling encouraged and thinking that maybe Dr. Crocker knew something that I didn't. He helped me start to see our future in a brighter light. As we saying our goodbyes, he leaned down and kissed Brennan on the forehead. It was the most touching moment. What a dear man who has done so much for so many children and their families.