Dear Self: On this wonderful day full of excitement waiting for the birth of our child things were going so smoothly. But, looking back things were not right from the time we arrived at the hospital. The delivery room was dark and quiet. As our son was born the delivery nurse stated very directly without an ounce of compassion ” Your son has trisomy 21″ and she walked away. We were then left in that quiet, dark room alone without any idea what just happened. Quietly we sobbed and mourned for our child who will live forever handicapped in a world already tough on the “normal” children. My wife never let my son leave her grasp as she protected him like a strong mother would. Me, I had thoughts racing through my mind..can we care for him…do I want to care for him..this is life changing. Yes negative thoughts entered my mind. My oldest son was heart broken his brother had Down’s syndrome…why his brother. Well, this is where you circle the wagons and do what normal parents do…we raise our children..give them all of the tools we can so that they can be successful. We had 3 therapist a day 3 times a week. We battled sinus infections caused by small ear canals. We had 2 surgeries to insert tubes and to widen ear canals. He needs a hip replacement in the future. But. Looking back to those first days after my son Matthew was born I couldn’t have been more wrong and am so proud of my strong wife to get us through the hardest parts. Make no mistakes. It is hard. But so much worth it.I am Matthews best friend and main caregiver…although our family circle is very strong. As for Matthew himself…he has a wonderful personality, he speaks clearly,he spells and reads, he is religious and wants to be a priest. He is also ornery and a comic. He is very well known in the community and has touched so many hearts. I am so proud of him! Yes..it was a hard thing to understand in the beginning, but, I can see it very clearly now why God gave us Matthew. Thank you Lord for the strength….and yes…Thank you for Matthew.