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This is Ace

 

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Dear Reader,

This is Ace. Ace Christopher Evans.

He’s named Ace after Batman’s dog. At least that’s what August (our six year old) told us a couple of months ago after we’d already been referring to him as “Ace” in the womb for months. Back in November, August had finally given us his blessing on this new member of our family. “If it’s a girl, name it Sarah. And if it’s a boy, Ace.”

Listen, I had no intention of naming my baby Ace. But it was a cute nickname. And somehow, two days after his birth, when he still didn’t have an official name, and the hospital staff and all our friends were referring to him as Ace, making his big brother’s wishes come true felt like the exact sort of thing Ace would want. He’s just cool like that. He’s tops; he’s aces.

He was born 10 days ago, on Saturday April 11, at 2:07 in the afternoon. I was in labor for 27 hours, mostly at home. He weighed 6 pounds, 11 ounces, and was 18 1/4 inches long. And my body and baby were kind enough to wait for my mom’s flight to land halfway through my labor. (She’d already planned to arrive that day.) Ace was born at 38 weeks, which felt like a miracle. He was born without my having to be induced (despite my rocky last few weeks leading up to his birth, and our constant concern about some complications he faced in the womb). He was my first birth without an epidural, with a doula and my super-husband cheering me on to the finish line.

He was born with Down syndrome.

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This wasn’t a surprise. Chris and I learned that Ace had a 99.75 percent chance of having Down syndrome back in December. We chose not to have the amniocentesis that would make our prenatal diagnosis certain and we went into the rest of my pregnancy with a mix of foggy sadness and hope. See, I had never imagined this for my family. (Who does?) But I’d also grown up the child of a mother who for thirty years taught deaf and hearing impaired children who often had additional special needs. I’d volunteered in her classroom in my teens, and known the folks in my church’s special needs ministry growing up. l played with and rode to school with my friend and neighbor Carey who had Down syndrome.

When the woman on the other end of the line told me that my child would most likely have Down syndrome, I was pushing Brooks in a stroller on the way to gymnastics. I made the call for the test results convinced that if I called nonchalantly, if I called on the way to somewhere, alone with my 3-year-old, it couldn’t be hard news. I’d breathe a sigh of relief and continue on my day. Instead, that Tuesday morning in early December I cried in the corner of the bleachers during the 3-year-olds gymnastics class. I called my husband on the phone, trying to make out the words, The test came back positive, stunned.

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I couldn’t tell you about it then, readers. I had to keep it close all these months. It was too heavy, too real. Instead, in December I wrote about receiving the gift God was giving me. Ace was that gift.

This past week has reminded me that God’s good gifts are not always easy. They are often complicated, prickly things that must be held carefully with tender hands. They are often painful and beautiful at the same time. They are unknown. The best gifts God offers us are often the very gifts that have the potential to completely upend our stories, change the direction our lives were going. It hurts to change direction.

All these months, Chris and I have cried and looked again at our hearts, asked God to show us our motives and our assumptions about our family. We have imagined life with a little boy who has Down syndrome. We’ve imagined the gift he will be to our older boys, the way God will shape their souls through this child, the reality that when I pray for my older sons to grow up to be men of compassion and gentleness, courage and kindness, that this little brother of theirs might just be the way God chooses to answer my prayers.

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We have dreamed and laughed together about this new life we are entering. And we have remembered that, really, this is not a new life at all. It’s simply the road we’ve been walking all along, and we just didn’t know it yet. That’s how grace usually works, isn’t it?

Ace was born 10 days ago, and the moment I held him in my arms, I looked at my husband. And we both smiled. “Look at that face,” I said. “This sweet baby has Down syndrome.” And Chris touched his head. “Yeah,” he smiled at me. “He does.” And—by the blessing of God—that is how we knew. There were no solemn doctor diagnoses. There was no secret whispering among the nurses. We received him, met him, and knew.

And the grief and the fear didn’t disappear. But it did feel like that grief, the fear that had moved in months ago, that had taken up residence for a while, was now content to scoot down the bench in order for something better to sit beside us: Love, and sweet dreams for Ace’s life, and relief that God has given us the better gift, even if we don’t yet know what that gift will look like.

This is what I wrote last December, when Ace was a tiny baby in an ultrasound, a positive result on a chromosomal test:

The good, hard gifts don’t usually come with explanation. They don’t come with instructions, or future promises of ease. And still they come and ask us to hold them, to say “Yes” along with Mary: to receive, not because we know what awaits us, but because we trust the goodness of the One who gives.”

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This is Ace. He has Down syndrome. I’ll tell you more about him as I learn him, as I walk through this new experience of being his mom. But for now, Chris and I are honored to be his parents. And his brothers kiss those fat little cheeks and call him perfect.

 



  • Abby Norman

    Oh Micah! What a perfect little guy for your family. Praying with you and for you, but really and truly and deeply CELEBRATING with you! Because baby ACE! What a good and perfect gift the Lord has given you. Happy Birthday Ace! We are so lucky to have you here.

  • AndieR

    Congratulations on the safe arrival of another beautiful boy. I have 3 boys, too – strap yourself in! Your writing always moves me, but never more so than this post. Your thoughts on how God will use Ace to shape the souls of your older boys tipped me over the edge! Savour this special newborn phase. Andie Redford

  • Micha, he is beautiful. And what a gift God has handed you. Oh friend, what a blessing. Praying for you all as you navigate this new and most wild adventure. God is faithful–this is the always true, always good truth.

  • Tracey

    He is wonderful and precious. Find the mamas around you that know this journey. God’s equipped and will continue to help you with Ace. He needs an aviator hat and a biplane though. That was my grandfather’s best friend’s name and he was a pilot. Wish I could snuggle the little one but also give you a big hug today. Hugs and love sweet mama

  • Dena D Hobbs

    A beautiful baby for a beautiful family. I’m so moved by the grace in your journey. Prayers for you all as you welcome this good gift. And Ace is the perfect name. Go August!

  • Caiobhe

    He is gorgeous 🙂 What a beautiful boy. Thanking God for his safe arrival into your family . And I love his name.

  • Tears at this post. Thanks for sharing your beautiful words at this addition to your family. He is perfect.

  • A. Schindler

    He’s beautiful! Congratulations!

    I’m sure you’ve already heard of Amy Julia Becker’s book A Good and Perfect Gift, but just in case you haven’t I’ll recommend it now.

  • Holly

    Oh Micha, all that you have written here reminds me of Beuchner’s quote about the world: “beautiful and terrible things will happen. Do not be afraid.” Your story here, and the way in which you have received it with such an open heart also shows me that, most times in this life, we are wrong about what is terrible and what is beautiful. I am so grateful to know you and to learn how to lean into the great mysteries with you. Thank you.

  • cindi

    Micha as a sister of a special needs brother I will tell you that there will be challenges, but best of all, the blessing are so much more. I always believed that my brother had a direct line to God. I believed that God heard his prayers first and answered them. I had my brother pray for me a lot. He was and still is our joy.

  • This post touched me so much, Micha. Sending you and your family love…and oh, that fuzzy hedgehog hair (and I mean that in the cutest way possible – it’s a family sweetness around here to refer to someone as having hedgehog hair). Blessings, friend.

  • SortaCrunchy

    Such beautiful words and such a beautiful baby boy. He’s Ace! I couldn’t possibly love that name more, and I think it will suit him perfectly as he grows. Thank you for trusting your mama heart to us in sharing this story with us.

  • Kim

    Ace is beautiful…thank you for
    sharing him with us.

  • Perfect, indeed :). Powerful post, thanks Micha.

  • Jane Halton

    Congratulations on your new baby, Micha. Your introduction was perfect.

  • Cathy Thompson

    Congratulations on the birth of Ace!! He’s a little love muffin! And welcome to the best “club” you never knew you wanted to be a part of. Our sweet girl is almost 7 and we wouldn’t change a thing about her. Well…maybe we would like it if she ate more vegetables. 😉

  • Caroline Starr Rose

    He is a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boy!

  • tamarahillmurphy

    Yes, Micha. He is beautiful and you are too. We love you and will pray often for you all. Peace, friend.

  • Felicity White

    Welcome to the world, Ace. It looks like you’ve landed in the perfect spot! <3

  • Welcome to the world, little Ace! Praying for you, inspired and encouraged and amazed by you as you embark on this new journey learning for and about and with your precious gift.

  • Ransom

    I am deeply touched by your story. What a blessing you have received! And now I wonder how my own teenage son will be able to become a man of compassion and gentleness, courage and kindness, without an “Ace” to help make him so, but God knows.

  • I LOVE him already.
    And I love you guys.
    (Ace sure has good taste in parents.)

    Meditating on this:

    “The best gifts God offers us are often the very gifts that have the potential to completely upend our stories, change the direction our lives were going. It hurts to change direction.”

  • Welcome Ace! And “eshet chayil,” Micha, for being a woman of valor in every sense of the word. Blessings on the whole family.

  • I’m so glad to hear of the birth of your sweet baby boy. Blessings on your whole family. As the mom of 2 special needs kids, I know there will be lots of room in your life for love along with the pain. And I do love the name Ace. Our family plays this homemade game where you make words with the Scrabble tiles and then tell a story containing all your words — and whenever we have the word “ace” (which we often do), it’s either “He aced it!” or a company like “Ace Skin Care Products.” I don’t think I’ll ever play this game again without thinking of your baby and saying a prayer for him.

  • This is wonderful friend. Thank you for sharing so beautifully and for letting us into your new reality with sweet Ace.

  • Look at all that hair! What a precious little face! Congratulations! Seriously, no epidural is no joke. You are a rockstar. 🙂

  • Tracy D

    Amen, amen and amen! Thanks for being such a beautiful reflection of God! What a precious gift Ace is to drawing us all nearer and nearer to Him!! Blessings!!

  • Welcome to our world, Ace. God has big plans for you.

  • Gorgana Hyde

    His brothers are wise indeed. He is perfect! God bless!

  • I have been praying for and loving this little boy for so many weeks. And here he is! Beautiful, perfect, so deeply loved! You are just one of my favourites and I love your whole family. Kiss him for us. xoxo

  • Beautiful post, beautiful family, beautiful boy. Love to you, friend.

  • mothering spirit

    Absolutely beautiful, in image and words. Thank you for sharing your boy with the rest of us. Blessings on your family!

  • R Detrick

    He is perfect Micah! Congratulations and keep on kissing those perfect cheeks.

  • Thank you for this beautiful and honest post. Ace has been fearfully and wonderfully made. Welcome to the world, baby boy!

  • So beautiful, Micha! Blessings on you and your little family as you love baby Ace. Welcome to the world, little man!

  • He is perfect. Much, much love to you dear, sweet, brave Mama. LOVE YOU.

  • daisy52

    Congratulations on the birth of Ace! He’s beautiful! He will teach you how to love like no one else can. God bless Ace and all of his family! <3

  • Sanctuary WS

    As I read your honest feelings and hope for the blessing Ace will give your family I was reminded of the 21 year old Jordan Spieth who just won the Masters. Jordan talks about how his younger sister has inspired him and grounded him.

    “Jordan wouldn’t be where he’s at today if he didn’t grow up with Ellie,” said Chris Spieth (their mom) to ESPN.

  • i love your post. i know your acceptance is not an event, but something that will progress over time as you and he grow in each stage of life.

    i love this: We’ve imagined the gift he will be to our older boys, the way God will shape their souls through this child, the reality that when I pray for my older sons to grow up to be men of compassion and gentleness, courage and kindness, that this little brother of theirs might just be the way God chooses to answer my prayers.

    so often, GOD answers our prayers in ways we don’t understand. thanks for a deeply vulnerable post. i will pray for your family and Ace…he was born on my birthday! blessings as you all grow in compassion and love for this sweet, gentle little boy…GOD’s gift to your family and community.

  • He is beautiful! Congratulations on the new addition to your family.

  • Alise

    What a beautiful boy and I LOVE the story of his name!

    Thank you for embracing grief and joy at the same time. I so believe that this is how we move through the hard, beautiful thing that life is. Prayers for you, for Chris, for all of your sons.

  • Lesley

    Why hello, Ace! You are so cute and sweet, and I love reading your story. Micha, I’ve read your blog for years now and love your heart. Thanks for sharing with us.

  • Mary Tremayne

    As a mother of a 23 yr old w/cerebral palsy – I understand God’s Grace to see us through all situations. Just making sure you know how to contact the Early Intervention Program in your area – start early – even now.

  • Briana Meade

    Welcome Ace! Beautiful and exciting time for your family. God bless you guys.

  • Tigg76

    Being a sister and aunt of down syndrome kids, you will find that they are the biggest blessing EVER!! The smiles, the unconditional love, and positive outlook on everything is contagious. You will find that you never knew pure joy until you’ve seen their face light up in excitement.

  • Katie Noah Gibson

    So beautiful, Micha. Welcome to the world, Ace. Love to all of you.

  • I always love reading your process, Micah, and I love seeing this beautiful chapter unfolding in your family. Welcome to the world, sweet baby Ace.

  • You’ve got me in tears on a Tuesday morning. Welcome, Ace.

  • Ace, oh boy, are you loved! Micha, I know a little bit about the journey you are on. My daughter wasn’t diagnosed with her terminal disease (SMA) until 4 months, but it changed us. Some days there are no words. I’m so proud of you in THIS moment. For writing and processing and letting us witness the goodness and grace in your life.

  • Love you. Respect you. Cheering you all on.

  • Susan Thomson

    He is absolutely beautiful! I am thrilled to see all your boys! I just recently read FOUND and loved hearing about August and the birth of your second baby.
    The thing that touched me most about your post today is when you said “The best gifts of GOD offers us are often the very gifts that have the potential to completely upend our stories, change the direction of our lives were going. It hurts to change direction.” I don’t like change, but GOD is teaching me to go with the flow. I will be praying for you and your sweet family.

  • Also that yellow shirt. With the teeny yellow pocket!!!! GAH. #toomuch

  • I love that you just received Ace, knowing he is a gift. This was beautiful, as always, and filled with such good truth. Congratulations on your precious baby boy. Passed this along to a friend who had a baby a few months ago, also with Down Syndrome, to know she’s not alone in wanting to simply receive her baby without labels and enjoy the gift. 🙂

  • Mary Carr

    Congratulations! Ace: the perfect name for a boy embarking on the grand adventure that is life!

  • Carol S Bannon

    My niece, who you taught when she was a freshman, sent me your link. Beautiful baby! Our granddaughter was born in August with Down Syndrome and she is truly a blessing to our family. God bless you and your family

  • Mercy

    Please, please read!
    http://www.kellehampton.com/

  • Sandy Hay

    Welcome Ace. You have been born into an amazing family who love you and love God and will rely on Him in the good times and the not so good.:)

  • Kristin S

    Those cheeks indeed! He’s adorable.

  • And now I’m crying so hard.
    Love you and your sweet little family.
    Give Ace a squeeze from this adopted auntie.

  • Look at that last picture! Adorable!

  • Those cheeks are made for squeezing! Welcome, Ace! Congratulations, Hohorst Family!

  • Ursula

    I’m the mom of a five year old with Down syndrome. She is beautiful and spunky. She loves good food and swimming. She’s pissed she can say so much more than she thinks. There are hard things on this journey, but the gift of Ace will make it all worth while. Congratulations. He’s beautiful.

  • Janice Zimmerman

    He is beautiful. Sweet baby checks and spiky hair!! Congratulations on your newest family member. Prayers for sleep and peace.

  • Janita Abbas

    Beautiful love for this little one just getting started…. even in the hard times love will find you. Because nothing can separate us from the love of God. I know you already know that by your words spoken here. Thank you for sharing your heart. Blessings to you all. Janita

  • Sarah-Louise Hurst

    Such beautiful writing. I have a brother with Down Syndrome and indeed he has shaped my heart and my understanding of God and the world.May you have courage to never underestimate your little Ace

  • Laura Beth Martin

    As a mother waiting on an adopted child I often struggle with the thoughts of what we will face when our child isn’t what we have “planned.” Thank you for reminding me that he is good in every step of the walk. Thank you for being faithful so I have the courage to be as well.

  • MightyMighty1

    Blessings on you and your sweet little boy. He is perfect.

  • Anna Smit

    Congratulations! Love the pic of him with his big brother (he looks so very proud). Thank you for sharing your journey with us all: it testifies to the amazing love and grace of our Heavenly Father. May God bless you all. BTW: Ace was born on my daughter’s fifth birthday: a wonderful day to be born.

  • Nina Hooker

    You sound like the perfect parents for adorable little ace. I’m happy for him.

  • Congratulations! I loved reading your post. I used to work with children with Downs, and they are such blessings. We learn about Jesus through all children, but there is something God does through loving a child with Downs that is just unprecedented. Can’t wait to hear what He will teach you…and that you will then share with us!!

  • Kerry

    Beautiful boy. Congratulations.

  • Gayl Wright

    So beautiful! I am crying. Your older sons are right – He is perfect – God chose you to be his parents and what a blessing you will be to each other.

  • I love your reference to responding like Mary with “Yes.” We, unexpectedly, lost our daughter to unforeseen complications in labor, so I sympathize with finding yourself in a situation you had not planned for yourself.

    But the comfort that I can pass on is that God really is good enough to bring joy and love in these moments in ways you could have never guessed. I wish you four happiness and joy for the weeks/months/life ahead. xo

  • Ace is all that. You’re chosen to be his mommy. What a blessing!

  • Jenny Uebbing

    That last picture made me audibly gasp. I have never, never, NEVER seen a more precious newborn baby face (and my own kids are pretty darling.) What a perfect little human.

  • Sue Rudny Marek

    My son Mason is now 19 years old! He too was born with down syndrome. I love what you have shared. It seems like yesterday that my husband and I were having all those feelings racing through our hearts. Today it feels much different. The pain isnt there. We are so lucky and proud to be his parents. Yes he changed our lives and maybe even some of our plans but WE WOULD NOT CHANGE THE PATH WE WERE GIVEN BY GOD! Keep on moving ahead and you will keep being shown how wonderful your lives are. Yes there is always fear, but all parents will admit to that! Embrace Ace!!

  • fiona lynne

    Oh Micha, this is beautiful and he is perfect. I love the story of his name. Have been eagerly looking forward to every new photo of those cheeks! Ace is so loved already. Thank you for sharing him with us x

  • Robin Geer Troxell

    He is beautiful – congrats!!

  • Jennifer

    Thank you for writing this. We have a little girl due in September and we too, have been told that screening tests are positive for Down Syndrome. I am not planning on getting the amnio, and I guess we will not know for certain until she is born. Praying a lifetime of blessings for your precious new boy!

  • Amanda Pierce Jones

    What a beautiful post, and what a beautiful baby! Congratulations to your family!

  • Beautiful post. Thanks for writing this. Blessings to you guys!

  • ErikaBeseda

    Look at that sweet face.

    • Melanie McGehee

      Praying that you each take in all that joy. All of it.

  • Jemelene

    I’m smitten. Welcome to the world Ace! You have a family who will not only love you and adore you, they will cheer you on! May you find blessings beyond measure!

  • Beautiful. Thank you, Micha. Welcome to the world, Ace!

  • Andrea Lisk

    I love seeing the comments from other siblings and family members of people who have down syndrome. I also have an awesome older brother with down syndrome. My sweet little ring bearer eleven years ago also has down syndrome. He’s now a spunky, hilarious 15 year old. Don’t feel guilty about mourning the loss of dreams that you may have had for ace. That is normal. Let your other boys express their feelings as they get older without fear or guilt. BUT (big but!) celebrate the new dreams and journey you will go on together. You will meet people qnd see things that you may have otherwise overlooked. Your other boys will have the potential to become braver and more sensitive to the world around them as a result. If you haven’t already, check out the poem/essay “welcome to Holland”. It is such an accurate analysis. Welcome to Holland. Thanks for sharing your ace with us. He is wonderful and adorable and perfect.

  • Oh, friend. This is such a lovely introduction to Ace. I cannot wait to snuggle him soon! Much love to you and yours.

  • pastordt

    Oh, Micha. Such perfection – that face – this story – your words. Thank you, thank you, sweetheart. Be blessed, be strong, do the Cinderella thing: Have courage, be kind. (LOVED THIS MOVIE.) So happy for you, even amid the tears that are a part of this story. You and Chris will be such fine parents for him, and your other boys? Ideal brothers for beautiful Ace. Our prayers have been answered so very well.

  • <3

  • Having followed your blog for what feels like forever, as we adopted our daughter with that extra chromosome, well this just lands on a very tender spot in my heart. He is so very beautiful and I love every last word of this post as we navigate our way through a tricky path ourselves. Warm thoughts and prayers.

  • On the day you announced Ace’s arrival on Facebook, the post IMMEDIATELY next to yours was from a friend whose 38-year old daughter has Downs. She was sharing another hilarious and wonderful Sarah-anecdote, and it made me laugh and cry to see your two posts next to each other: nearly four decades between two moms celebrating such surprising and wonderful grace. So happy for you and your beautiful boy, Micha, and welcome to the world, Ace!

  • Jan Walker

    God chose exactly the right momma for little Ace. Bless all of you.

  • Rebekah Tesone

    Ace is absolutely beautiful! My sister who has 12 children has Emma who has downs. Everyone of the living10 siblings has bragged on, shown off, loved to pieces this now 16 year old girl who is a delight to all around her. One time she disappeared during a cooking session at her sisters wedding party at a grocery store and came back in with a huge amount of yogurt in a paper bowl that she had bought on her own! (Taken her mommas card card) Who could ever be mad at such a delightful gift? Enjoy Ace, we all will from a distance! Can’t wait to hear the stories and love he brings!

  • JB

    Ace is beautiful 🙂 I have an eight year old daughter who also has designer genes. Our Kayla has been a wonderful blessing. We had no idea until we delivered her that she would be born with DS (she was born in the front seat of our car). I know Ace will be a tremendous blessing for you also.

  • Pam M.

    My brother and wife welcomed their first child 30 years ago. Jason was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. I am his Godmother. He is the most loving, wonderful young man….a true gift from God. While there have been many rough days for them…the good times far outnumber the hard days! Love Ace and enjoy him….God sent him to a special family.

  • Sara Korber-DeWeerd

    A friend shared your post with me. It’s beautiful and resonates so much with the first days we spent with our son who also has Down syndrome. You are right. God’s good gifts are not always easy, but they are always good. They are always, always good. Congratulations on the birth of your good and perfect gift. And to Ace, welcome!

  • farmingfam

    Hurray!! Another baby with Down Syndrome born into a family that wants him and acknowledges our Father – the Giver of ALL good GIFTS! Such precious pictures. 🙂 Enjoy your journey. None of you will ever be the same!

  • Cathy Hooper

    Find Kelle Hampton’s Enjoying the Small Things blog, her middle child, Nella, has DS. She is a wonderful writer and a champion for those with special needs, particularly DS. Your Ace is beautiful!

  • Mindy at Grateful for Grace

    Congratulations!!! He is beautiful. I’m praying for you all and rejoicing in your seeing that God gives good gifts in many forms.

    We are “having” (via adoption) a baby girl with DS in August. Same test says 99%. I announced two days post delivery for you.

    Rejoicing in the gift and blessing of Ace!

  • Atesa Lyn Gast

    My son Nickalis has down syndrome as well. Like you I had the positive test and chose to not have an amniocentesis done. I have felt an array of emotions in the almost 4 years since his birth. He is like a ray of sunshine and is sweet beyond imagination. It has not been an easy road but I can’t imagine life without my sweet angel. Enjoy your sweet little Ace! 🙂

  • Rachel Anne Tibbs

    Sweet baby! I have friends who have walked this very road and they will tell you life is sweeter because of their little miracles. God truly made perfection when he made these precious ones- just the way they are!

  • Katie

    Beautiful. Congratulations!

  • Tania Runyan

    Stunning, gracious, beautiful, hard. Blessings to you.

  • christiehoos

    Welcome to the club! The world just got a lot more interesting for your family. The grief ebbs and flows over the years, but the love and strength and heart just grows and grows. You’ve said it so well – a complicated gift, but a gift all the same! Our daughter Becca sure has been.

  • I’m in tears. I love your honesty about the grief in finding an unexpected road. I’m glad for you that you held that Information close to your heart in pregnancy, like Mary. Just because something is hard, doesn’t mean it’s not also good. I’m holding both of those things in mind when I pray for you all.

    And oh my – I love your little boy. I love his name, and I see the abundant love that is already in your family. Welcome, little Ace. You are so very loved.

  • Andrew Marsh

    “But because we trust the goodness of the One, who gives them” – that’s what stood out to me. Your post, as always charmingly and honestly written, no holds barred, got right into my middle. I welled up as I read your candid unfolding of your beautiful little boy’s journey into life. I love that you wrote ‘your fear was now content to scoot down the bench…….and was replaced by Love, sweet dreams for Ace’s life and relief that God has given us the better gift’. You put things so well.
    So, here you all are, with your gorgeous, chubby cheeked little baby boy, added to your family life. In the long haul and from the start of every short haul too, Ace is still your lovely boy. He has Downs. And? And?? God hasn’t given you this little boy, full of potential, with a labelled condition, so that He will desert you at the first hurdle. God WILL give you everything you need and more beside so that you will have victory over all the worries you will face in Ace’s nurturing and growth. God will bring you endless and untold joy, through Ace. Ace will love you, in a new way. Love you won’t have experienced before. He is your Gift and he will surprise you!!
    May our bounteous heavenly Daddy fill your lives with His presence, reflected in this ‘Ace’ gift He’s given! Hallelujah!!!!!

  • Tim Carlisle

    I grew up with an Uncle who had Down’s, he was born in the 1950’s when nobody had a clue. I don’t know much about his childhood – my Mum was the big sister, my other uncle the middle child. He had a younger brother but he died as an infant. And yet my grandparents brought him up and did the best they could with no support or help. He lived with them when I was young – I remember he went on a bus to college, he got up early every day so that he could light the Ray-Burn, bring in the coal and the wood for the fire. He loved football (Soccer), pop music and if I was especially good he would let me into his room, his domain and he’d play me The Who or The Shadows or whatever else he was into. He made rag rugs that were everywhere in my grandmother’s house and when they came to stay at our house he had my room and made it his place. He happily whiled away the time collecting apples and drawing. He was also so so loving, hugs and kisses everywhere he was 30 years older than me but he was brilliant too. I remember his welcoming people into my grandparents church, giving them a hymn book and service book, I remember him always being the one to clear the plates from the table or make the tea but I also remember him being the one to sulk! Emotions of all kinds were big. After by grandpa died he still lived with my grandma, she kept going because of him, and yet while her body was weak and she couldn’t do things – he looked after her and meant that she could stay at home much longer and live in the house that my grandpa built. He was such a wonderful person, and yes such a blessing.

  • Jo

    Hi Micha, I have followed your blog for a little while and found great encouragement and wisdom from it. I am Mum to two small boys and some of your posts about parenting your boys have really resonated with me. Also, my sister is 20 and has Down Syndrome. As a family we made a decision to adopt her when I was 14. Life has certainly been far from ordinary with her but one of the greatest gifts she has given to us (my family and in fact my whole wider community) is to lead us, to force us into living more fully in the present. Also she loves to dance the conga.

    It distresses me that so often these days we loose the chance to grow with and experience the gifts of people who our society deems not ‘normal’ and I truely rejoice when people like you and your husband have stood up against what may be expected of you and have chosen to enter into the challenge and joy of life with a child with a disability. I rejoice that you guys are receiving this gift with hands and hearts and eyes wide open (though no doubt with trepidation also) and know that God will grow and teach and bless you all through this little man, just as he did us through my sister. Bless you guys!!

  • Alexandra Kuykendall

    I have this 3 times over, shared it with my readers, I just can’t get enough of Ace or of your beautiful, beautiful thoughts here. Thank you for sharing this part of your journey with us. Ace is already a gift to the world.

  • Lauren @ Sippinglemonade.com

    Beautiful! A friend texted me your story this morning — right before I went to get my 4-year-old daughter (who happens to have Down syndrome) up for the day. She greeted me with a contagious smile, threw her arms up in the air and yelled “Surprise!” I love the way she greets every day like a birthday party. I found out the day she was born — had similar emotions that you share here — and then quickly realized she is one of the best gifts I could’ve ever been given (along with her brother and two sisters). Congratulations on your sweet, sweet boy Ace — he is so precious!!

  • It’s nice to meet you, Ace. Thank you so much for this beautiful reflection, Micha.

  • Hello Ace. Welcome to the world. You are beautiful and loved. A true treasure, an ace.

  • wren

    Congratulations on your beautiful sweet new boy!!!! You have just received the most precious gift in the whole world….I know, I received mine on 1/16/2010 and his name is Sutter! This new little boy will change your world in ways you didn’t even know were possible.

  • CalebWilde

    People with Downs are the some of the most beautiful people I know. I thought you family couldn’t become more beautiful, but Ace has proved me wrong 🙂

  • Thank you. I had the privilege to work for Westcare in Perth, Australia some years ago. Westcare predominantly employ people with DisAbilities. I learned so much while working there. I learned that many of us who do not have DisAbilities, instead have what I these days think of as MisAbilities. We miss the ability to be fun loving, kind and accepting in a way that many people with DisAbilities seem to have in abundance. The Christmas parties at Westcare are the best I have ever attended. No alcohol but the best atmosphere and exhilarating joy. A year back or so I was able to see one of the people I worked with in a TV documentary called “Dreamhouse”. Two people with Down’s syndrome and one with autism set out to learn how to live independently in a house in a suburb of Perth. How I wish our government would run programs that could make this a reality for many more. Now that would be worth paying tax for.

  • Candice Whitley Lanning

    Beautiful.

  • Welcome, sweet darling, baby boy, your beautiful Ace. May your whole family continue to be held close, staying fast in God’s love.

  • Lisa Van Allen

    Micha thank you so much for your words, I am so encouraged as we are walking an amazingly similar road. We also found out in December our little guy had a 99% chance of being born with Down Syndrome. And we welcomed little Henri on April 15 and found that he does have Down Syndrome. I loved what you wrote about trusting in the goodness of the One who gives. We are right there with you trusting Him for Henri and welcoming him into our family.

    • Lisa—Congratulations!!! We have 4 little boys and our second was born 7 years ago on April 15th!!! Our 4th has DS and is 2 yrs old. What a blessing you have! Trust in Him and take each day at a time! Henri is good hands with you trusting the Lord!!

  • karen

    As the mother of 13 children and one lovely daughter that has Down i have found the difficult moments to be just seconds long in the whole scheme of life but the grace filled lessons are lasting me a lifetime. I am so honored to have been chosen for this gift and extra special education in grace.

    • Christi

      “I have found the difficult moments to be just long seconds…”. Thank you Karen! This really spoke to me as a mother of a wonderfully strong spirited and rambunctious 4 year old boy. Going to write it down right now as a reminder! 🙂

  • Julie

    Hi Micha. You don’t know me but I’d like to share an important message with you. I’ve known hundreds of people with developmental disabilities, adults and children. If there is one message I could give all of their parents it’s this: don’t treat him any differently from your other children. Expect a lot from him. Encourage, support and love him just as you do your other kids and work diligently for him not to be set apart from or other than kids his own age. Be imaginative in how you raise and support him and do everything you can to keep him fully included in childhood, in life. He is a gift, no more and no less than your other children. He has capabilities you can’t imagine. A lot of so-called professionals (and I am one!) will try to predict his future. Don’t listen to them. Be his strongest ally and advocate, not just for services but in life. Blessings on you and your family and especially your new little one!

  • Ami

    He is simply perfect. Congratulations on your beautiful baby boy.

  • Becky Cole

    he is precious!!! congratulations mama!!

  • Coleen

    He IS perfect! God bless you all.

  • Sandy Doyle

    What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it and for sharing pictures of Ace. He is beautiful and wonderfully and perfectly made by God. What a blessing he is to you and you are to him. God Bless your entire family. Please keep sharing pictures and the adventures you have with him.

  • CarriAn Murray

    I was honored to be a big sister to my sister, Krysta, who was born with DS. She passed away 5 years ago. I hope you will sense the sincerity in my words when I tell you that you have been blessed by God to have been given Ace. I would not be who I am today it if hadn’t been for Krysta. She has taught me so much about life and unconditional love. Without her I would not understand God the way I do, the way his plan for our lives is always perfect despite what we think…Your family has been especially chosen to be Ace’s family. God knows what a wonderful job you will do. God gave you Ace not because he needs you, but you need him too….in more ways than you could ever imagine. Blessings beyond measure to you all and please kiss that adorable face for me!

  • Megan Landmeier

    Hi and welcome to the greatest part you never wanted to be part of. My daughter Ellie has Down syndrome too. (I found your blog through cara and then another old yl friend asked if I knew you!) Ace and his own relationship with Christ will amaze you.

  • Emily Hauser

    He is beautifully perfect and perfectly beautiful!

  • Rick Julie Paige

    Beautiful story and astounding words of wisdom. Recently diagnosed with colon cancer (at age 42), your words (God’s gifts..) echo my own thoughts. God didn’t give me cancer, but, rest assured He will use it for His glory. All praise, honor, and glory be to Him. God Bless you all!

  • Cindy Little Nunez

    Welcome to your amazingly blessed family, sweet little Ace! Praying for your family for wisdom and direction in raising this precious little guy!

  • Judy Mortenson Gilmer Beach

    Blessing to you every day of your life!!!

  • Congratulations!!! What a blessing to add this new little one to your life! Your prayer for your boys’ hearts to be full of love and compassion echoed and still echo our hearts as well! We have 4 boys, our youngest with Down syndrome. We, too, went through those same emotions upon learning of his diagnosis in utero. But, oh my! How we quickly moved on and how time helps, but how the Lord is gracious and loving is even more amazing and healing!
    I’m so excited for your family and your faith and for you to see the joy in your new normal!
    Love!!!

  • Carin Reddig

    He is perfect.

  • Sarah Michelle Moore

    He’s beautiful! Congratulations, Micha and family 🙂

  • Megan@TrueDaughter

    Welcome to sweet Ace – he is indeed perfect. I don’t know him, but I would smooch those chubby cheeks if I could!

  • Amy Dauwer Hatzigiannis

    Beautiful boy and beautiful family!! Lots of love for your little Ace!!!

  • Peggy Corsaut

    God bless you and your beautiful family! Ace is gorgeous! He is a miracle and a blessing and will touch many hearts and lives!

  • Heike Lange

    Hi Micha ,
    listen to Julie, she knows what she’s talking about. I work with many people who all have individual needs, but one gentle man is different from all the other. He also has down syndrome, rised as the 2nd youngest off 8 children. Mum and dad, as well all his siblings have treated him as equal. Now he is 46, a landscaper , very clean in his personal care, and incredible fussy when doing the laundry or vacuum. He is loved by the whole community (for real) and very independent. He is riding his bike all over the town on his own.
    I could go on and on about him, but to finish off, he had the chance of getting no allowance for being down but many for being Himself.

  • pen44

    He’ll always be “Ace” to his big brother!!

    May God bless your family!!

  • Gary Gregory

    Your family has been blessed! Our daughter Venice was born in ’09. We had no idea what to expect and shared your fear at first. It goes away quickly. You will be in awe of these special childrens’ ability to make everyone around them smile. You will not understand the offered sympathies of other adults. You will realize you were chosen to be a parent of one of humanity’s purest examples of love. You will watch it ripple around Ace, touching everyone he meets.

  • Corrie Aw.

    Congratulations to all of you! I don’t follow your blog regularly and came across this announcements minutes after finishing your book. First thing that came to my mind was that little Ace was born into the perfect family.

  • Melissa

    He is beautiful~ thank you for sharing him with us.

  • Brianna Farr

    Beautiful baby. Beautiful blog post.

  • aksprinkle

    All children are a gift and will teach you things, but this one is going to teach you completely different things than the others can. We weren’t given the gift of a child with down syndrome, so we went all the way to Ukraine to adopt one! She’s three now, the youngest of our three girls, and has added to our family in amazing ways. I’m always glad to answer any questions, though I’m sure you are getting tons of offers!

  • aksprinkle

    Sorry, my email is aksprinkle@gmail.com if there’s anything I could answer! Contact info is probably helpful!

  • TracyB916

    He is so beautiful. We adopted our fourth son last year. He was born with Down syndrome too. We were excited but bit was also a big step of faith. He is only one but he is such an amazing blessing and addition to our family. We are navigating the new to us road of hearing loss together. We’ve learned and grown so much. The biggest thing we have learned is that he is so much more than a diagnosis. He is fearfully and wonderfully made. Praying for you during this transition and entry to a new world. Presiding God for your precious gift! Love the brother pic!

  • Cory

    Congratulations! He IS a perfect boy! A good and fine gift! Praise God! He is beautiful!

  • Amy Knueppel

    Congratulations on sweet Ace! We found ourselves on the same journey – one that I never would have chosen for myself, but it is proving to be a wonderful thing. You are right that it is hard. But it is beautiful and refining. It will connect you to so many awesome families who have a family member that rocks that extra chromosome. We have learned to celebrate the small things, that things are never on our timeline, and that there is beauty in difference. Welcome to the Down syndrome family. We’re so happy to have you!

  • Stacey VB

    Hello Micha, what you’ve written, I know all too well, we are 3.5 years further down this road with our beautiful girl. The fear, the worry have mostly dissipated away and what is left is a whole lot of beauty. There will be hard days, days full of tears, but they will pale in comparison to the joy and the love Ace will bring. The Down syndrome community is one of the most spectacular things I never knew I wanted to be a part of and when you are ready, there are so many people who will walk with you down this path. One of my favorite quotes after my daughter was born was this, “When I retrace the Lord’s faithfulness before, and look ahead in hope, not in fear…This is when I see the ‘story’ instead of just a ‘page.’ And He writes beautiful stories. He just does.” A.M. Musgrove Congratulations Mama, it’s going to be ok!

  • Linda Dobson

    Ace you a beautiful baby. No other words needed. Because your kindness and love fill a room up with joy. Makes me smile.

  • Linda Dobson

    If you ever need anything I’m here. I would drop what I’m doing handing off to appropriate ppl of course and the just find some way to get to you to hell with what feels like an endless journey. God put me here to help me so here I am 🙂

  • Stephanie

    Hi Micha,
    I can’t believe what a blessing God is trusting you with. Ace is beautiful, I always thought that children with Down Syndrome were true gifts from God. They show you his beauty and his grace every day, you will truly be able to see the face of Christ through Ace, he will be awesome and God-filled, he will never lose his love of God because this is how God blesses them, to let them live in Christ ALL THE TIME. We, as adults, unfortunately lose sight of God when we go from children to teen/young adults alot of the time. Ace will always be able to see the face of God and for that I am a little jealous. Some days I have to search for God in every little thing I do, Ace won’t have to do that, He will be at the fore front the whole time. Congratulations on Ace and enjoy his every day life.

  • Beautiful Micha. Thank you for your example of bold and beautiful love.

  • whitney bailey

    praying for your family this morning, micha.

    i pray that the Father would give to you, in keeping with the riches of His own majestic glory, supernatural vitality to be strengthened by His Spirit in your inner being… that as Christ dwells by faith in your heart, you, being rooted and grounded in His agape love, might comprehend the width, the length, the hight, and the depth of that same love… that you might discern this agape love of Christ more reliable than human understanding… and that you may be filled to the full measure of the Immeasurable Fullness that is God Himself. (eph. 3:16-21)

  • Deborah

    Congratulations on your little boy! Ace is adorable. My son Ben has Down syndrome and turns 4 at the end of July. He’s a great kid, and the community of families in the Down syndrome community has been incredibly welcoming and supportive of him (and us). And so has my MOPS family. Have you read “A Good and Perfect Gift” by Amy Julia Becker? Wonderful book.

  • Ashley

    Congratulations to your beautiful baby boy Ace, my husband and I just welcomed our 1st child Abel Jaxon 3 months ago who was diagnosed with DS and heart defects at birth. So i feel we can relate on so many levels as we both are going down this journey that will sure teach us so many life lessons and fill our hearts with more joy than we can handle…. best wishes 😊

  • Nancy Huggett

    Oh my Micha! I have been reading and following you for a long time. Your writing had brightened and lightened and deepened my life in many ways. And now .. congratulations on Ace! He will be such a wonderful addition to your wonderful family. I had taken a hiatus from blogging for 2 (exactly!) years, and just posted new writing today. I had also taken a hiatus from reading blogs … and then when I went to look for you today … this is what I found! My daughter Jessie is 25 and she has Down syndrome! It is life with her (and the transition years … so far away from where you are now, but just as exciting and unnerving) that I had been blogging about. I am so very happy for you and so look forward to reading more of your writing! Yes, as you so beautifully put it, our children, all our children, have the ability to change the direction our lives are going. And I so look forward to your chronicling of how this baby blesses you all.

  • Nicole Helmstetler

    He is perfect.

  • Christi

    He IS perfect! And so handsome! Crying tears of joy for your family with the addition of this beautiful blessing!!!

  • Abigail

    You have no idea how much this story connected with me, inspired me and touched my heart! I’ve added a picture of my 3 month old son Ace! He has hydrocephalus and microphthalmia. We never dreamed that the doctors would tell us at 24 weeks pregnant that our son may not survive and if he did he may have zero quality of life. He is thriving and the biggest fighter I know! God has blessed us with the greatest gift, tho the story has not been what we planned we are truly blessed! I love your little man Ace! He is beautiful! Know that my Ace and I will always be praying for you and thinking of you!

  • Kendra Tanner

    My cousin has down’s syndrome, the youngest of three. Her spirit is raw, beautiful, innocent. I have learned love from her. And the impact on her family… although there are trials, it has brought them together in an unexplainable way. For sure a ‘blessing’.