Normal as WE know it . . . even though change is coming.

We’ve been wanting to start a blog for several weeks to document our journey, but as you can imagine when you read a little bit further down, it’s been an roller coaster of emotions the last 5 months.

Around 16 weeks of this pregnancy, on the day we found out our Gracie was going to add a little GIRL to our family, we also heard from my doctor that a screener came back positive for Down Syndrome. There are lots of false positives for this particular screener, and she assured us that since we met none of the risk factors usually associated with having a baby with Down Syndrome, she was sure this was a false positive.

She encouraged us to make an appointment with UAB to get a hyper-sensitive blood test done that is 99.2% accurate in detection. There are other things we could have done, like an amniocentesis, but that comes with a risk of miscarriage, so that wasn’t something we were willing to do. But the blood test? Why not.

If you’re wondering why we even agreed to any screenings, that’s a fair question. In the last few weeks, we’ve had people tell us their OBGYN offices don’t offer it because it isn’t the “Christian thing to do.” Regardless of what you may believe, for us, terminating a pregnancy — no matter what the outcome of a test was, would never have been an option. Based on that, we saw many more benefits of doing the additional screening — and it turns out we were right on the benefits (another blog post on that is in the works!)

So, we got additional blood work and waited another 10 days.

In the meantime, we had a very detailed ultrasound at UAB that basically showed nothing. Maybe a small “marker” on a finger, but other than that, no physical markers.

I (Jamie) remember seeing my doctor’s number pop up on my caller ID. I was finishing up an appointment for work, so I walked outside to the waiting room to take the call. She told me the test was positive — the 99.2% accurate test was positive.

I don’t remember too much about our conversation, except her asking me where I was and if I needed her to call my husband to come get me (I love her by the way…she is amazing). I remember her telling me her sister works with children that have special needs, and that she adores her children with Down Syndrome.

I remember thinking, “How am I going to get to my car?”

“How am I going to get out of the parking garage and drive to my husband?”

“How am I going to tell my husband?”

I remember physically shaking as I returned some stuff to the office I was at and walking to my car.

I drove to Les’s office and told him to come outside and told him. And my husband – my amazing, wonderful, unwavering husband, took a deep breath and said, “OK. So this is our new normal. We’re gonna be just fine. Let’s rock this.” I can’t even express to you the strength of my husband. God put us together. I was a basket case and my husband was strong.

We immediately got some amazing prayer and support from Les’s two co-workers and then spent some time talking to our families. Our families had the same reaction as Les. We can’t ever thank them enough for the amazing support. And to our friends, many of whom we’ve had some hard, tear-filled conversations with – thank you. The community that God continues to build around us is truly a gift from Him.

We know there may be many challenges ahead (like open heart surgery — more on that coming soon), but we also realize what a mountain of blessings awaits.

One of the things we’ve held tightly to is that this is God’s Plan A for our lives. This isn’t a mistake, or a second-best plan. This is His Plan A for us. Praise God for that. Our hope is found in Him alone. Our faith has been tested and we’re humbly looking forward to the faith journey that lies ahead. At the end of the day, as followers of Jesus, it boils down to trusting our Sovereign God. Period. It’s not easy. We may not be perfect at trusting all the time, but we’re hopeful in this new normal and ready for all the joy Gracie will bring us and ultimately we pray her life will bring God great glory.

So . . . welcome! Welcome to our journey. We’ll blog about life, our family, our hope, and more stuff too. More than anything, this blog is about things being normal as WE know it.

Subscribe and follow along.

Posted in Down Syndrome, Every Day Stuff, Gage, Gracie
24 comments on “Normal as WE know it . . . even though change is coming.
  1. Leah Glasscock says:

    Thank you for writing this blog. I have so badly wanted to catch up with you for so long. Please know that my heart is burdened for y’all. I will be praying for all of you and Gracie. I know The Lord has such amazing things in store for your family. You and Les have such sweet, sensitive spirits that God designed in a special way to raise that sweet little girl.
    Love you, Leah

  2. Naomi Gillespie says:

    Dear sweet Jamie your new normal will be awesome my grandson Colton has downs he is two years old he is a bright light that lights up the world when he smiles. I will be praying and following your journey. love ya’ll God Bless!!

  3. Paul Turner says:

    Jamie – I am a friend of Les and we talked back in November. He is a rock as you say. I have been praying for you and Gracie since that day that Les shared with me your new normal.

  4. Noah's Dad says:

    Can’t wait to “meet” your little one! Thanks for sharing her story!

  5. Prayers for you all. God knows that y’all are the perfect parents for Gracie and I stand in awe of that! It takes such special people to see that this is God’s perfect plan for their life. Amazing things are going to happen in your lives and His glory will be evident for all to see.

  6. Maggie says:

    Hi Jamie! We welcomed our own little girl with DS into our family about 7 weeks ago and we’re blogging about it also. We feel blessed that God has entrusted us with the care of Tessa and while it isn’t what we expected, we have found that she fits right into our family and we adore her. Looking forward to hearing more about your journey!

  7. Ashleigh knight says:

    Jamie, I am so looking forward to meeting sweet Gracie. Your thoughts on faith and God’s plan touched my heart. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers. Please let me know if I can help y’all in any way. Love, ashleigh

  8. Parys says:

    Jamie, y’all have been in resting on my heart for awhile now. I’ve been praying for your family. Your blog is beautiful and reflects your spirit and trust in God. I almost cried it reasonated so much love. We love y’all and can’t wait to meet sweet Gracie!

  9. Erin Searson says:

    I’ve been thinking of you the past several days. Your faith in a Gods plan is inspiring but I’m not surprised by it or you- I know God has been preparing you and Les for this journey and Gracie is blessed to have you as parents. I will be following along and praying!

  10. Rhonda Gentle Posey says:

    Our prayers are with you. I helped my friend many years ago to take care of her special child. I was blessed everytime I was with him. Love & Prayers!

  11. Haley says:

    Love you! And love what you said about this being God’s Plan A! I need to remember that in so many situations. Love you. Can’t wait to see her .

  12. Eva Atchley Ikard says:

    Jamie I know you and les will do great with Gracie. I know Gage will be a wonderful brother. I am praying that you will have an easy delivery. I am sure she will be beautiful. I will be glad to hear she has arrived. I love ya’ll..


  13. Melody Posey Pigg says:

    Lifting you and your family up in prayer! May God be with you each step of the way! God already has a plan for Gracie and he knows you’ll be awesome parents.

  14. Lisa Ruggles says:

    Jamie I don’t even know you, but a friend shared your story on FB. I felt a special need to just say hello!! I too have a special girl who now is 20 years old. “Back then” they did not have this second test, so we did not know that she was Downs. But just to have known would have been a blessing, with absolutely no desire to terminate. But, oh how our lives have been changed and enriched by this special soul. My husband was our rock b/c when she was born she was flown from the Shoals to UAB with a heart defect. She was very healthy and strong so surgery was put off till she was 5 months old. She went through it with no problems or set backs. We celebrate her “heart surgery” every year on St. Patrick’s day. This March its will be 20 years!!!! She has brought us both so much closer to our awesome God. She is a true example of His innocent grace. So many years later we sorta realize just what works He has accomplished through her life. We look forward longingly to see what He accomplishes in the future. Your blog will help many, I have no doubt. Ask God to use her for his glory and ask for wisdom as you make decisions as she grows. I pray for your peace of mind that He knows whats best. You’ve been blessed my dear, we all have. I look forward to your blog/posts. My name is Lisa Ruggles, in Muscle Shoals, AL.

  15. Shelley says:

    I cannot wait to meet her and love on y’all! You are such a special family to us and we’re so thankful for your friendship! Praying for you!

  16. Rhena Westmoreland says:

    Les and Jamie I have taught several downs kids over the years and let me assure you they are very special children! Blessings to all who know and work with them! I have always believed God trust special people with these Angels…. You fit the bill! :))

  17. Mary Jo Lorino says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with your sweet little family. May God bless you with the courage and strength you need to handle what is ahead of you. May God’s joy, love, and peace be with you. God bless you sweet baby Gracie!

  18. Carolyn Gentle says:

    Wayne and i are praying for you all as you begin this wonderful journey with Gage and Gracie.God bless!

  19. Naomi says:

    Jamie Gracie is beautiful, just like her mom, praying for all of you such a precious family, love to all God Bless!!1

  20. Jenny Evers says:

    Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl. I just heard of your family and your news and wanted to reach out to you. Seems Les and I are from the same hometown as well. I too have a “special” little boy. I know all those feelings, concerns, and doubt you both are feeling and want you your not alone.:) God has a plan for your Gracie, and a special purpose..”He doesn’t make mistakes”. Keep praying, keep believing and trusting him to guide you all on your journey and you will never fail. God has been so good to our family and is our source of strength. Samuel has been the greatest blessing to our family and if I had the chance to change it, I wouldn’t. If you ever need to talk, I would love to be there! I’ve learned most through other parents, as Doctors are great, but don’t know everything 😉 She will be just fine.:) In the meantime check out our group and we are on FB as well. I will be praying for her and all of you as you adjust to your “new normal”….. and you “will”.:) Hugs and happiness to you all:)

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