Another interesting pick while making our second return trip from viewing the durian trees was a mango found on the pavement. It was unripened, had a black top patch on its green skin but other than that it looked very much like a good mango. That same night, my father came for dinner and warned me that such mangoes could smell really fragrant when ripened but are usually found with worms. Two colleagues swung by my place later that evening and one of them concurred with my dad when she saw the Horse Mango in my fruit basket.
4 days passed and the fruit smelled fragrant enough to be eaten. While paring the skin, I went extremely slow because I was anticipating the ‘worms’ that my father and ex-colleague spoke of. Honestly, I cut with a tinge of fear and had pictures of worms squirming and oozing out of the fruit while removing its skin. These unfounded paranoia hindered the way I interacted with the supposedly ‘delightful’ find. To my pleasant surprise, there were no worms and the fruit was extremely juicy and sweet. It can’t beat a Thai honey mango of course because this particular species had a big seed and was fibrous.
Strangely, the Lord led me to remember KR through this mango incident. Just like how my dad and ex-colleague immediately associated this sort of mangoes with worms just by a mere look, many actually labelled children with Down Syndrome too. Our children have certain similar physical characteristics and hence its easy to tell them apart from a normal kid. Hence, some see them as the lesser sort of kids; slow and not very clever. Some see them as a liability; never able to achieve independence. Some even see them as ‘rubbish’, useless and should be thrown; wish they were never born. To go the extreme, some don’t even see them as lives; they are exterminated before they could even see the world. Sad but true, this is the world we live in today. Many do not see the potential children with Down Syndrome has.
A parent I got to know actually put their baby up for adoption after learning that the child has Down Syndrome at birth. The child was 5 months when we got acquainted in the hospital because KR was admitted at 3 months due to Aspiration Pneumonia. Under a very divine encounter, I met the parents and later learned about their decision to give the baby up for adoption. I remembered vividly, the child, Timothy (not his real name), had very good attention span when I read a story to him at his cot. His neck control was also phenomenal!!! Comparing, his muscle tone to KR’s, his was definitely much much better. I was heart broken to hear about his parents’ resolution to their bitter journey because when I saw the child, I saw great potential, in fact greater than my son because of how KR first began his journey of life. Months down the road, through an acquaintance’s recount, I learned that Timothy was learning to creep and that same week, KR crawled. I felt very sad for Timothy because I know if, and only if, he has that same quality of care as KR, he is definitely going to achieve much more than what he is doing now.
Much intervention and prayers have gone to where KR is today and indeed to God be the glory. It’s never my intention to boast of what my son could do through this post, cos in fact, there are many which he can’t. Many which his peers could and he is still struggling to do. However, I take joy even in his weaknesses, in his inabilities, in his handicap because I know he will only grow stronger and more able to overcome his handicap.
Potential is like gold in a hidden chest, it needs to be unlocked, to be discovered. The Lord has reminded me to look beyond the surface of things in life; the superficial; the physical. Instead, look with eyes of His – that which sees us as…
- Salt and light Matt 5:13-14
- more than conquerors in Christ Romans 8:37
- God’s handiwork, designed for good works Ephesians 2:10
Hence, we can be a contributor to the world, a conqueror in our situation and a creation well loved by God.
KR, this is how mama sees you! The way God does and I love you. Very much.