Indy’s grandma Kat, my mother, is a very special lady. When trying to put a description of her into words the first thing that comes to mind whimsical. To be whimsical is to be “playfully quaint or fanciful, in an appealing way. Imaginative. ‘Fantastical’.” I didn’t know fantastical was even a word but it describes my mother perfectly! Her joy is found in little things like fairy gardens and tea parties. Her bedroom is like a whimsical boutique of gems & stones & more jewelry than you have ever seen. She is magically imaginative. Since the time Indy was born she has been making plans and collecting items, including dresses for her granddaughters, for our first “Fairy Tea Party”. My mother submerses herself in a world of fantasy and joy.
Grandma Kat has had the privilege of knowing many people with Down syndrome through her work. As long as I can remember she has talked about the deep love she has for these people. She is drawn to them and their playful spirits. It suits her, but it is something I never thought too much about it.
After Indy was born my mom said she had some things to tell me. She told me that for over 10 years, she just knew that someone with Down syndrome was going to be a part of her life. She didn’t know how it would come to her, but she knew it would. She prayed often to know what she needed to do to find this person. She thought maybe she was supposed to adopt a child with Down syndrome- but hadn’t been led there yet. “Never in a million years did I dream she would come to me through my own child… It’s better than I ever could have imagined”.
My mom told me that throughout my entire pregnancy she was nervous that Indy was going to Down syndrome. While the thought made her happy, she was scared of how I would take something like that. As I was struggling in those first couple months to accept this diagnosis of Down syndrome and this new life- my mom cried tears of guilt thinking (for a brief moment) that she somehow prayed this upon me. That somehow Indy came to us with Down syndrome because my mom needed her. While she was so grateful and happy to have Indy in our family, she saw the pain that I was experiencing and naturally wanted to take it away. She shared stories with me of some of the children she knew with Down syndrome, told me about their families and how happy they were, and offered to connect me with some of them. She reminded me often of the positive aspects of having Indy, how fun loving and happy she was going to be, and how she would make me happy too. She came over almost daily to comfort me and see Indy. She could hardly stand to be away from her.
A significant amount of the healing that took place in my heart in those early months came from the love, support, and excitement of my family. My mothers deep love and adoration for Indy brought me comfort. I felt peace knowing that as long as Indy had her grandma Kat she would be loved, accepted, happy, (and entertained), always.
And still, after 18 months of having Indy Llew in our lives, my mom can hardly stand to go a day without seeing her. I write through tears as I quote what she has said many times- “I truly consider Indy Llew to be the greatest blessing I have ever been given in life”. Because now I do, too.
Indy was perfectly designed for me and B. But she was also perfectly designed for her grandmother. From fairy tea parties to magic gardens to dress up and make believe, Indy is always going to have a best friend in her grandma Kat. I feel privileged that God allowed me to be the one that brought them together. It truly was by His divine design.
Thank you mom for all that you are and all the love you give. Not only to me & Indy, but to all those around you. You bring a little bit of whimsical magic into this world with your fun-loving, wondrous awe for life. You truly are fantastical. Just like Indy.
Love you mom,