A father reflects on his daughter’s journey into elementary school

During the spring of 2009, my wife Michelle and I embarked on our adoption journey. The birth parents chose my wife Michelle and me to be their daughter’s parents about a month or so before Faith was born. We were overjoyed to say the least.

As the big day of Faith’s arrival approached, Michelle and I were cleared to talk with the doctor and find out Faith’s medical status. When we arrived, we assumed that the doctors would go over all of the possible scenarios regarding the health concerns associated with Down syndrome. While they did do that, the doctors also informed us that there was a good chance that Faith might have Dandy Walker syndrome. The doctors shared that if this diagnosis were correct, Faith could have a brain malformation where there is a missing part of the brain between the two hemispheres. If true, it meant Faith would likely not walk, talk or even be able to feed herself. It also meant she may have a shortened life span. We were devastated.

Fortunately, right after she was born, the doctors discovered that she did not have Dandy Walker syndrome, but did indeed have Down syndrome, which also presents significant physical and intellectual challenges. To meet those challenges, we would need outside help.

Tim Orr is an adjunct faculty member at IUPUC where he has taught for more than eight years. He is also author of the book “We Named Her Faith: How We Became a Gospel-Centered Family.” He can be reached at tmorr@iupui.edu