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December 08, 2008



Wow. None of us have any idea what God has in store for us, all we can do is trust that He knows what He is doing and seek His direction and will. Having a child with a disability can be very frustrating and isolating. There are times when I wonder why God gave me children at all because sometimes just getting through the day is a struggle. But those are the time when He wants me to draw nearer to Him. He doesn't want me going through it alone, but with Him instead. If it were easy, would I remember to rely on Him? God doesn't make mistakes. He made Liam exactly according to His plan. He also made you Liam parents because He has a plan for each of you!

You may not now be able to relate to the frustrations that I elude to, but there are days when you will. The amount of medical and therapeutic needs Liam will need may not be known yet. But God knows already. I am praying for you all and encourage you to pray for His direction, for caregivers and providers who God places in your life, and for Liam to come to know his savior early in life and live to serve Him.

I hope that Erin has not been discouraged to breastfeed, as it is still the best food for Liam. DS babies tend to have lower immune systems and more health challenges. For these reasons, breastfeeding and cloth diapering are still good decisions. Pumping and feeding that way are fine, if he has poor muscle tone and inability to latch on. I encourage you to seek a qualified lactation consultant who is encouraging and committed for times when there may be challenges. I think when you read comments, you are able to see the email address of the posters. If you need more info to find a qualified lc or specifics on nursing a DS baby, feel free to contact me. It is the perfect food provided by our maker, who is the Great Physician. He knew what He was doing when He set it all up! Don't doubt that.

Good luck in your adventure here on earth! God has not left you alone to find your own way!


Hi! Found you through a Twitter search for "Down syndrome" and felt the pull to come here and read. Wanted to tell you congratulations!

Our 3yo son has Down syndrome and has had 2 heart surgeries. Hopefully those are all behind us now. He is a happy and healthy little boy.

May I humbly make a few suggestions? It may be early, but you can always look into these later. Find your local Down syndrome parents and self-advocates group and let them show you the path that they have been on. Nothing cheers my heart more than chatting with young adults with Down syndrome who sound just like any other young adults. The easiest way to find a group near you can be to go to, put in your zip code, and see what groups will be having Buddy Walks in your area.

That's suggestion #2, go to your local Buddy Walk next fall. They are usually held at the end of September or the beginning of October to bring media attention to October as Down syndrome Awareness month.

Suggestion #3 is to look for books written by parents. We had all sorts of technical books given to us by a geneticist, doctors, home visit teachers, etc. I found the most comfort from other parents' stories. One in particular is "Gifts" which has stories written by mothers of children with Down syndrome.

I hope you enjoy parenting your son as much as we do ours. Just remember that they are kids first and their diagnosis second. All the stuff about "they are so sweet and loving" is the face they show to strangers. At home they can be just as stubborn as any other 2yo when they hit "the terrible twos" so don't be surprised when he acts just like a typical kid, with attitude and all!

Congratulations again!


Special parents get special babies. Congratulations on receiving Liam.

Keri J

What a beautiful baby. He was born to 2 wonderful parents & God definitely has a reason for choosing you. I have met you a couple of times at concerts & know that you are a special person just from talking with you. That little boy is going to have a precious life!

claudie brown

congrats on your beautiful angel Liam. i enjoyed the pictures of your precious young family. i discovered downhere last year and have played How many Kings probably a hundred times. keep loving and serving the Lord. my prayers are with all of you. stay strong.


As HUGE Downhere fans, my family follows everyones' blogs and have cheered with the news of the new arrivals-they might as well have been OUR family! When Liam was born, we were thrilled-but when you announced he has Down Syndrome, we smiled and cheered again. You see, my friends, you have been blessed with an angel. God has entrusted to you a beautiful little soul, who is going to make you happier than you can ever imagine being, prouder than you have ever been and will show you what God's love is really all about.

When my 3rd child, Seth, was born 12 years ago, God was making plans for my family that I could never have imagined! He new that we needed Seth as much as Seth needed a family that would love and nurture him unconditionally. He is the joy of our family and has brought God into our lives.

Everytime I look into his eyes, I am reminded that God lent him to us, to love him and care for him, to see him through both the (oh so many) smiles, and the sad, and scary and heartbreaking times...and I thank Him. I thank Him for choosing me, for choosing my family and for letting me see a glimpse of Him...for however long it may be. We are forever changed and grateful.

Congratulations Erin and Jeremy on your blessing, Little Liam. You have been chosen.


God has obviously entrusted Liam to a wonderful family. Please keep us posted as to yuor journey in "Holland".


Jim & Lucille Dye

Erin & Jeremy,
God has honored you with a beautiful little boy, which we are proud to call our first Great Grandson. We are very anxious to meet this precious little addition to your family. May your Christmas be a blessed one. We love you all 3. Grandma & Grandpa Dye


He is absolutely gorgeous and precious! :) Congratulations.


Thank you so very much for your encouraging comment on my blog! I am so happy for you and Erin. Liam is the most beautiful baby boy! :) - Kati

Michael Chriswell

Hey Jeremy! Here's something positive for you to think about. Not too long ago, I shot a video in South Beach Miami, called "Anticipate the Drop". It's the 4th video down, on the home page of Lots of people seem to really identify with that video. If I were doing a new video for you today, it would be called "Anticipate the Blessing". 6 months, 1 year, 3 years and longer down the road, you will start looking back on this and with hindsight being 20/20 you will begin seeing many reasons that God allowed this to happen in your life.

Having been through TONS of adversity, my wife Keri and I have trained ourselves to embrace it and to start looking forward and anticipating all of the very cool reasons that God allowed a certain situation to occur in our life. It always comes down to Romans 8:28 and the sting of the adversity is lessened when we start thinking about God's purposes for it. Start anticipating the Blessing brother! It is an honor that God cares enough about you and your wife to bless you with this adversity....seriously! There will come Tremendous Character Development out of this for YOU!!! God is Blessing YOU!


First, let me say congrats on the birth of that little man - babies are a joy in so many ways.

Second, I know God will provide for you in all you need to raise and care for Liam and his needs. I just participated in a "buddy walk" fundraiser on Saturday to benefit the Houston DS Association, walking with friends whose 8-month old boy has DS. Some words the mom shared with us yesterday, regarding the choices of what therapies, schools, etc. to pursue for him - "We've talked to so many people who have done different things, and they all say it was the best decision for them." I hope that thought brings you peace, that God will bless your care of Liam.

Alice the Brit

Beautifully written Jeremy - I have read that Holland instead of Italy story before, it's so very appropriate.

Enjoyed chatting with you and the rest of us SH fans who were watching the Bethlehem Skyline concert online tonight.

Hope you all make it back DOWNHERE (Ha Ha) to Florida soon


Alice the Brit


Wow, Jer & Erin... I'm just now reading this. I've heard that story about "Holland" read on the air for the past several years during a local radioathon for Duke Children's Hospital, and it's VERY moving. I know God has such a wonderful purpose for Liam's life, and even for having him come 22 days early! (At 7lbs 8oz now, Erin should be GLAD he didn't wait til his due date... it might not have been such a smooth delivery!) ;-) I am SO happy for you all and know that you will both be fantastic, loving parents. He will have SO much love lavished upon him by all of his family, friends and even his own "groupies"! I can't wait to meet your little Dutch Rockstar!! :-)

Joan and Larry

He is an absolute sweetie - just a beautiful little boy! And, you guys will be awesome parents - the Lord will be sufficient! We love you and shall continue to pray for you!

PS: Erin, I have to make a comment about the Mennonite appetite too. We fed Jeremy a few times and David once for sure - those boys do know how to put back a meal. Liam comes by his appetite naturally. :-)


Congratulations!! My sister-in-law reads your blog and e-mailed me your post. We also were surprised to find our little one had ds when she was born 18 months ago. It has been quite a journey for us....I couldn't agree more about the Holland analogy. I was very overwhelmed at first by all of the information that I found about DS. As I am sure you are...I will pray for you and your wife! I would love to talk to you about what we have learned so far and encourage you in this new venture!

kaitlyn tillman

your in my prayers. hang in there.Children w/ disabilities tend too be more loving and dedicated/loyal in my experince


He is beautiful. I am glad that Erin and you are doing good. Gina said it perfectly. He might have DS, but I have a feeling with parents like you two that is not going to stop him from being everything that he can be. I am praying for you guys.


You guys are real ROCKSTARS - beautiful and awesome examples that all of us can learn from. I read this to Miles tonight and at the end, he smiled. We both hope to get the opportunity to meet Liam someday, and to learn from him too!
Much love,
T & M

Jen de Jong

Hey Jeremy,
I remember hearing that analogy when I was in college. When I met my Dutch husband, it was the first thing I thought of when I thought of Holland. Oddly enough, they don't use that analogy there! All that said, Liam is blessed to have parents like you and Erin!


You know, there are things about Holland that are marvelous and wonderful, that one will never experience in Italy. Surely God has the power to moves mightily within us, no matter where we came from or where we've gone.


I have NO DOUBT that you and Erin will be the loving parents that Liam needs (and deserves!) Some of the most loving and amazing people I know have down syndrome... they don't judge, they aren't depressed- they're just happy and full of the unexpected. They demonstrate a joy that seems to come from God himself... an innocence and beauty that glorifies his nature.

Cherish your little boy... love your wife... and know that God is building your testimony- and baby Liam's too.


Liam is beautiful. God bless you and your, even more amazing now, family.

Christopher Redner

Congratulations on adding Liam to your family.

You will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers as you adjust your expectations.

Grace & peace,
Christopher, Jane,
& Robert Lewis Rocket Redner

Sheila  (Troy, Illinois)

Jeremy, we were at that St. Louis/Pontoon Beach concert when your wife went into labor. I prayed for you all evening as you travelled back home. God has blessed you with a beautiful family. Stay close to Him and He will bless your family in ways you can't even begin to imagine.


What a beautifully written, moving post, Jeremy. I love you and Erin and already love your little boy even though I haven't met him! I'm praying for you and Erin as you explore all of the joys that Liam and "Holland" will bring.

Also, I love his name! I'd wondered if Liam was for Erin's dad. He must be so honored!

Keep the updates coming as you're able!

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