When I was 7 months pregnant with Nate, the pastoral staff of our church took a field trip to Camp Daniel.
I am ashamed to say I did not want to go.
I was fat, crabby, tired and most of all, scared. I had had lots of level 2 ultrasounds by that point, and the last thing I needed was to go to a camp that served the disabled. Even though I did not have a conclusive diagnosis yet, I was sure Camp Daniel would send me over the edge.
There were few people who knew anything about my monthly ultrasounds, "soft markers" or the anxiousness I was feeling.
I am private about these matters anyway, so no one at church knew, except for Pastor Jerry and his wife Jeanne.
After spending the day touring camp, I learned for myself that Tony and his wife Karol are pretty special people....
Not only have they built Camp Daniel from the dirt up, they serve the disabled community in an extraordinary way.
It's incredible what they do actually.....and it really takes seeing camp and experiencing camp and falling in love with camp and never wanting to leave camp to truly understand what I'm talking about.
(For now, you may just have to follow the link on my left sidebar to learn more about it. That is, until you can come see first- hand for yourself.)
Just before Nate was born, and shortly after we had visited Camp Daniel that warm autumn day 3 years ago, we confided in Tony that there was the distinct possibility that our son would be born with Down syndrome.
Tony smiled in that soft, comforting and gentle way that he does and said,
"That would be awesome."
(I think he even chuckled)
"THAT WOULD BE AWESOME??!"
That's what he said.
He said, "If Nathan is born with Down syndrome, that would be so awesome."
And I looked at Tony for a long time, and I watched his expressions, and I believed him.
On that day, the little seed of hope that had been hanging on for dear life began to bloom inside my heart.
He wouldn't believe me if I told him that he profoundly touched me on that day.