Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Tony and Nate

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'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.
And you know what?
Ok, I realize I don't even need to say it....
But I'm going to anyway.
Tony was right.
God Bless you, dear friend.


  1. You're right Jill. I'll never forget that either. It makes me emotional just to think of it actually. No pity, no fake smiles, nothing awkward - Tony was genuinely excited. What a God send.

  2. I am blessed, (very tearfully blessed right now). Thank you for this post and for your love. It is timely on this day as I have spent the entire day wrestling with God, trying to understand my place and gift. My tears are in reverence to His plan and purpose and also to His mighty army represented here by the Kocian clan!
    Yet I am also sad (very tearfully so again) that the celebration of God's incredible gift of a beautiful baby with DS is not the norm. I long for the day when the church can celebrate the blessing God has bestowed on the family of a baby, uniquely and magnificently made, by the ultimately creative maker. I would not be living or working for God if not for the gift of God, 18 years ago using a young man with DS to help me understand just what Gods plan for me was and is... to be yearning for more of Jesus and less of me. The day a baby with DS is born will always signal to me... "more of Jesus" and that is something to truly celebrate. Nate in any room is like a magnate, not drawing to him self, but a magnate to draw us closer to Jesus. Thank you guys, you mean more to me than you know, I love you.