Category Archives: Down Syndrome

An Unexpected Trip to Minnesota

It’s true! Sam and I made the long journey from Kenya to Minnesota one week ago. Not at all something we planned so early in our first term in Kenya.

Why are we here? A couple weeks ago, Pete and I took Sam to another mission hospital in Kenya to see an ear specialist who was visiting from the U.S. We had noticed some changes in his behavior that made us think he may not be hearing as well as he could be. We discovered during the appointment that Sam does indeed have decreased hearing in his right ear. Because of his past ear issues, we prayed about it and sought counsel from our mentors before deciding it would be best for me to take him to Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

We arrived in Minneapolis on Saturday, Jan 14 and took a shuttle van to Rochester. Monday afternoon, Sam had a hearing test and Tuesday morning, we met with the ear specialist. He agreed that Sam does have hearing loss, which may be due to a plugged ear tube. He’ll be able to take a closer look tomorrow morning when Sam is under anesthesia. The ear doctor referred us to his colleague who specializes in working with people who have Down syndrome. He recommended Sam have a sleep study to determine if he has sleep apnea, something that is very common in those with Down syndrome and can be very hard on the heart. We were squeezed in for a sleep study on Wednesday night and discovered Thursday morning that Sam definitely does have sleep apnea. Therefore, he has been scheduled to have his tonsils and adenoids removed tomorrow morning, January 22. Pete’s parents will be staying with us at an Airbnb rental house for a few days following his surgery. I’m so thankful they’ll be able to help! And my parents have been here in the last week to keep us company and take us shopping. We will stay in Rochester for two weeks following Sam’s surgery, and then we hope to head right back to Kenya. This is a long time for us to be away from Ella and Pete!

I’ve been told this procedure comes with a painful recovery, so will you please be praying for Sam in the next few days? We’ll be stocking the freezer with lots of Popsicles and Jello, and we’ll have plenty of movies available. I’ll post again later in the week with an update on how Sam’s healing is progressing. Thank you for praying with us!


Extraordinary Moms Podcast


I first found the Extraodinary Moms Podcast when my dear friend, Anna, shared a link to an episode she had been a part of last spring. I started binge listening in the middle of our move in June and found so much encouragement from each of the mamas. Every story I heard was personal and unique, the common thread being Jesus and how he has encouraged each of them along the path of motherhood. I connected with Jessica Dahlquist, host of the Extraordinary Moms podcast, when I responded to one of her Instagram posts in July. We started talking and, a short time later, she invited me to be on her show. What an honor! A couple weeks ago we recorded the episode over FaceTime and today it is live!

In our interview, Jess asks me about life in Kenya, how we got here, how we held onto hope when the process to get here was so long, and how things changed when Sam was born. You can find the episode a couple different ways. One, search for Extraordinary Moms Podcast in your podcast app. Or two, click here to visit the podcast’s website and listen straight from there.

This was such a fun opportunity to share our story. I hope you enjoy listening!


Sharing Sam’s Story

Today I’m sharing the story of Sam’s birth and how his diagnosis has influenced our work in Kenya on Cedar’s Story is a beautiful resource for parents and friends to find support and ideas while navigating the world of Down syndrome. I’d love for you to read the post! Simply click here. What an honor it is to share our journey!


You Are Worthy, Sweet Boy

When our Samuel was ten months old, a professional acquaintance told me the story of her own scare with Down syndrome during her second pregnancy. I sat next to her at the little kindergarten-size table while our kids played at the library. Sam laid quietly on a blanket near our feet, gumming a stuffed giraffe. “We did the amnio because I just had to know. My husband and I couldn’t have handled a child with Down syndrome. Thank God the test was negative,” she told me quite matter-of-factly. I was so surprised at her remark, I didn’t know how to respond. I can’t even remember what we talked about after that, but I do remember saying goodbye about ten minutes later, scooping up my little boy, walking out to my Jeep, and crying while holding him to my chest.

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