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Faith, Down syndrome, and Becoming Human

I read Kathryn Soper's The Year My Son and I Were Born when it was published a few years ago. I reread it recently because I was invited to interview her about her book/experience as the mother of a child with Down syndrome, and I was struck on rereading with the beauty of her prose. I think when I read it the first time, I was busy comparing notes to my own experience, but the second time I was better able to appreciate it as a lovely memoir in its own right.

Anyway, the folks here at Patheos invited Kathryn and me to read each other's memoirs and interview each other. Some of you are probably suffering from A Good and Perfect Gift overload, and if so, you can ignore that part of the interview. But I commend her thoughts and reflections to you. Here's a taste of what she had to say:

Before Thomas arrived, I was willing and able to accept tidy explanations for complicated situations so that I could feel safe in a chaotic world. But his arrival dismantled my paradigm of faith and required me to construct one that had room for the complexity of the experience, and that construction is an ongoing effort.


I think every human being has both the capacity and the opportunity to be wonderful, and that the best in us emerges as we allow life to transform us—particularly, as we allow pain to slough off the layers of self-protection that shroud our tender humanity and keep us isolated from each other. Again, this isn't easy—in fact it's often terrifying and agonizing, which is why we rarely volunteer for the process. But it comes upon us anyway, in one form or another. None of us can opt out of suffering; rather, our choice is whether to resist or surrender to its power of change.

And click here to read the interview(s) in full.

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