So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

It was 2005, I was 23 years old and a newlywed when my hand held that doubled lined stick in my hand. After being married less than 2 months, we were already expecting our first child! I had secretly gotten a pregnancy test and took it before I told my husband the wonderful news. He was in our bedroom watching a New York Yankees baseball game when I walked out of our bathroom with the pregnancy test. The look on his face was priceless!

The first few weeks of my pregnancy were normal, nothing besides some nausea. Right around the time my small baby bump formed, it was time for me to go get my 14-week ultrasound. I laid there on the table is awe and loving seeing my baby for the first time on the monitor. I fell in love instantly!

I suddenly looked up at my ultrasound tech who had a concerned look on her face. I knew my baby was alive and had a strong heartbeat. My heart sank as my brain started racing wondering what was wrong. She left the room and brought in a doctor who started doing another ultrasound.

He didn’t say anything to me until he was done, then he looked at me and told me that my baby had multiple markers for having Down syndrome. Short arms and legs, barely any nasal bone, and the nuchal thickening was so abnormal that it was actually considered a Cystic Hygroma or a fluid filled sac. I sat there in shock, I couldn’t say anything. I felt the tears welling up in my eyes but remained silent.

The doctor then told me that I needed to speak with a genetic counselor to go over my options. He led me down a hallway with cheerful pictures but the only thing I could do was silently cry as I walked. I sat down in the genetic counselor’s office. She was sympathetic and started giving me photocopies of various information on Down syndrome and then mentioned getting genetic testing done. I had the option of getting either CVS or Amniocenteses done. CVS could be done as soon as possible, the amnio I would have to wait a few weeks, both would have the same results. She also told me if we would decide to do the testing and the results were positive, that we had the option of ending my pregnancy.

After my appointment, I sat in my car in the parking lot and started crying, I’m not even sure how long I sat there and cried. I felt like I was the only person left on Earth. It was one of the loneliest moments of my life. I finally mustered up enough strength to drive home.

We decided to schedule CVS testing, although no matter what the outcome would be, we could continue on with my pregnancy. Down syndrome or not, this was our first child and we were going to love it no matter how many chromosomes it was going to have!

It took a few days for the results to come back, the doctor called me at home with the results. I had just gotten home from work and looked at the caller ID, my doctor was calling from his house and I knew that doctors only call from home with “bad news.” He told me that it was positive for Down syndrome and that I was having a boy.

I went into complete and total hysterics. My husband wasn’t even home from work yet, I had just received the most devastating news of my life and I was home alone. I tried calling my husband and he didn’t answer, I called my mom who was 12 hours away in Ohio. She calmed me down and told me to call my mother in law who was a bit closer. By that point, my husband came home and my in-laws came over. We all sat there in silence trying to absorb the news.

As the weeks and months went on, we started focusing less on the Down syndrome portion and more on the fact that we were having a baby. We still educated ourselves on Down syndrome, I read every book I could get my hands on. At times I was perhaps obsessed over not knowing what other health problems associated with Down syndrome my boy was going to have. I actually had to stop reading and focus on him as a person and not a diagnosis. By the end of my pregnancy, we had gotten over the “grieving process” of knowing our baby was going to have Down syndrome. We were just excited to be having baby!

On March 14, 2006, besides having Down syndrome, after an 18-hour hard labor, I delivered a healthy baby boy that was truly perfect to us, extra chromosome and all! My mother in law said it best, “he’s perfect!” My doctor that delivered Joey told me a few years later that Joey’s birth was one of her most memorable births, because of the way we loved him instantly and celebrated his birth.

I often look back on my pregnancy with Joey and realize that we were chosen to be his parents. I’m so grateful that God gave us the chance to be such an extraordinary child’s parents. The love he gives us is so amazing and I can honestly say, there’s never a dull moment in our lives thanks to him!


Pslam 139:13-14 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well.

Jessica Heeran

I'm a stay at home mom to three energetic children: Joey (11 years old), Leah (9 years old), and Aiden (7 years old). Joey is chromosomally enhanced with Down syndrome and also has Autism & is non-verbal. I was born and raised in Ohio and moved to Connecticut 11 years ago, so I'm a Midwest girl living in New England.

Fall into the Arms of Jesus, Little One

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Child walking

I have three younger brothers, so I know how crazy and wild boys can be. Lots of falls, cuts, scrapes, bruises, broken bones, and even a couple of head stitches. My husband has two younger brothers. He’d always tell how they used to jump from the banister down two floors onto the glass coffee table. Why anyone would do that, I have no idea. Pure madness and chaos.  Right now, I have a little baby boy who’s only seven months, but I know he will probably be just as wild as his uncles and dad. But that doesn’t mean I’m...

Keep Reading

10 Tips to Banish Teenage FOMO

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen with red hair smiling

Do you ever feel like the whole world is having a party—and you weren’t invited Maybe you worry about being included in the right groups or invited to the right sleepovers. Maybe you envy the relationships you see at school or youth group or feel jealous of the perfect social media posts showing others making memories together. If you’re a teen in 2022, you’re probably well acquainted with the fear of missing out. Knowing or wondering what you’re missing or who is getting together without you can leave you feeling lonely. It can leave you lonely and a little blue....

Keep Reading

I’m So Thankful For This Little Family

In: Faith, Marriage, Motherhood
Toddler boy and infant girl, color photo

I remember my teenage self dreaming, hoping, and praying for a life like I have now. Praying for a man to love me, to be loyal to me, to want a family with me, to provide for me, to show me what stability felt like and what it felt like to not ever have to worry . . . and here he is right in front of me. I remember my teenage self dreaming, hoping, praying for a house I could make a home and raise my family in. Here it is right in front of me. But most of...

Keep Reading

How I Like My Coffee

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and daughter drink coffee

I like my coffee with hazelnut creamer and a dash of almond milk. I like my coffee cold and neglected on the countertop because I’m busy soothing my new baby boy, the one who has made me a mother. In my long robe and slippers, I pace the kitchen floor and hold my swaddled son close to my heart. When his fussing grows quiet, I can hear the ticking of the big clock in the den. The dawn slowly reveals itself, brightening the kitchen in increments. It’s hard to imagine keeping my eyes open until he’s ready to nap again....

Keep Reading

Compassion Holds My Heart

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Child hugging mother

I lean my head in through the window of his van. The first thing I notice is the funny smell. Like cigarettes. And maybe body odor. The second? His tired, wrinkle-lined eyes. They’re dull, lethargic even. My daughter scrunches up her nose. I give her that look and try to hide my own misgivings. But Compassion climbs in the car with me.  And as the taxi driver guides the car toward our destination, I ask him about his story. Turns out he’s been driving all night. Till 5:30 this morning. Taking people home who were too drunk to drive themselves....

Keep Reading

I Was the Girl Who Ran Away From God

In: Faith
Woman standing in grass, black-and-white photo

I was the girl. I was the girl who’d do anything to get high as a teenager. I was the girl who craved love and just wanted to be wanted. I was the girl who wasn’t afraid of anything. I was the girl who stopped believing there was a God. I was the girl who said I would never go back to church. I was the girl who was certain none of it was real anyway because I was wasting my time going places like that. I was the girl who let the heartache and disappointment of this old world...

Keep Reading

I Prayed for You Before I Knew You

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding baby, color photo

Baby, I have prayed for you—even before I knew who you would be.  I prayed I would be a mom one day when I was too little to know what I was praying for and again when I really thought my body would not be able to carry a baby. I prayed for you.  I prayed every day as you grew in my belly that you would be healthy, happy, and strong.  I prayed at every doctor’s appointment and scan that I would hear your heartbeat loud and strong.  I prayed for your arrival—for you to be safe and for...

Keep Reading

Dear Mom, I Miss You

In: Faith, Grief
Grown woman and her mother, color photo

Dear Mom, Yesterday I went over to your house. I was hoping you would open the door, but Daddy greeted me with his sweet smile. Yes, he still has a mustache. The one you hate, but I did manage to trim it up for him. I cut his hair too.   We talked about you over coffee and waited for you to join us, but you never did. He’s doing his best to do this life without you in it, but his eyes are clouded with memories and mixed with pain. He misses you, Momma. RELATED: I Didn’t Just Lose...

Keep Reading

Spaghetti Sauce Faith

In: Faith, Marriage, Motherhood
Mother and little girl holding a bowl of spaghetti, color photo

It was Sunday afternoon, and I was loading my grocery cart higher than I ever had in my life. My husband and I, along with our two kids under two years old, had been living with his parents for three months. We moved from our Florida home to look for a house in Georgia, and they graciously took us in. This was the day I loaded up on groceries—filling an empty refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. My shopping list was all the things. I needed to buy the smallest of table ingredients like salt and garlic powder to the big things...

Keep Reading

Dear Introverted Mom, Take that Break

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman outside with book and food

I am alone, in a hotel room, 20 minutes from home, lying back in the crisp bed, feet propped up on billowing white pillows. A good book is in my hand. The large window beside me overlooks the Mississippi River as the sun slowly sets and people unwind for a southern Louisiana evening in downtown Baton Rouge. I’ll probably order room service for dinner. I spent the afternoon at the coffee shop across the street, sipping on a deliciously caffeinated beverage carefully made to my liking. I ate a delicate snack filled with fruits, fancy lettuce, and expensive cheese while...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!


Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime