A Father's Letter to His Son with Down Syndrome
Dear Edison Mateo,
This is the first letter I’ve ever written to you. Forgive me for that. In my heart, I’ve penned a thousand notes and letters. I have so much to share with you.
Your Mom and I took your oldest brother and sister to Ecuador with a special plan in mind. We hoped and prayed the trip would help them as teenagers to better understand that many children in the world live in hard poverty. We wanted them to experience that, so they’d be among the “grateful” people in the world, and not among those who think they are “entitled.” Serving warm meals to the children in the Quito dumps changed them forever, and it changed your Mom and me as well.
The last day we were there we met a baby who was left in the dump, in a plastic trash bag. It was YOU. As you continue to learn your letters and learn to read, and watch your favorite education programs and ACC basketball games, you’ll be able to understand more about what happened next.
When we held you in that orphanage for kids with special needs, called For His Children, we fell in love with you right then and there. God did that, my son. You were wrapped like a present – no doubt by a broken-hearted parent who loved you, but did not know how to care for you. God brought us there, to you, so we could get the Christmas present of a lifetime.
The police report says you were found by a carpenter. We don’t know his name; but he took you to a policeman named Edison. We honored both men when you became our son. We gave that policeman’s name to you, along with the name (in Spanish) of the first book of the Gospels, which tells the story of another Carpenter.
I have to confess, at first we believed we were doing all this to help you. But soon God showed us that He had given you to us, to help us. You were a present, wrapped in plastic giftwrap, as a priceless treasure to our family. We learned quickly that FAMILY IS MORE THAN BLOOD. You became our AMBASSADOR OF LOVE. Mom told the story in a video, and millions of people have watched it.
Edison, you’re a beloved son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin, and friend. Some people advised your Mom and me that we should weigh carefully the cost of your adoption. We have. You’re the best estate planning decision we have ever made, and your whole family knows it.
All my love,