A Letter To My Son On His 2nd Birthday

letter to son with down syndrome from dad

Dear Noah,

I can’t believe you turned two years old on Saturday. Time really does fly. We had a great time celebrating your life with some of your little buddies on Saturday. Your mom did such a great job planning your party. You and I are super crazy lucky to have such an awesome lady in our life. We both hope you had a ton of fun on Saturday and felt honored and loved.

This has been a big year for you. First let me just say that you don’t have to ever do anything to earn my love nor is there some random millstone that I’m waiting for you to accomplish that would somehow make me more proud of you. I’m already at maximum love and pride capacity. In fact, I’m overflowing with both. So every year is a big year for you as far as I’m concerned.

But this year you did accomplish some pretty major millstones. You drank from a straw for the first time. You crawled for the first time. You signed for the first time. You walked for the first time. You went to the New York Buddy Walk for the first time.

Wow….! What a big year!

You’ve blown me away with all that you have accomplished in the last 12 months and to just say I’m proud of you would be a massive understatement. I hope more than just hearing me say those words you are able to see that I’m proud of you as I love on you as your daddy every. single. day.

baby down syndrome eating birthday cake

Every day when I wake up and see you lying there in your crib (unless you’ve already woke up and you’re lying there having a mini-party) I am blown away that I get the opportunity to be your dad. It’s seriously amazing. I feel like I won the little boy lottery or something (ok, that sounds sort of weird, so scratch that illustration.)

As you’ve gotten older your smile and joy has gotten 20 million times more amazing. Your smile is so huge it seriously lights up a room (and my heart.) I can’t get enough of your smile and laughter. The way you play and have fun and explore and dance is so much fun for your daddy to watch. I love it.

Noah I couldn’t have even dreamed of a more perfect little boy in my head. You are way better than the pretend kid I made up in my head before you born. It’s funny how in life we sometimes we think we know what we want, but in actuality we have no idea. God knows what we want so much more than we do. And He shows me that more and more every day. There is no doubt His ways are always better than our ways. Always.

I still remember the second your mom and I found out you were born with Down syndrome. We were so scared. We had no idea what that meant for us, and especially for you. Turns out none of those parenting fears came true. As I’ve said before Down syndrome is sort of like the monster under the bed. It’s pretty scary until you realize there’s nothing to be afraid of after all.

Noah I’m so in love with you. Every time I look at you I’m reminded of The Glory of God and how He has crafted you into His image. You are so unique and so full of the joy of God that it spills all over everyone any time they are around you. (including your mom and I.) And I love it.

Again, words can’t say how proud I am of you. You are changing the world and changing me. And I love it. Every day is better than the day before. I want you to know that these last 2 years have been the best 2 years of our life.

You make our family better. In every way.

You make our life better. In every way.

You make our days better. In every way.

And we love you.

cupcakes for down syndrome baby birthday party

We feel like the luckiest parents in the world to have you as our son. I want you to know that your dad and mom are here for you. We are so much in love and you have made our marriage better than it’s every been. You NEVER have to worry about your mom and dad not being together. We are committed to God, to each other, and to you. I want you to know that next to Jesus we are your biggest advocates. We will speak when you can’t. We will fight when you can’t. We will push forward when you can’t. Always. So know that. :)

I’m looking forward to another great year being your dad. I hope this year I can show you even more than last year a small glimpse of the love that God has for you as I love and shepherd you. I want to remind you once again that no matter what the world tells you, you are made unique, and created and crafted in the image of God. God designed you with a purpose and your life matters a great deal. You aren’t a burden, you aren’t suffering, you aren’t “disabled.” You are 100% a co-equal with every other person on this planet. And God has some great plans for you.

smiling kid laughing down syndrome

I’m love having a front row seat to your life as I watch God change the world through it.

I love you. I love you. I love you. Let’s keep doing this thing!

Your Daddy.

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About Rick Smith

Hi, I'm Noah's Dad and I'm passionate about giving the world a window into our life as we raise our son who was born with Down syndrome. I also enjoy connecting with other families, so let's stay connected.


  1. Pamela Dahl says

    As a person with a disability, I didn’t like your comment about Noah not being disabled. There is nothing wrong with having a disability! I think it will be important for Noah to know this as he grows up.


    • I’m sorry if our comments offended you. I agree with you that there is nothing wrote with having a disability, however we don’t consider Noah “disabled.” Here’s some of his recent milestones. He may be “differently abled” but we certainly wouldn’t ever say he was disabled.

      • The rest of the world will see Noah as a person with a disability, so it’s important that he know that it’s okay to have a disability! If he doesn’t know this, it will effect his self-esteem!


        • Hmmm, thanks for your comment but I have a different thought on this. Instead of the rest of the world seeing Noah (and the rest of his friends with Down syndrome) as “disabled” I would rather help educate them on how he is simply “differently abled.” At least that’s one of my missions. By God’s grace I think we’re making pretty good headway at it.

          • Bryan Eklund says

            Agree with you rick. My little man has Down syndrome and I like you would rather celebrate the similarities and not the differences. I too want to educate and change perception have our little men recgonized for there exceptionalities and not there disabilities that’s what will build their self esteem. Just glad to have other families before us start paving the way. Our family like yours want to continue educating and changing perception to give my little guy the best shot at being a success at what he wants in life. As well as the other families to follow us. Cheers Rick love your insight and daily updates keep it up.

          • Natalie Lopez says

            Love your Reply Noah’s Dad.
            Noah is very lucky to have you as his daddy. I definitely feel the same way as you do.

          • Shari Gaston says

            I love Psalm 139. God said it for Noah, and for me and for Pam… and for each of us. We are each wonderfully and beautifully made. He formed each of us and covered us in the womb. We are not disabled; God does not make junk. We are perfectly made according to His plan. Noah has ministered to more than imaginable by only using his beautiful smile. God does not make mistakes.
            Pam, read that Scripture.

  2. I am the proud mother of a 2 1/2 yr old son with Down Syndrome and would not change a thing about him. I adore him, he has changed me and others around him for the better and that’s priceless. While society does see n classify them as disabled I as his mom do not. He can and will do everything other kids do. It may b slower or different but I don’t consider that a disability. No more than I consider same sex families raising children less of a family. He will know he is among a “special” group of people n I will do my best to help him understand and embrace that. But I jus DOnT consider my son disabled, a personal decision I guess .

  3. Am a proud mother of a 6 year old boy Munashe he has Cerebral Palsy and i love him to bits my world revolves around him. Thanks Rick we are in this together. Love u Noah.

  4. amirahnabilahZulkifli says

    i am so jealous with you… i mean it
    i have an experience having a down syndrome brother too but the difference’s was he born with so many complication inside his body… at the age of 3day he has to run an operation as his intestine is not connected well that cause him cannot defecate. then he having a heart problem ,low platelet and many more…. even the doctor predicted he only last for 1- 2 years… but miracle happen as he still with us until the fifth year ,but of course there’s a time where he been admitted to the hospital because of those complication he has… during those time i can see how my parents and my sibling including me act around him…he is like an angel ..a star in our family.. he is the youngest out of 8 people in my siblings . all of his sister and his brother love him soooo much that we never get bored of him NEVER!! all of us always fight over him to get him to sleep with us… because he has this sooth smell with him that all of us can’t get over with… i always away because i stayed in college ,every sem break i always looking forward to go back to meet him … i remember how i always run to him once i got out of the car…but now that he has gone..our house felt empty even it was full…only one person missing change the house so much! now he’s gone for 6 month already but we will never forget his presence in our house… i just really hope i can meet him again in the heaven!! insyallah…

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