our special gift from above

our special gift from above

On Fathers day last June, after eleven years of marriage, my wife Joey and I found out that we were going to have a baby.  We were elated (and nervous, and hopeful, all at the same time).    Soon after, Joey watched a documentary about home-birth and midwives, and was even more excited about the idea of having our baby at home, here in the farmhouse where we live and dream and share our lives.

Nine months later, on February 17, 2014, Joey and I were blessed with a beautiful baby daughter named Indiana.  She was born at home at 12:03 pm with the assistance of a midwife and the birth experience was perfect.  She was delivered breech, naturally, with no medical assistance and with myself and our two older daughters Heidi and Hopie by Joey’s side.  Joey says that giving birth at home was the single greatest thing she’s ever experienced in her life.  A moment later, with Indiana’s first cry, we all cried tears of joy and hugged and celebrated and cried some more.

In the days that followed, there was some concern about Indy and through genetic chromosome testing done at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, it has been confirmed that Indiana has Down Syndrome.  Although that news came at first as a surprise to us, Joey and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.  During the pregnancy, we never did an ultrasound, or saw a doctor, nor would it have made any difference if we had.  We trusted that God would give us the baby He wanted us to have… and He has.  Out of all the parents in the world, He has chosen us to care for and raise this special gift.

The baby is healthy and doing wonderful and Joey and I are loving each and every minute that we have with her.  We can’t wait to see where this new chapter in our lives leads us and what wonderful story unfolds in the coming years.  We had already cleared our 2014 schedule and committed to taking this year off to be home and simplify our lives before we got this news, and now, we think it’s even more important to be here than ever.  Joey encouraged me to start writing a blog at the beginning of this year to share our lives from my perspective, and so I have.  It can be found at thislifeilive.com.   In posts from this year’s journey so far, as well as this post and future ones, you can learn more about Indiana’s birth story, diagnosis and much more, from the viewpoint of a very blessed husband, father, and songwriter.

Our little Indiana-2-2

39 Comments

  1. I was so blessed by the way you met and your life shines for our Jesus. I am so happy you are both my family and we will be in heaven together. Your sweet baby indie will be the joy of your life and God will used her to bring so many to Jesus. Love you both!! Pam

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  2. Beautiful song. What is it?

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  3. First, let me congratulate you both on the birth of Indiana. I have been a special education teacher for 36 years and I will tell you that the best years of my career was working with Down Syndrome children. They are the most loving individuals in the world.
    As I read the comments from various individuals, one point always stood out, “God has chosen you for the parents of Indiana.” This theme is true. Many of the parents of DS children feel that God chose them, I believe that to be true. Exceptional parents for exceptional children.
    The road will not always be easy but with Gods help and your faith Indiana will grow-up with love and in return her love and truthfulness will astonish you.
    God bless you and your family.

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  4. I have a little brother (now 46 years old) who is Down Syndrome. I love DS children and adults so much. They are so special, beautiful gifts of God, and need as much love as any other child. I know you will give this child more love than anyone else could possibly give. Love her and enjoy her! :o)

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  5. God has blessed you with a very beautiful daughter. We are from Indiana so we love her name. He gave her special parents who will love her always…we love your show and we love watching the reruns. Thank you for for your writings each month. We love reading about your family and God bless you..

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  6. You couldn’t ask for a more beautiful baby,she will be the joy of your life,to a beautiful couple.

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  7. What two better Christian people chosen by God to raise/ such a special child. I will be praying daily and hope you are back on RFD soon.

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  8. My husband and I are big fans of your show. We haven’t missed an episode since we found your program. I have read a
    a lot of comments on your blog and have to say ‘ditto’ to them. I cried when I learned of Indiana’s DS but have to say God
    is in control and knows exactly where to place these precious babies. I’m excited to be able to follow your life via your blog.
    We wish you God’s special blessings on your life!

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  9. Just happened to turn the TV channel to catch your last show, after hearing you talk as the show was going off Rory, I said to my husband ” you know I really admire that couple, and I do believe they are good Christain people”. You know a lot of singers get carried away with their career & forget where they came from but I can tell you two have your priorities in the right place. I have started reading your blog and it’s hard to hold back the tears. You are exactly right… God has Blessed you both with a beautiful little girl & I can tell she is Loved greatly. I wish the best for Joey, she seems to be a strong person & beautiful from the inside out. I hope she returns to perfect health. May God shower you, Joey, and little Indiana with many blessings, He is a good God & He will always be by your side.
    Respectfully, Barbara

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  10. God Bless y’all as you raise and love your little bundle of love!

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  11. There are times in life when things happen that we will never understand until we meet our father in heaven. I believe that God gave you Indy because he knew that you would take care and love her all of her life. I love your music and wish that I could come to one of your shows and be able to meet you!

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  12. I have a son who was born on February 17, 2012 with a rare chromosome 13 deletion. He has blown past the doctors’ expectations with lightning speed and proven that he is a fighter. He is such a loving, sweet child with an independent streak. I never knew that I could love someone so much, nor did my hubby and I know that we could handle the challenges that we have faced in raising our son. God created him perfectly. Not perfect because no one is, but perfectly according to His will. Regardless of your particular journey, all special needs parents go through similar emotions and challenges. I will be praying for you as parents as well as Joey on her cancer battle.

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    • A special child for very special parents. Like so many of the extended family that you now have, my tears of concern have subsided but the prayers continue. Sad to say but like Daniel, your testimony is more profound. The intensity of His love is standing Satan’s test. You have blessed me more than words can express–and I’m an English teacher!

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  13. Praise the Lord for His mighty love and favor. That beautiful little girl will bless you and others throughout her life. I do so enjoy your music and the love I see you have for each other. Please keep singing!

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  14. Indiana is absolutely PERFECT. What a little beauty and blessing. She is an Earth Angel [in my belief], and she will teach all who know, and/or meet her, what love is all about. Congratulations to all of you, and I look forward to following your story forward, and for backtracking through your blog…as I’ve just found you 6/26/14.

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  15. I live in East TN and my husband and I have a 13yr old son with Angelman Syndrome (we did not know either we would have a child with different abilities). So far the journey with my sweet angel has been the most rewarding experience of my life. He continues to bless us with unconditional love and laughter ever day. May God continue to bless you all everyday for the rest of your lives. Amen

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  16. God always gives a Special Blessing like Indiana to Special people like you. Enjoy that beautiful little girl.

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  17. Congratulations and God bless. My husband and I just started watching your show and have become big fans of your music. I got my husband your CD for his birthday. He says “he likes to listen to it after a hard day at work”! When I saw the episode about Indiana it touched my heart so much. Doctors convinced us that our second child was going to be born with DS. They wanted to discuss our options- the only option for us was to love the miracle that God was sending to us. We are so happy for your family.

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  18. Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful daughter.
    I’m a mom of a child with Down Syndrome and it always bothers me when people say things like “During the pregnancy, we never did an ultrasound, or saw a doctor, nor would it have made any difference if we had.” People assume that the only reason for prenatal testing is termination, and that’s just not true. We knew at 12 weeks that our baby boy was very likely to have DS. Knowing ahead of time can mean the difference between life and death if your child has a heart defect, which is very common with DS. Sometimes they need to be rushed into surgery right away if they’re going to survive. There are reasons it’s important to know that have nothing to do with termination.

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  19. I LOVE reading yourstorys about your Sweet little doll and life

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  20. Our 49 yr. old DS daughter loves The Joey and Rory shows, we taped them so she can watch them whenever she wants to and she sings along with you…The joy you will receive from your Indy in years to come can not be described without giving thanks to God…….

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  21. I have just discovered your blog. Thank you so much for sharing Indy with us. God has blessed you with a beautiful child & Indy with loving parents.

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  22. Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful baby girl! We always watch your show and enjoy seeing the obvious love you have for ech other. We know
    that Indy will grow up urrounded with your love!

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  23. Thank you for sharing your family with you. I love your blog

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  24. God blesses special people with special children. She is a beauty just like her mom.

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  25. I came across i always couldn’t ended up being these particular including Need be towards, all of the product following bring back had been fantastic these folks best shown for you to dimensions basically could quite possibly get most things without having to stress all of these might be it again even so acquired wow gold online to be able to was meant for unfavorable a short time snow and so that i provided wow gold online again not given because of this

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  26. God Blessed you with a special gift to love and teach and learn She’s a Beautiful little angle from heaven Congratulations And God Bless your Little family.

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  27. Congratulations! She’s beautiful. I know that God has given you this special gift, my husband and my self had the pleasure of seeing you in concert in Utah 2013 and you are the most kind people we have ever met thank you for sharing your family with us…

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  28. I can’t think of two better parents for such a special angel. I can only hope for your special family many blessings always <3. To be chosen for this special journey is an Honor bestowed upon you by The Lord. What a treasure Indiana is so Beautiful <3

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  29. Indiana is an extremely precious gift from above.A little angel sent here to love. Being a. Nurse for over 22years I. Have assisted as well as delivered several babies. They’re all so precious. I have cared for many “special babies “. Downs children are so sweet.,loving, smart and giving. They’re no different than any other child. As they grow up they continue to strive to spread an tremendous amount of love to everyone they meet. They can be whoever they want to be. And only the very special parents are chosen to be the ones to raise, nurture and love these angels that are truely Heaven sent. May God richly bless you all and especially lil Indy. We are so looking forward to being a part of this beautiful journey through your words, pictures and post. We love you all. God Bless

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  30. Comment

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  31. Beautiful! Thankyou for sharing!

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  32. God always saves special blessings for special people. What joy miss Indy is going to bring to all if your lives!!! What a blessing!!

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  33. She is a very beautiful angel and a special gift from God. Both he and your precious little girl chose both of you to be her parents. And I agree with their choice. She is gong to bring you and other people so much joy. Thank you for the updates and for sharing her pictures. I would love to see you all in person but I live in Ohio. So I’ll watch the posts and watch you on TV . Blessings to you all.

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  34. She is beautiful! Our 3rd grandbaby was born with DS. She is the light in her father’s eye! Loves to swim and a joy for her family. You are blessed with this special little gift! DS babies grow into wonderful and productive children and adults. They swim the English Channel, write books, go to college and even drive cars! I wish you joy and happiness for Indiana! ♡

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  35. First of all, I’m a huge fan!! The first time I saw her picture I suspected she had Down syndrome. You see, our second child, our son, was born December 9, 2009..5 days later we found out he had Down syndrome. He has been one of the biggest blessings to our family!!! I can’t wait to follow your story as you begin this new journey. God has so much in store for her & you too!! Sending love & hugs from Georgia!

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  36. She is absolutely beautiful!! Congratulations and best wishes!! :)

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  37. What a beautiful little gift from God.

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  38. Congratulations on the birth of your new daughter. God be with you and your family.

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