This past weekend our family, and my Mom, took part in our yearly Fall tradition of driving to a town near us that holds a Harvest Festival every year. On the way there we stopped at an apple orchard, where they make their own apple cider. YUM!
Here is a picture of the boys getting ready to watch them make the cider:
And, here are some pictures of the cider being made:
They have a machine that grinds up all the apples, and then the apples get squirted out through a tube onto a layered platform.
After they have about 10 layers of ground up apples, they use a machine that squishes all the layers together, to squeeze out all the juice from the apples.
Then the juice drips into a metal bin, and then they fill up the gallons with the prepared apple cider from there.
Watching them make the cider this way doesn't make the cider look very appetizing to me. It almost makes me not want to drink it at all! All I kept thinking was "how clean are all those machines and tools that they are using? And, don't they have to sterilize it or something?!" But, I knew that it would taste good, so I tried to put the process out of my mind and took a drink of it anyway. I'm glad that I took that first drink, because it was delicious and very thirst quenching!
When I think about it, this is kind of how it was to be given a child with Down syndrome. When Gavin was first born and they told us that they suspected he had Ds, I was a little sick to my stomach. I was fearful that I wouldn't like the "taste" of this life. I was unsure of how to digest this news at first.
Like watching the apple cider being made and thinking about drinking it, after it was just made before my eyes.....I took a look at my son and wondered far down the road about how appetizing this life would be. I knew that I would most likely like many of the "tastes" that would come with having Gavin.....but would I love being his mother, like I loved being the mother to my other boys?
While I watched the apple cider being made, I was very interested! I couldn't take my eyes off of the guys working hard to produce that sweet juice. That's how I felt when I first laid eyes on Gavin. I couldn't take my eyes off of him and I was very curious about how life would be for our family, with him as our son/brother.
I'm certain that some people are too frightened to "take that first drink", once they hear the news that their baby has Down syndrome. Some people never attempt to "take a drink" at all. Now that I know what life is like having a child with Ds, I find it extremely sad that many people don't give these sweet children a chance!
I am so happy that Joel and I weren't frightened off by this unexpected gift! Gavin has been such a WONDERFUL addition to our family! I can't imagine life without him!
Gavin may have been prepared a little differently than we were used to, and he may have come packaged in a slighty complex package.....but who wants to drink plain old water all the time, when you can drink delicious apple cider too?! Water still tastes great, but cider is definitely such a wonderful treat!
Gavin may have come to us with many "gallons" full of health issues, but in the end, he has only made everything in our life taste a WHOLE LOT SWEETER!
We are so blessed!
"How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" Psalm 119:103