It made me thankful our Ben has trisomy 21 and not a different trisomy. When we first found out Ben would have Down syndrome our doctors gave us a copy of his karyotype, a picture of his chromosomes. They explained that Down syndrome occurs when a baby has three copies (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome. It looked similar to this image (although these chromosomes are from a girl - hence the two "x's." A boy would have an "x" and a "y.")
What's so amazing about Down syndrome is the 21st chromosome is the smallest DNA pair. That means that, although Ben has an extra chromosome in every cell of his body, it's the smallest possible amount of "extra." Babies with more significant trisomies are often miscarried or face significant birth defects. Only 8% of babies with trisomy 18 will see their first birthday.
Because of my experience with Ben I just want to encourage parents, or those hoping to be parents, to be prepared with your answer before you're halfway through your pregnancy sitting across the desk from your doctor hearing him tell you your baby has Down syndrome, another trisomy, or other serious birth defect. They will offer you options. They may tell you things about your child's potential quality of life or physical suffering. If you are a Christian, then you must be prepared with a solid confidence in the sanctity of life: that God creates all life for His glory, and that life begins at conception, and there are no stray molecules in the universe. God is sovereign.
What your doctors can't tell you (unless you have a really cool doctor), is that "for those who love God, all things work together for good." (Romans 8:28) I often hear Christians disparage this oft quoted verse as not really being comforting to those who are hurting. I guess I can't expect a single verse to turn someone's true sorrow to joy. But I know if you truly believe this promise it will help: if you truly believe "all things" means "all things" and if you allow the whole counsel of God to shape your definition of "good."
Yet, not every providence of God is as obviously "good" as this one: