Aaron And Sarah Shust Celebrate Son’s 10th Birthday: ‘There’s Something About Down Syndrome That Is More Like God’s Kingdom’

Photo by Michael Wessner via Sarah Shust’s Instagram

Aaron And Sarah Shust Celebrate Son’s 10th Birthday: ‘There’s Something About Down Syndrome That Is More Like God’s Kingdom’

By Movieguide® Contributor

Singer-songwriter Aaron Shust and his wife Sarah celebrated their son’s 10th birthday and shared their journey.

Michael was born deaf, with Down syndrome, and just half a heart. 

“Four minutes after he was born, the nurse informed us that they had reason to believe that he had Down syndrome,” Aaron recalled. Both he and Sarah had been told by doctors that the baby would be perfectly healthy. 

After being told about Michael’s health issues, doctors told the Shusts that he had a less than 1% chance of survival. 

“We were mourning. We were mourning the death of dreams,” Sarah shared. “We were mourning a compromised baby that they said may not make it.”

But Michael did make it, and now the Shusts are sharing his story. Sarah had never had a Facebook account before, but felt the Holy Spirit calling her to do so. 

“You’ve gotta share,” Aaron encouraged his wife. “I was able to sit back over the years and witness people be impacted deeply by my wife’s words.”

In a post celebrating Michael’s 10th birthday, Sarah wrote:

I’ve never had a Facebook account, so this is my first post! …and it had been so long since I posted on Instagram that I forgot my password. Forgive my absence, I needed a minute. I wasn’t sure I would ever return, but my baby is ten. TEN YEARS OLD. The baby who was never supposed to live, the one with half of a heart and deaf ears. The one placed in my arms in a silent delivery room. The fragile infant some people had no words for, and others, all the wrong words. The infant we were told we could surrender to the hospital to avoid the pain and expense of caring for such a compromised baby. In that dark and sterile room where they told us Down Syndrome was the least of their concerns, I was afraid. Afraid of the unknown and my lack of control in all of it. But it didn’t matter, I was going to fight for this child afraid, because no battle is won that you refuse to fight in.

Michael Aaron Shust is 10 today and he’s baffled doctors and specialists across the country. This boy is full of laughter and fun, and while there is always stuff to navigate medically and grieve from time to time, we would never want a different life apart from him. He loves singing and dancing, hide-and-seek with his brothers, animals of all kinds (especially his kitten!), pancakes for breakfast, tortilla roll-ups for lunch, spider-man, and storms (the louder the thunder the better!). Michael doesn’t really get in trouble, and he always wins everything. He is a party! Our oldest son, Daniel, told me years ago, “Mommy, I love you, but Michael is my favorite.” I know, son, Michael is everyone’s favorite. Happy Birthday to my little, bald love. We celebrate you today, and everyday!

The couple went on to talk about how important it is to rely on each other when parenting a special needs child and that “when things happen that are out of our control, we can take a moment, exhale and come together and say, this is in God’s hands.”

“There’s something about Down syndrome that is more like God’s kingdom,” Aaron said of his son’s joy in life. “There’s something about [Michael’s] living unafraid and living without boundaries and living in a way that’s full of faith. And not necessarily understanding the great doctrines or theology.”

“Because I’m able to see that, I believe that I have a clearer window into the heart of the Father through my son, Michael,” he concluded. 


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