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Predators coach finds unexpected blessing

BENTON, Ill. (BP)–The tiny baby boy was only two hours old when doctors informed his parents that something wasn’t normal. Little Nolan Trotz had Down’s syndrome.

Many parents might have been devastated. Many parents, if they had discovered the truth earlier, might have ended the pregnancy. After all, in a society that practically worships convenience, having a child with Down’s syndrome is certainly inconvenient.

Nolan Trotz’s life may not be a normal one. But then again, Barry and Kim Trotz are not normal parents.

For them, abortion was never an option, no matter what kind of condition their baby had.

“It was never an issue with me or my wife,” said Barry Trotz, head coach of the Nashville Predators hockey team, in an interview with BPSports. “That was something we felt we didn’t need to explore.”

Understandably, learning of Nolan’s condition when he was born in January was an initial jolt for the Trotzes.

“It was a little bit of a shock,” Trotz said. “We got over it. We could have had the amniocentesis to find that out, but we didn’t do it because it wouldn’t have mattered one way or the other. Whatever God gave us as a child, that’s what we were happy to have.”

What a testimony to the value of all human life, regardless of circumstances. What a reminder that God doesn’t make mistakes or throw-away babies — that all children, despite what we may consider to be flaws, are created in God’s image.

And what a stinging indictment of pro-abortionists who would have considered terminating Nolan’s life, just because his life wasn’t destined to be normal.

“I never had the emotion of ‘Why us?'” Trotz said. “It was ‘Why him?’ I was more worried about him than I was worried about anything else.”

The Trotzes — and countless other parents like them, who welcome such special needs children into their families with open arms — are to be commended. Nolan’s Down’s syndrome was definitely not something they were expecting. Their hat trick of children — Shalan, 11, Tyson, 9, and Tiana, 7 — are all perfectly healthy. But the Trotzes didn’t feel sorry for themselves, and they didn’t question God’s sovereignty. They recognized that God gave them Nolan for a reason. Maybe it was because Nolan needed a family to love him, and God knew the Trotzes would do exactly that.

“He’s been a blessing for us,” Trotz said. “It would be hard to think of life without him. I couldn’t think of life without him right now. He’s sort of the apple of our family’s eye. We just treat him as a normal child.”

Normal? Hardly. Extraordinary is more like it.

Life with Nolan won’t be a cakewalk for the Trotzes. There will be challenging and difficult times ahead. But I’ll bet the unconditional love they’ll get in return from a special little boy will be more than enough of a reward.
Ellsworth writes for The Benton Evening News in Benton, Ill. Write to him at [email protected].

    About the Author

  • Tim Ellsworth

    Tim Ellsworth is associate vice president for university communications at Union University in Jackson, Tenn. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists’ concerns nationally and globally.

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