I had once volunteered for Friendship Circle while spending a weekend in Ohio, and I really enjoyed it. So in 2003, when Friendship Circle opened a branch in my community, I was excited to join.

I was an active volunteer, visiting my special friend once a week, and participated in all programs. Each visit left me feeling fulfilled; I was helping someone special, and simultaneously learning so much from my new friend. I never really gave much thought to her day-to-day life, how she coped and adapted; this was something removed from my personal life. After all, she was not my relative, so I was just being helpful, for one hour a week, to someone who needed a friend.

Three years later, my perspective changed. In December 2006, my youngest brother, Boruch Shneur, was born. Boruch Shneur is blessed with Down Syndrome. I know that seems like an oxymoron. To me, it seemed like that too. Initially I was shocked beyond belief. Being a Friendship Circle volunteer before my brother was born gave me an opportunity to view life from a different perspective. But, although I was involved in Friendship Circle, I maintained an outsider's view. It was something that happened to other people, not to me and my "normal" family. It took me a while to find the blessing in it, but with support, understanding and empathy from my parents and some friends, and after reading various articles related to Down Syndrome, I began seeing how having Boruch Shneur in my family is truly a blessing and a part of G‑d's perfect master plan.

One particular analogy in the context of challenges, suffering and pain had a real impact on me. As told by a friend, life is a tapestry, woven by a master weaver or artist. If one looks at the tapestry from behind, all you see are knots and random threads. But if you look at it from the front, you see a beautiful picture. G‑d is the Master Weaver. The world, and everything that happens in this world, is the tapestry. Now we only see the tapestry from the back; there are things we don't understand and seem so complicated. But I know that when Moshiach will arrive, we will see the tapestry from the front. A beautiful picture awaits us, and we will see how everything G‑d did, the good and the seemingly not good, were all part of His master plan to make this world complete.