Receiving David
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David Knol was born dangerously early and wasn’t expected to live. Remarkably, he not only beat the survival odds but also went on to live a life with joy and a measure of independence and opportunity, despite his severe disabilities. From the beginning, his family viewed him as a blessing, a gift bestowed on them by God, and received him with thanks.

Through inviting stories and a few memorable photographs, Faye Knol shares the lessons about love, the value of life, and the beauty of relationships that David taught those around him during his twenty-two years of life. Warmth, good humor, laughter, and passion shine through this mother’s words as she tells tales of life in this inspiring family.

David’s story is a moving picture of how one person — despite great obstacles — can profoundly shape a family and a community in a positive way.


Faye Knol is an R.N. in Grand Rapids, Michigan where shelives with her husband.


“Receiving David is a precious book. It reveals how a child and then a young adult with a severe disability, far from being a problem, becomes a healer and a teacher. This is a book for all parents and for all professionals.”
— Jean Vanier
L’Arche International

“This story of receiving and losing David, and of how he loved and lived with his strong spirit in his frail body, gets into your soul and stays there. It’s a gift, universal in its intense particularity.”
— Nicholas Wolterstorff
author of Lament for a Son

“In Receiving David Faye Knol shares a journey filled with the triumphant and tragic truths that few — though sadly too many parents and family members — have experienced. As insights about receiving, protecting, letting go, redefining, and remembering her son’s life story fill these pages, readers learn not only about a remarkable young man and his family but also about how and why the value of any life story is best measured by attributes of depth and love rather than by length and intellect. Every child’s life holds a story worth telling, and the journey shared in this book is one worth reading.”
— Jeni Stepanek
author of Messenger: The Legacy of Mattie J. T. Stepanek and Heartsongs