This made me angry

Wow, I read this terrible article tonight about why people don’t want children with Down Syndrome and how they are “worse” humans and that they are diseased.  It is amazing to me how ignorant people can be and how shortsighted this author was.  He was sighting facts from Wikipedia (as if that’s the bible on Down Syndrome.)  He was basically saying that because children with down syndrome have slower and lower cognitive skills and that the muscle tone of these children is lower, that therefore they are diseased and parents should do them a favor by not letting them ever be born.  I was totally outraged when I read it at first and then I just felt really sad.  I feel sad that someone like him will never know a child as awesome as PJ.  And I feel sad that my sweet little baby will ever encounter someone who could view him as diseased.  Make no mistake, a syndrome is not the same thing as a disease.  My baby has NO disease.  He has an extra chromosome.

What I have come to learn is that every kid has something.  Sometimes a child can suffer with something that is not visible to other people – like anxiety or depression.  There are children who suffer from terrible illnesses and others who have terrible pain.  But Patrick suffers from nothing.  Sure, he’ll have his share of heartache as he grows up, all children do.  Patrick is just like all other babies.

When I used to teach elementary school I worked with many children who were cognitively impaired.  They did not have Down Syndrome.  They did not have anything that could be tested for during a pregnancy.  They were wonderful children, each special in his or her own way.  I wonder if the author of the article would say that each of them should have never been born.

I am still holding onto the Amish belief that a baby born with Down syndrome is really an angel that God chose to send to earth; an angel that God chose your family to love and raise.  I read one of those inspirational signs today that said that God never guides you in a direction without giving you the grace to handle what you will find.  I pray God gives me the grace to handle the ignorant and cruel people I will meet as PJ grows up.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. joey
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 00:10:15

    I love how you write from your heart, Lisa. The world is filled with ignorant people as you so rightfully addressed from your life learning lessons of children in the classroom and now knowledge of Down Syndrome.

    An be prepared for more ignorant comments … when I lost my first stillborn son, still looking very pregnant in my last trimester while carrying my dead baby for 6 weeks in utero, people would say, “So be happy. Something must have been horribly wrong.” Thinking to myself … Ah, no there isn’t/wasn’t! Or “You are so young, you can have many more.” Thinking to myself … like NO, no child will ever replace this first child of mine.

    As you know, we were later blessed with 3 ‘live’ children …

    Patrick’s first few hours were so scary, you too stated how happy you were just to have him survive … then the news came of his other issues … but you had your beautiful son, already showing you what a surviver in life he will be! I often say we know our children watching them in those first few hours after birth …

    Yes, you will have an interesting often stressful journey with Patrick … but these same words could be said about any of our children! Like ours, I’m sure you gave Mom/Dad a few ‘hair-raisiny’ moments ‘growing up’ 🙂

    Loving thoughts, hugs and prayers surround you …

    joey

    Reply

  2. Susan Chrysler
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 17:38:09

    Yes, hold onto that Amish belief, dear Lisa. Patrick is a little angel who will touch this world in many ways. Try not to be angry, but instead pray for ignorant people. Proud of you and Dave, love you, and adore all of our boys. Mom

    Reply

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