Jennifer is 34, she has Down Syndrome. Down Syndrome does not define her. Can life be difficult for people who live with Down Syndrome?
Each of her brothers and sisters will tell you “Yes”, probably with a smirk on their face.
Should the United States government be in the business of ridding our country of people who have Down Syndrome? Should people who have disabilies be put to death before they are born?
Here are 21 reasons why people diagnosed with disabilities should be embraced, supported, and nurtured.
Reason #1 – They are first, babies. Babies who explore their world, just like other babies.
Reason #2 – They have to put up with a lot of idiotic stuff inflicted on them by others, like trying to give them curly hair.
Reason #3 – Birthdays mean the world to them. Just like you and me.
Reason #4 – Holidays give them GREAT joy. Just like you and me.
Reason #5 – They take ADORABLE pics with Santa Claus. Just like our other children.
Reason #6 – They cannot wait to open presents Christmas morning. Just like their brothers and sisters. (Well, one year, she opened every single one while we slept.)
Reason #7 – They will go outside to play, swing, swim, sled. Just like all children do.
Reason #8 – They will be adored by their grandparents, and great grandparents, just like every child. Jen and Maggie with Great Grandmother, “Gigi”.
Reason #9 – They can be helpers and bakers, enjoying the fun of the every day.
Reason #10 – They will start to love clothing, even dressing in the same dress as a sister. How the heck did I pull that off when they were all little anyway? Geesh!
Reason #11 – Every once in a while, God will let someone get a shot that shows their deep beauty and dignity. Just like all our other children.
Reason #12 – There will be the photo shoots when everyone wants to just be silly. Laughter fills a room with joy. The laughter of ALL children, not just able bodied children.
Reason #13 – They are just part of the crew. Just like all siblings in all families.
Reason #14 – They will pick every flower in the garden. Because every family has one child who does.
Reason #15 – Some days they will be naughty. Some days they will be like beautiful flower fairies. Because that is the nature of a child.
Reason #16 – They will find joy in discovering new talents, like being in a play with great friends, and an incredible director who sees you as just one of the crew! Singing and dancing is good for the soul. Something we all need more of!
Reason #17 – Experiences with friends and community will give them joy, just like our other children.
#18 – Beautiful people will come into their lives to teach them. People you would have never known so well if it were not for “this child”. Blessings we don’t want to miss.
Reason #19 – Their siblings will rejoice in their achievements. Because it is in the family where a child learns to be happy for the other.
Reason #19 – It gives others opportunities of grace, of doing for others in a way that can light the whole world on fire. This was a birthday party that friends threw for Jen, with Laura baking a cake from scratch, and all the girls taking Jen shopping to Claires. For we have the words of Jesus, “Every time you did this for the least, you did it for Me.” Nuf said. Amen.
Reason #20 – They are just as beautiful in a wedding party as every other bridesmaid. Sniff.
Reason #21 – They are blessed by so many very special people who give so much, to help them grow, even as adults. With the love and nurturing of special mentors, teachers and friends. Their light will continue to grow, and they teach us how learning is life long, and continue to bless us all.
So, if you happen to read this page, especially if a doctor has offered to “terminate” the life of your unborn child because they have 3 of the 21st Chromosome, think of these 21 reasons to say “Yes” to life. I hope you can see how rich this baby’s life can be. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. We would never tell an athlete training for the Olympics that all the work isn’t worth it, would we? People who have disabilities face incredible challenges, and they give great joy. Just like YOU and ME.
Love from Jen, our nailpolish, jewelry thieving, fashion loving, shopping expert! Who knows how to be silly too. Just like………