Thank you

Today’s fact: 88% of people who have a sibling with Down syndrome feel that they are better people because of that sibling.

I had to renew my drivers license last month and by chance I ended up sitting next to a woman at the DMV who has a sister with Down syndrome. We talked about Daniel a little and she talked about her sister a little and then she told me something that I’ve heard before. She said, “My mother had her in a Catholic hospital, and after she was born the nuns said, ‘We’ll just take her away and you won’t have to think about her anymore.'” To which this mother had replied that they would absolutely not take her away, that she would be taking her baby home with her.

Over and over I’ve heard versions of this. Doctors who recommended institutionalizing babies with Down syndrome. Nurses who expected that parents wouldn’t want to keep the baby. Even relatives who assumed such a baby would be placed for adoption. And parents who said no. Parents who insisted that THIS child was just as deserving of coming home to a loving family as any other.

That was not so very long ago. Those parents paved the way for the experience we had when Daniel was born. We got up to date information in the hospital. People were positive. Early intervention started right away. I didn’t have to fight to take our son home, because other people had already done that.

So thank you to those parents. It means more than you might ever know.

11 thoughts on “Thank you

  1. It is ridiculous how many of your posts make me cry. Keep this up and I’ll be crying every day this month, thanks very much. Funny how I’ll cry at your posts about loving children and simultaniously yell at my kids, though 🙂

  2. Yes, thank God for those people! Although clicking through links I found round about starting at your blog led me to other blogs about international adoption in countries where this still happens! Heartbreaking.

  3. I am also really glad that we’ve made so much progress since then. I am regularly dismayed, however, by the frequency of negative response from DOCTORS when I mention Pacey has Ds. I get the same furrowed brow, piteous look and sort of hushed, “Oh, how’s he doing?” It’s infuriating, because many times it is OBs, who are the people first in line to counsel patients regarding prenatal diagnosis. Now, I believe in choice for everyone and all options should be presented, but I highly doubt these doctors are able to do it in an objective, unbiased way.

    Mmm, sorry for the rant, guess it’s been on my mind 😉

    • I think about it a lot too! I’ve had mostly good luck with doctors, but I’m often surprised by the people who do give me the look of pity and the “oh I’m sorry.”

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