I have slacked off on my Down syndrome awareness posts lately, and I apologize for that. I really wanted to keep the information flowing throughout October, but with our travel date just over a week away, we have been trying to get things organized... or at the very least, we're pretending that we are getting things organized... because let's face it, anyone who knows me knows I won't be packing my suitcase until AT LEAST October 28th! LOL But still, there are lots of OTHER things we need to be doing before then!
Still though, there are some things I still want to say about Down syndrome awareness, and I know October will roll around again next year, but well... that's so far away. SO if this is the LAST post I do for the month about Down syndrome, what is THE most important thing I can tell you?
Did you know that 90% of babies with Down syndrome who are diagnosed prenatally are aborted? Seriously? Seriously. 90%. That's HUGE. 90% of parents decide that their children don't deserve to live. They don't deserve a chance to be happy or to thrive. Better yet, they are probably told they CAN'T be happy or thrive. Which is a lie.
My friend Michelle recently posted that she read this comment on another blog: "...my belief that Down's is a cruel and unusual sentence to visit on a child."
The commenter went on to say this: Far more Down's children live miserable, suffering lives than these individuals (meaning us parents) want you to believe. Viewing the lives of affected children, and simple education tells me that I could never force a child to endure what they would should they be born with Down's."
WOW. Really? I wonder how many lives of individuals with Down syndrome this commenter has actually "viewed". Because let me tell you what I see. I see kids and adults who are happy (except when someone or something makes them sad), and loving, and live life with an innocence and lack of prejudice that I wish ALL people could have.
More intimately, I see a little girl in my home who instinctively knows when I'm having a bad day and will come up and wrap her arms around my neck and give me a kiss on my cheek and tell me, "It's ok, mommy." I see a child who takes extreme pride in her every accomplishment, and who can be the most stubborn child you will ever meet! I see a child who's laugh can brighten a gloomy day. I see a sister who fights with her siblings over toys, who loves macaroni and cheese but hates black olives and adores playing dress up and going to "ballerina class". Sounds "cruel and unusual", huh?
We did NOT know prenatally that Kennedy had Down syndrome, but I can promise you 100% that she WOULD be here today, no matter what, had we known. In fact, I wish we HAD known so we could have researched. It would have made the day of her birth SO much less traumatic. However, I grieve for the advances that science is making in prenatal testing because I know that the goal of MANY OBs is to eliminate the birth of children with Down syndrome altogether... and SO many families are going to be missing out on such a HUGE blessing.
90% are already being aborted... how long before it's 99%?