Monday, August 4, 2014

I've read some stories recently that have made me truly appreciate the blessing that Asher is to us and the fact that God chose Katy as our birthmother. Not all children diagnosed with Down syndrome have such a bright looking future.

I was reading a blog by a woman who has adopted multiple children with special needs from various countries. She and her husband have adopted two little girls from Europe with Down syndrome. One of them was placed in an orphanage where she was put in a separate room for the children with special needs. The only human contact that she experienced was to be changed and fed. When they met her she would wrap her arms around her knees and rock. She also pulled out her hair to name a couple of behaviors she developed from spending her first 5 years confined to a crib. In addition to Down syndrome she was also believed to have institutional autism. She has been in the United States for a few years now, still struggles with some of the behaviors that she developed during this time in her life and is non-verbal possibly due to this time as well. All because she has Down syndrome.

A popular story right now of an Australian couple that hired a surrogate in Thailand. The woman became pregnant with twins and one of them was diagnosed with Down syndrome. The couple asked her to abort the baby late in the pregnancy and she refused. When the babies were born, they took the baby girl back home with them and left the baby boy born with Down syndrome in Thailand. Even though the surrogate carried the babies to better provide for her other children financially, she is now caring for this baby as well that she can't afford. All because he has Down syndrome.

In the United States we have the technology to diagnose Down syndrome prenatally. This results in roughly 93% of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome being aborted, which I find to be tragic, especially when there are waiting lists of people waiting to adopt these babies. All because they have Down syndrome.

I look at Asher and how he cries to have his needs met or even just to ask to be cuddled. I watch him smile and try to giggle when I kiss his face. I watch him develop and grow and imagine what opportunities he will have as he gets older. Thankfully he will never know what it's like to cry and learn that no one will respond to that cry. He will always know that he is loved, chosen and given life despite the fact that he has Down syndrome. He will only know what it's like to be raised in a family that loves him and will fight for him to have every opportunity that he deserves. All because he is a person just like us, who just happens to have Down syndrome.