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my view from the prison of a SICLE (Self-Imposed Child Loss Experience) due to debilitating maternal disease
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:: Thursday, June 23, 2005 ::

(Approximately 90% of children with Down Syndrome are aborted.)

I have a friend who has a son with Down Syndrome. He is child number 6. My pal, J, was told all sorts of insensitive things with this little fella was born. A good Christian friend told J that her baby was going to be her "cross to bear". He was only two weeks out! J cried for days.

J knew that her little one had a difference before birth. It looked like there was an issue on the sonograms, but the doctors couldn't give an exact diagnosis, and she wouldn't submit to testing. She has a sister who had an amnio that ended the pregnancy. Luckily she was far enough along that the babies lived. Even so, J wasn't going that route. She believed that God gave her the child He wanted her to have. She knew that God put him in this world, and she certainly wan't going to do anything to compromise that. Doctors thought the diagnosis could be hydrocephaly or any number of things. And then he was born with Down Syndrome.

His daddy wasn't freaked, didn't feel inept. Dad, you see, is a cardiologist and is confident where medical issues are concerned. Not to mention the fact that one of Dad's sisters worked with people with Down Syndrome and was bringing friends with extra chromosomes home all the time. Dad loved his son and was hopeful.

Mom grieved and adjusted. Down Syndrome is not what she particularly wanted for her child, but she knew she loved him and knew he would need more of her love than even her other five children.

Her son is around ten now. J is bilingual, and he knows tons of Spanish from computer programs. None of his siblings, not even the oldest ones, know as much Spanish as he does. They gripe about it, but he's the only one willing to sit down and give it his full attention for hours on end. Even his mom doesn't have that kind of patience.

One of his brothers was playing with him the other day when Mom walked by. The typically chromosomed lad proclaimed, "Mom, I wish everybody could have a brother with Down Syndrome!"

What can I say? The kid is a joy. When we were introduced, he came right up and gave me a big ol' sweet hug. Why? He just felt like it. How many times have you felt like jumping up and hugging someone but resisted the urge because you thought you might be rejected or deemed corny or touchy-feely? This kid doesn't have hang ups. He just loves when he feels like it. Along with an extra chromosome, he has been given extra love, extra love which he doles out freely to needy. And the needy are us.

The world is a better place with him in it.

:: ashli 8:47 AM # ::

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