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Dad, Mom, and baby Meghan

Dad, Mom, and baby Meghan

Meghan through the years

Meghan's age

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Trisomy 21 trio of cuties

10 Things Every Child with Autism Wishes you knew

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What is normal? One Chromosome Unites Us

When we had Meghan, people felt compelled to tell us stories about friends and friends of friends, cousins, aunts, uncles, all who had someone with Down syndrome in their lives. I actually loved hearing all of the stories; I was hungry to hear that the children grew into adults who did "normal" things.

We use that word a lot as parents; normal, "Is it normal for her to eat like that, sleep like that?” The opposite of normal of course is abnormal. I cannot think about the word abnormal without thinking of Young Frankenstein; the part where Igor gets a brain for the "monster" and picks the A.B. Normal brain. The doc was rather upset with him, but if you saw the show, you know that brain worked pretty well for Frank, in a round about way. LOL Hmmmmmm.

We joke here that none of us in this family are normal, and we are glad we are not typical of everyone else, how boring. Sometimes it gets us in trouble to be independent thinkers, but I would rather that than the alternative, we do not intend to maintain the status quo, heaven help us, no one should considering the state of our world. We embrace diversity, individuality, and cherish each person in our family for the wonderful person they are. We respect one another, even if we do not always agree with the others POV. I like that word, RESPECT.

This is one of the reasons it is difficult for me, for us, to comprehend the reaction some people have to our youngest family members. Meghan, Kara and Amanda often get mixed reactions when we are out as a family, and I will report to you, that if you are the person who rudely stares, nudges your friends to also stare, and begin to whisper and laugh derisively, then you will get 7 angry scowls from a very protective family. You see, we see you as unkind people with poor manners. As unenlightened people and we pity you for your ignorance. You cannot and will not see that we feel blessed to have our three daughters/sisters in our lives, you just see through your own bigoted eyes.

You believe that my girls are not "normal" children, and that makes you uncomfortable. Your behavior will forever bring to my mind a verse in a song in "Beauty and the Beast" the "Kill the Beast" song. Indeed, I sing this to myself whenever I get rude reactions to my girls (thankfully we usually get very nice people interacting with our family)

We don't like
What we don't understand
In fact it scares us
And this monster is mysterious at least
Bring your guns
Bring your knives
Save your children and your wives
We'll save our village and our lives
We'll kill the Beast!

This is what families do to children diagnosed prenatally with Down syndrome (and other conditions and syndromes), they kill them via abortion, I know you will use the words “terminate the pregnancy”, but folks, it means the same thing, look it up, to terminate somebody means to murder them. I have read your reasoning in blogs and articles for terminations of your pregnancies, some of you have heart wrenching explanations; I have cried tears of sadness and pity for you. I try not to judge, I am not you, but I can't help but think that if doctors, geneticists, and other medical professionals would stop painting such a bleak picture about babies born with Down syndrome, more of the children would have a chance to be welcomed into this world. If the families cannot raise their children there are hundreds of others lined up to do it for them! Adoption should be the choice over a 90% abortion rate.

I have spoken to enough women about their doctors recommendations following prenatal discovery of that extra 21st chromosome to have a pretty good understanding about what the medical community in general believes; that anything that is not normal is BAD. That they need to FIX it, so it will not be ABnormal. How do you fix a baby born with an extra chromosome? You do not, you get rid of them, because it is BEST for the family and the children will be a BURDEN to your other children after you DIE and it is NOT FAIR to them to bring their brother or sister into the world or in our case with no prenatal diagnosis, to being the baby home? I have no respect for a community who would believe this, and it does make me distrust most doctors. How can I entrust my daughters to you when you believe they never should have been born? How can you look into their beautiful faces and not see a whole person?

I believe that the attitude the medical world has empowered hate groups, it justifies their beliefs. They feel warranted in saying my children do not have the right to breathe the same air as they do. I have had the ugly truth hitting me in the face this week. Hate groups of any kind are difficult for me to understand, how can someone embrace that much vitriol in their souls? It takes a tremendous amount of energy to hate something with that much malice, they have to be exhausted, they work so hard at it…

In my heart I feel that people with this mindset are missing something essential in their souls, they cannot respect anyone who is different and they cannot love and accept anyone they see as ABnormal, and they teach their children to abhor anyone different as well, perpetuating a terrible cycle. Their intolerance is the basest of human emotions and it presents itself as a festering boil, suppurating on the skin of civilization.

What do we do to boils, we lance them and let the pus drain away, lest the infection take over and kill it’s host…but how do we teach tolerance and acceptance, how do we help the masses see that our children are always children first, who share more in common with them than they are different? How do we rid the world of it’s infection of bigotry? I am not immune, because I feel great animosity towards those who hate my children.

To those of you who call my children retards, morons, imbeciles, or any of the other words you have twisted into your hate speech I proclaim that I love my daughters, I adore them, I am so proud of them, having Down syndrome it is a small part of who they are, to me and those who love them they are normal, they are perfect, and they have my respect for I know they work hard for everything they learn. They are smart, funny, and wonderful human beings. I thank God for them every day. I feel compassion for you, for not being able to see what I see, to feel what I feel, you are missing one of the universes greatest gifts.

1 comment:

GoldenAngelsWorks said...

Well said Kris.
Your girls are beautiful shining rays of sunshine.
I love watching them blossom!!!

Every time the dr's told me that I should do an amnio I told them no.... whatever God has planned for me I am ready to handle with His help.

Beautiful artwork featuring children

Such a beautiful Video

I have a voice

Gifts video