The idea of Down Syndrome is really scary.
If it wasn’t, why would so many people abort pregnancies for which the chances of Down Syndrome is greater? Yes – there are increased health risks like heart disease and leukaemia and for a good while, the idea of these things were completely debilitating for even myself but the reality is, is that any child could have health problems at birth, or later into their life. Down Syndrome alone however, is nothing to be afraid of.
We know, with certainty that individuals with Down Syndrome will have developmental delays. They will have cognitively delays and physical delays because of the exact chemistry that I explained in my previous post. Oddly enough, it isn’t the “big” health problems that scare people into abortions but it is these development delays that cause people to believe that their child or themselves will have a diminished quality of life.
But I have news for you.
When you take away the bar, you realize that a few delays really aren’t so bad. When you take away anything or anyone else to compare Ella’s development to, she is perfect. Yesterday, I instagrammed and tweeted “A Day In The Life Of Down Syndrome” What you’ll notice is that life isn’t all that different for us and quality of life? Well, I’ll let you be the judge.
Let me recap for you. It was my day off so the morning started slow. Ella read books in bed with her milk. She has obviously seen mommy and daddy do this a lot so it is only natural.
We put ribs in the slow cooker for supper and Ella helped because Ella is a helper. She likes to help with EVERYTHING. She is sitting on my lap as I write. She loves being with mama and doing what mama is doing.
At breakfast we tried to get her to say “I am Happy” because it has been a theme for World Down Syndrome Day this year. The funny thing about it, is that we often poke fun when people say, “Oh, people with Down Syndrome are so happy all the time.” Because, quite frankly, they aren’t happy all the time. Ella nicely proved our point because she got quite angry when she wanted to do things her way.
Eventually, we made it out of the house and headed to Surrey to visit an organization called A Rocha. A Rocha is a Christian organization that focuses on environmental education and community based conservation. I love everything about them and am going to start working with them as their online content curator so we wanted to go out, as a family to meet the team and get familiar with their 40 acre site along the Little Campbell River. The kids loved it. We arrived just in time for lunch and in good Ella fashion, she took the time to hug and meet everyone in the room. Afterward, we visited the chickens, sheep, including their two new little lambs and cows.
The kids didn’t want to leave but we needed to get back to the city because we were having friends over for dinner. Now, we had planned this dinner date a while ago, but I realized that we just happened to invite friends, who happen to be co-workers and who also happen to have a daughter with Down Syndrome. Not all of our friends have kids with Down Syndrome, in fact, few of them do. We had a wonderful evening – the kids play, the adults chatted.
I don’t know what I was expecting. I don’t know what you were expecting but as you can see, life is much more the same than it is different. Down Syndrome is nothing to be scared of. Ella is not Down Syndrome, and our family is not defined by disability. That being said, Down Syndrome is part of who Ella is and it has shaped our family, broadened our perspective on life and made us appreciate the blessing of good health.
Thank you so much for following along with us, celebrating with us and sharing life with us.
If you have any questions about Down Syndrome, disability or faith, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Have a great weekend everyone!