Sunday, July 12, 2009

For David and His Disciples

I am a parent who chose to bring a child with Down syndrome into our family and into the world you and I share. I have read through your posts and comment threads and several like them and would like to respond to some of the ideas therein.

Technology and tests do not prevent Down syndrome. Ds happens at conception and at some point later, a test result shatters a woman’s heart. Why some women continue their pregnancies and carry their babies to term may be incomprehensible to you, but it isn’t to me.

I did not have my children in order to have my own intelligence and beauty reflected back at me. I do not plan to live vicariously through my children, nor do I need them to support me in my old age. I am not afraid of developmental delays, or of someone whose beauty is different than what our culture is programmed to desire. I don’t suffer from M√ľnchausen syndrome, I don’t feel self-important, nor am I a religious masochist.

I chose to have children so that I could enjoy their company. All three of my children are a pleasure to be with, so they have all fulfilled my “parental needs.”

I am sorry if it bothers you that I didn’t see fit to kill my baby once I learned that the cells making up those little feet kicking at my insides all had an extra 21st chromosome.

I am also sorry if you are angry that some of your tax dollars are spent on giving my child with Ds the extra boost she needs to develop to her full potential (which is way higher than Rob seems to understand) There are lots of things I don’t like my tax dollars spent on either, but I accept that. I can give up a few Mocha Lattes to feed some 16 year old high-school drop-out’s perfectly developed welfare baby. Because, well you know, some unplanned pregnancies do result in live births.

My daughter with Down syndrome doesn’t suffer at all. And the only upcoming suffering she will probably face in her life is the ridicule and rejection of people like you. Might she get sick at some point? Yes, and you might too.

David, before you continue your campaign against parents letting their developmentally delayed children live, you should spend some time learning more about them. You seem to be convinced that only a specific set of “desirable” human traits can result in a “healthy, successful, productive” life. Having Down syndrome and being developmentally delayed doesn’t make you unhealthy, unsuccessful, or unproductive. Are some people with Ds unhealthy? Yes, they are. Are lots of people without Ds unhealthy, unsuccessful, and unproductive? Yes, they are.

Read this book, Common Threads: Celebrating Life with Down Syndrome, and see if knowledge about real people with Ds (lots of adults) doesn’t soften your stance just a bit.

26 comments:

  1. I love you, Sandra. My heart has been hurting ever since I read his rabid post, and I do want to address it on my own blog as well, but I just want to say that you have so eloquently and beautifully put into words what is in my heart, and I'm sure every other parent with a child with Ds.

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  2. I completely agree with Lisa. Thank you for saying what I couldn't.

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  3. Wow! That was well-said! I didn't read the original offending post, nor do I think I want to - I am pretty sure it was just plain ugly. Thank you for taking a stand.

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  4. you nailed it. what an awesome post and so beautifully written. i sometime hesitate to comment on someone else's opinion blog because, well....it IS their opinion and for as much as I may disagree...everyone is still entitled to their own. sometimes I think people like David enjoy the controversy and relish in the nasty debating so I choose not to participate, but I sure do love your position, and how you've taken it...here on your own blog. nicely done. well said. i couldn't agree with your book choice more.

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  5. Beautifully put. Perfect selection for the book. I've read it a couple of times and am repeatedly reminded of the successes my baby can and will achieve.

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  6. This man reminds me of the klu klux klan. I totally agree. My tax dollars pay for what my baby recieves. And I would much rather pay that then someone who doesn't work at all or comes into this country illegally and then lives of our welfare.

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  7. Well said. Our decision to adopt LC was largely influenced by my relationship with my great uncle who had Down syndrome. He was valued without expectation or strings attached...just like any member of our family is. He was never institutionalized and when he passed away after his SEVENTIETH birthday the grief was as sharp as it would have been for anyone.
    My daughter's purpose isn't to significantly contribute to our economy or waste an expensive education and broad vocabulary on hating a group of defenseless people. Her purpose is to daily show me evidence of a beautiful and gracious God and I know of no person, typical or not, who has so stunningly achieved and exceeded their own potential.
    Thanks for always keeping us informed of current issues, information and concerns. Loving your blog, of course...

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  8. Amazing. You said what I'm feeling so eloquently. Thank-you from me and Goldie.

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  9. My heart aches after reading just a little bit of David's words. Oh my goodness, I am sad. Thank you so much for your words and for speaking on behalf of all of us.

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  10. Very well-written. It's like you took the words right out of my mouth and molded them with love and care to deliver the message with that much needed oomph! I love how you've taken a solid and firm, yet non-adversarial stance. And yes, I love that book.

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  11. Wow I never saw that guy's postings before. Not something very good to look at before you go to bed - hope I can sleep. I also didn't know I was a Down parent - boy that is new one to me. Very good response. Bravo.

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  12. I have been trying and trying to post a comment and reply to David's original post. Although my arguments were different in form, they were not different from yours (or Lisa's) in heart. Thank you.

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  13. This was a great post! Thank you for saying what I was feeling!

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  14. Wow, I don't have the fortitude to read his post right now but I have felt judged many times in the short four months of my lovely daughter's life. Many people (most of whom are acquaintances but not close friends) have responded to the news of her 'syndrome' with "But there's a test. Didn't you screen for that?" Since over 90% of people whose child tests positive for DS do terminate their pregancy, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised but I am very disappointed.
    Luckily, the effect she has had on people willing to get close is so wonderful that it eases the sting.

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  15. Well said! Many of us who actually have children with Down syndrome see this loser for what he is: totally wrong.

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  16. Wow...this is just...I dont even have the words, but I will say that you totally made me cry. In a good way...
    Thank you so much for writing this.

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  17. Beautifully said! You are an awesome advocate!

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  18. Well said! I couldn't agree more with your post and you were able to put into words everything that I'd been thinking about his post. Thank you for such a gracious response to a vile post!

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  19. You are a brilliant writer and a brilliant mother and a brilliant THINKER. Thanks so much for this post.

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  20. So well stated- and thank you for helping to express what WE all feel- I am absolutely sickened by this guy and by the people in the comments. Truely the only suffering in my life since our dear little one has come along is exposure to people like this. I forget that there are people even like that out there. Speaking of who should be euthanized for their lack of intelligence...
    Sorry if that is a bit harsh- I guess I need to work on my tolerance as well. You're words are thoughtful and heartening
    Nicole

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  21. What a sad, narrow-minded man. People like that make me see red. Wow. (In with the good air, out with the bad.) You did an amazing job at stating the obvious.

    (P.S. I've thought about starting a blog for Hulkman so many times, maybe this IS the right time.)

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  22. very, very nice. all i can think of in reaction to posts like this guy's are HULK SMASH! and you had to go and be all eloquent and logical.

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