First off let me address the mother in the UK whose adult son has Down syndrome. Your article broke my heart. To hear another mother albeit from another generation wish her son with Down syndrome had never been born left my heart hurting and my head spinning with confusion and disbelief. At first I thought the article had to be fabricated. No one who has had a child with Down syndrome could possibly say these things because they know what an awesome gift they are to their families. There was no possible way that a mother really felt this way. Then I looked at my adopted son Bo, and realized that times and cultures are different. In today’s time does it have to be that way? Is it too late for you to enjoy your son in his adulthood? Is it to late for him to feel appreciated for the person he is vs the person he isn’t? Is it too late for your community and family to rally around him and let him feel what it is like to be fully loved and cherished? I truly hope not. I will keep you and your son in my thoughts, and hope and pray that it is not too late for any of you.
To any new mother or expectant mother of a child with Down syndrome, please do not take what this mother wrote as universal truth. I must assume it is her truth, but believe me when I say she is by far in the extreme minority. The times we are raising our children in are different. Please also listen to my truth, which I believe is more the norm this day and age. My sons are not anchors to be drug through this life weighing me down. They are sails that help guide my ship on this journey of life. My sons go to public school. They are in the typical classroom 90% of the time. They have friends that have an extra chromosome and have friends that just have 46 chromosomes. Carsten is on the little league team for Johnston. They go on vacations with us everywhere…Disney, Hawaii, Mt. Rushmore, China. We have no issues with them travelling. In fact, they are our best travellers. Both of them talk, sing, dance, play, run, climb, hug, laugh, love, and live. I think if you talk to any of my fellow “sister mothers” at GiGi’s Playhouse they would all say the same thing. Our children have given us all so much. It’s hard for outsiders to understand, and I think that’s why we like to hang around each other so much. We get it, and we are all passionate advocates for our beloved children. Perhaps that is also a sign of how things have changed. We truly have a community. Just today a bunch of us families gathered together to celebrate Halloween at GiGi’s Playhouse. Our kiddos always had a great time, and talking with other “sister mothers” strengthens our soul. We get each other. When we talked about the article the mother from the UK wrote, we all shook our heads in confusion. You see our children are not burdens to us. They are our gifts, our sunshines, our angels, our loves, our children….just like all of our children are. Do we have challenges? Of course! If you have parented any child, you know that you will have challenges. The biggest differences are that our challenges are a little more anticipated, which can cause unnecessary anxiety.
Please know that our lives are good. Our lives are rich. Our lives are fun. Our lives are very normal.