What Does World Down syndrome Day Have In Common With Building Muscles?
Tomorrow is World Down syndrome day , where the world pauses for a moment and recognizes and honors those with Down syndrome. For those of you who don’t know this, but every person with Down syndrome has 3 copies of the 21st. chromosome instead of the typical 2 copies. Hence March 21st. (3,21) was chosen to be that special day.
I reflect back on that fateful day when Christina was born, and the doctor told me that she has Down syndrome. It felt like someone had picked up my life and threw it against a brick wall. I felt weak, hopeless and sad for many years after that.
I was told about the many things she wasn’t going to be able to do, her limitations and the restrictions those limitations would put on my life. It was truly one of the saddest days of my life.
My child was weak, and so was I. Her future was doomed, and so was mine.
Her destination was hopeless and so was mine.
But with lots of prayers from others (thank God, because I was too angry and exhausted to render any kind of good prayer), both Christina and I grew stronger. Just like going to the gym, you don’t become fit and awesome looking over night, it takes time, dedications and lots practice.
Yes, my child is needy, but so am I, we all are! We are just better at hiding our needs from the world.
My child has gifts to share with the world, just like you and I.
My child born with Down syndrome is human, just like you and I.
She is broken, yet loved. We all are broken, yet someone loves us.
Over the years, Christina has become stronger in every sense of that word:
She started running, climbing up the highest trees, riding a bike, riding a horse, playing Hide and Seek at the park, making friends, reading,playing the piano, and she learned to give of herself. Her “muscles” grew in every area of her life.
And as for me? I grew the muscles called “love without fear, trust God without too many questions about what He is doing, advocate for my child and those with special needs without ceasing, enjoy my child without judgement, and be grateful for the smallest things.
Christina’s strength of character surprises me all the time: she works hard to acquire new skills. She is friendly with everyone who is friendly with her. She makes me laugh and teaches me what is really important in this fast-paced, crazy, difficult life.