Tuesday, August 15, 2017

I Am Tired Of The Down Syndrome Termination Discussion

I am tired of the Down syndrome termination discussion. Not because I don't want to fight for Down syndrome, but because I honestly don't understand why this is still a prevalent issue in 2017. And yet...this discussion is all over my social media news feeds. This week. August 2017.

Why is Iceland eradicating all of Down syndrome? Why is Denmark and several other countries not far behind? Why are people at large devaluing Down syndrome, and most of all-- WHY is Down syndrome disappearing?

This makes no sense to me.
It feels as though a doctor is handing the world a diagnosis, saying, "You are about to have a really gorgeous rainbow full of color enter into your lives. Bursts of bright yellows, creamy purples, silky blues, vibrant reds-- your live is about to be overrun with beauty beyond your wildest dreams in an amazingly unique way."

And the world is saying, "Eh, no thanks. A rainbow sounds kind of bulky and would take up too much space in our sky. And plus we've never had a rainbow before, so we wouldn't know what to expect. Pass."

Perhaps it's my own fault. I'm so busy admiring my own rainbow that I forget that there are other perspectives. Other ideas of what my life should be like without having ever experienced it.

But pushing the "me" out of this picture entirely. Addison. Addison is so busy living an awesome, fabulous, chocolate-drenched life, that she would never consider their perspective valid. And she has Down syndrome.
I'm not knocking the prenatal testing. Goodness knows I took it myself so that I could be prepared to take the best care of my daughter I possibly could. And I was thankful to go into birth with as much knowledge as possible, and in the right hospital to be able to handle what was coming.

But why are we letting these tests decide whether a baby lives or dies?

Do you know how many ways a child's life can be threatened or altered every single day after birth? And yet as parents, our job is to love and fight alongside that child no matter what kind of hailstorm falls on us. No matter what. So why is it a "thing" to decide...before even meeting the child...that these tests coming back differently than you expected determines whether you hit a kill switch or not?

What is happening? Why is it a source of pride for countries to share these statistics? These philosophies?

WHY is the world saying that it would be a better place if individuals like MY DAUGHTER had never been born?

Speak for yourself. My world has been immensely better with Down syndrome in it. All the good in the world has come with her diagnosis. Honestly, I'm amazed at the new perspectives, beauty, and gratitude for life itself because I've been gifted my daughter.

Rainbows do that.
My three other children are already learning and growing in ways they wouldn't without a sister with Down syndrome in their lives.

The opportunities for grace, both given and received....love...acceptance from those around us, the community, and our church-- all of these things have been mind-blowing to be a part of.

Addison has made our world a better place. Not in spite of Down syndrome. Because of Down syndrome.

So why again are countries bragging about plucking their rainbows out of the sky? Do they not want the world to be a better place? A more beautiful, prism-filled place of acceptance?

You know who would never judge someone else based on any sort of physical, mental, or emotional difference?

Someone with Down syndrome.
If you ever wanted to be accepted completely for exactly who YOU are, I suggesting finding a friend with Down syndrome and realize that acceptance goes both ways.

Okay, I'm getting off my soap box now.

Just kidding. I live up here.

With my beautiful daughter, Addison, who has challenged everything I thought I knew and replaced that with a new kind of love and acceptance I didn't even know was possible eight years ago.

I am grateful for her. I am grateful for Down syndrome.

Which leaves me once again scratching my head with...WHY is this still an issue? Why? I don't get it.

Dear God please protect our babies with Down syndrome and help the world to see them for the gift they truly are.