Friday, 21 March 2014

Because we all bleed red.

Today is World Down Syndrome Day. This video made me sob my eyes out just now, thinking of how little we knew when we had that first pre-natal test with all it's 'soft signs' and hinting. How little we knew when we chose not to have a second because of what decision people would then be pressuring us to make. They set that pressure up very early on by labeling me 'high risk'.

I sobbed my eyes out because maybe then we wouldn't have Rukai.

That is a tremendously harsh reality and I will admit it today, right here, right now because it is important to me that everyone reading this knows the reality is not what you think. Unless you have a child with Down's syndrome, the reality is NOT what you think. Nothing to fear. Till my dying day, I will swear by that.

Nothing. To. Fear.

So today, please do our family the favor of not merely being 'aware' of Down's syndrome, but make a pact with yourself to go forward and work really hard to be accepting of people with DS as individuals. Stop labeling, stop generalizing - they are not all happy all the time. They are not all the same. Neither are you and me.

Accept their ability, their possibility, their beauty and the fire in their belly to achieve, just like any 'ordinary' kid. My son is not a sickly, inanimate lump with no drive and no intellect, as I was led to expect he would be. He is very healthy. He is immensely powerful in his deliberation. I see more passion in my son than I have ever seen in someone so small. I did not expect this. None of us did. Yet this is the reality.

Here is another reality: In the UK, 90% of pregnancies with a DS diagnosis are terminated. 90%.

How many Rukais have been lost? Because of fear based on statistics? I have sobbed buckets over that, too. Before we had Rukai, I never knew there are people who are looking specifically to adopt a child with Down's syndrome. Something else I picked up in the past two years. Why would they, you ask? I need only look at our son to find my answer.

We are so uncomfortable with differences that we rarely know how to act or what to say when confronted by them. I'm asking you to dig deep, just be you. Find words. Enrich your life.

Because we all bleed red.

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