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Why I Don't Always Mention My Daughter Has Down Syndrome

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A cartoon depiction of a child and a man with a ginger colored beard kept popping up on Instagram. I didn’t understand what it meant or who it was until I saw the video today of a little boy touching Prince Harry’s beard.

What I noticed first about their interaction — what my heart is full of and what I want to spread — is love! The little boy, like my daughter, has Down syndrome.

Yet the second thing I noticed is there is no mention of this precious child having Down syndrome. The interaction between the two of them wasn’t about a diagnosis or a title. To me, it represents what this child and Prince Harry have in their hearts and who they are.

When it comes to my daughter, Savannah, I have struggled with whether to mention Down syndrome or not. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. I don’t want to talk so much about Down syndrome that I attract more attention to the diagnosis than Savannah herself. Yes, I want to advocate for Savannah and those who have disabilities. I want to educate those that know nothing about Down syndrome (like I used to be). I also want to encourage others who have recently received a diagnosis and being to them the person I once needed.

The purpose of my blog posts and Instagram feed posts is to show the diverse family we have. Real life stuff that is a part of our journey. We just have a little something extra that is a part of our journey.

Even though Down syndrome is what Savannah has, it isn’t who she is, and it’s not what our family is. I pray our journey and our lives reflect the love of God and the beauty depicted in this cartoon, whether Down syndrome is mentioned or not.


Originally published: October 19, 2018
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