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Down Syndrome Isn’t Something Terrible

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“Something terrible has been discovered about the pregnancy.”

My son isn’t something terrible.

But the world often disagrees.

You can tell me how cute my kids are all day long.

You can love us and laugh along with our wild, beautiful chaos.

But the truth is, the world still overwhelmingly thinks Down syndrome is “something terrible.”

People still argue that it’s irresponsible to bring children like Mason into the world.

Junie was born in a country where prenatal diagnosis wasn’t available, and she was abandoned and spent five-and-a-half years as an orphan.

Down syndrome isn’t terrible.

A world without Down syndrome — that’s terrible.

A world where people scream “tolerance” for every group except people with disabilities — that’s terrible.

My children make some people in the world uncomfortable.

My children make the world face its fears, and come face to face with the reality that we are not in control. We are not God.

Life is messy.

Life is imperfect.

And that’s OK.

It’s not terrible.

It’s just life.

And until you can truly preach tolerance for those who by their very genetic code are different from the rest of us, tolerance is meaningless.

My son is a gift not because I chose to be OK with his extra chromosomes, his extra challenges, but because I believe he bears the spark of the divine, the fingerprint of the creator.

My children are not terrible.

They are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Not choices, but children.

Not guarantees, but children.

Not terrible.

Getty image by nd3000.

Originally published: November 23, 2019
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