World Down Syndrome Day!

World Down Syndrome Day is celebrated on the 21st day of the 3rd month each year to signify triplication of the 21st chromosome. It is a day to raise awareness for what Down Syndrome is, is not, and how people with Down Syndrome play an important role in our lives and communities.

I was welcomed in to the life of Maggy when I was 16 years old. She, who has Down Syndrome, came to live with us because her parents had passed away and her sister didn’t want her unless she could get paid to keep her. She was just shy of 250lbs and 4’6 tall. She threw tantrums to get what she wanted and her quality of life was diminishing. She wasn’t valued and dealt with that by overeating and throwing tantrums. Her original doctor even told us that she didn’t have any other pleasures in her life so we should continue to let her eat whatever she wanted… We switched doctors.

It didn’t take long for Maggy to love and trust us all. Because of her our family was changed for the better. Maggy lost 150lbs and stopped throwing tantrums. I believe that our family was saved by Maggy. All us kids were in the midst of our angry teenage years and Maggy taught us too focus on something other and bigger than ourselves. For example, even though my brother wouldn’t talk to anyone, he would go and tuck Maggy in to say goodnight each night. That eventually led to him talking to us again. I know I’ve told that story before but it was a huge turning point for all of us. Maggy was and still is a un-judging shoulder to cry on and listening ear for all of us. She is still the worlds best hugger 🙂 In every sense of the word that matters Maggy is my sister and I love her with all my heart!

I always knew I wanted to include a people with Down Syndrome in the family that I grow as well and I was blessed enough to get a husband who wanted the same thing! We didn’t know exactly how that would come about until I proposed adopting a little girl to Jon last January. It was not a big debate. It wasn’t a question of whether we should adopt who we now know is Sofie, but how we were going to make it happen.

I am literally filled with bubbles of anticipation for Sofie to come home. I can’t imagine how much she is going to bless our family and I can’t wait to find out! I think next years World Down Syndrome Day is going to be a very different personal feel for me 🙂

Down Syndrome is not a disease. People with DS do not suffer from it.
It is genetic, just as brown hair and blue eyes. It is there at conception. 
People with DS are someones child, grand-child, sibling, co-worker, friend, lover, even parent.
People with DS can contribute to society just like any other person can.
Please do not think of people with Down Syndrome in terms of what they can’t do…
Only look at them in terms of what they can do. 
They should not be underestimated or under valued.
They are human, just like you.
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