As most of you know by now, our middle son Thomas has Down's Syndrome.
This is one of God's most wonderful gifts to us, and the more we discover who he is, the more he amazes us. We would not be without him, and have never resented God for giving us a child with disabilities, because our lives have been enriched and improved by him.
When we found out Tom had DS (about 2 months after his birth), we were temporarily 'floored'. I cannot deny the shock and grief we felt, and the first 48 hours after the diagnosis were very dark. But very quickly, we knew we had no choice but to embrace this as God's will, and accept that Thomas was a child 'with a difference'!
Today, after 4 1/2 years of having Tom in our lives, I am astonished, sad, and oh so angry, by the number of pregnancies terminated after a diagnosis of (potential or confirmed) Down's Syndrome ...!!
Today, Down syndrome is considered grounds for abortion in an increasing number of countries. The number of children born with Down syndrome is decreasing due to the large number of abortions following an early diagnosis of Down syndrome during pregnancy. In a hearing before the German Parliament, doctors stated that 90% of all fetuses prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted. This number is consistent with the official statistics, wherein 1500 children with Down Syndrome should, statistically, have been born per year (at a prevalence rate of 1:600), but only 63 per annum were listed in the 1995 birth register.
If only people knew more about what it is like to have a child with this condition!
It has been a significantly life-enhancing experience for me, and I would gladly have another child like him any day.
Last week I came across three blogs whose authors are Mums of little ones with DS, and at Raising Joey, I came across this: "Connie Hutzel writes about her feelings towards the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists new recommendations and being a mother to a son who has Down syndrome. Disabilities mean little in living full life by Connie Hutzel".
The article makes for a very interesting and powerful read... and says a lot of what I feel as Thomas' Mum. Do take some time to have a look.