Something To Be Aware Of

October is Down Syndrome awareness month. I haven’t posted anything on Facebook about it, and those that are friends with me may or may not notice, but I rarely do post anything which relates to my having two sons with DS. I want to be clear, it’s not that I am embarrassed, at all. It’s that, for me, Kole and Hudson having Down Syndrome is like your child having blond hair, or a birth mark. It’s just part of who they are. So it’s not really something I think about all the time. God has given me eyes that just see them as my sons, not as their disability. But, it gets tricky being Kole and Hudson’s Mom, because sometimes when others look at them all they see is disability, all they see is everything they can’t do. As a Mom I just want people to see them, and everything, the so many things they can do; the many things they are besides boys with Down Syndrome. I try; I really try to let certain comments roll off my back. We get them so often, the questions from total strangers, the stares, the comments about physical attributes etc… And let me just say, it stinks.

This past Sunday I got the “double whammy” from someone at church. I’ll just preface this story by saying, we love our church. I went to get Hudson from his Sunday School class and out of the blue someone says, “Now Kole and Lane and Hudson aren’t real brothers, right?” I thought for a few seconds, then replied, “Well, Kole is adopted if that’s what you mean. But, they all think of each other as brothers. So yes they are real brothers.” What I wanted to say is, “Yes, they’re brothers! I didn’t whittle Kole out of wood like Pinocchio. They are REAL brothers.” People, listen, adopted children are their adoptive parents’ real children and their adoptive siblings’ real brothers and sisters. Kole is ours. He is my real son. The End.

Oh, but the questions didn’t stop there. Round two started. “So, what’s wrong with Kole?” he continued. I could feel my ears getting hot. I took a deep breath. “Well, I guess you must mean that Kole has Down Syndrome.” “Oh, there’s nothing wrong with Lane though, right?” Me, “I guess not.” Then he looked at Hudson, who was bending over to pick up several toys that some other perfect kid had thrown all over the floor, and said, “Well, what’s wrong with him?” I think I almost had a rage blackout at that moment, but the Holy Spirit kept me chill. I answered quietly, “Hudson has Down Syndrome as well. But, listen buddy; it is so rude to say the things you just said. Could you imagine if I just walked up to you and said, ‘What’s wrong with you?’” He mumbled something and then, praise God, someone else walked over and interrupted.

Parents, people, please imagine with me for one minute how you would feel if someone walked up to you and found your one “flaw” or your child’s one “flaw” and then proceeded to point it out to you. How would you feel if someone asked you, “What’s wrong with your kid?” “Why are you so fat?” “What’s up with that mole over your lip?” Or some other incredibly rude question. Furthermore, there is nothing “wrong” with people with Down Syndrome or any other disability. The sooner you realize that all human beings were fearfully and wonderfully made and created in God’s image, the happier we’ll all be. So in this month of Down Syndrome awareness, if all you see when you look at someone is their “ability”, then as we jokingly say in our house, “Shut your pie hole.”


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