There was a time I was ignorant about disability. When we found out prenatally our baby most likely had Down syndrome, it was hard. I only knew stereotypes, coupled with my limited experiences interacting wth people with disabilities. The diagnosis felt as if it was the “worse” thing that could happen to my baby and my family.
My daughter is now 10 years old. She is full of personality and sass. She makes us laugh, makes us frustrated and melts our hearts. Much the same as many other 10-year-olds do. It turns out, most of the fears I had were rooted in the negative disability attitudes that permeate our society.
Because of her, my life has changed. My view of disability has changed. Now some of my closest friends are adults with disabilities. I am also a disability ministry consultant helping churches understand disability and launch disability ministries.
Ignorance is a powerful thing. Yet love is more powerful than anything else. And love leads to relationship, which leads to understanding, which leads to a changed attitude.
But the reality? Down syndrome is a part of who my daughter is, and it is a part of her I love.
I don’t wish my daughter was different. I love her for exactly who she is.
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