There has been quite a bit of talk regarding the value of people who have Down Syndrome. One country in the world has proudly touted that Down Syndrome is basically extinct while another tells the world that before long people with Down Syndrome will no longer be born there.
As I ponder in disbelief these unconscionable proclamations, my thoughts are interrupted by our own little Down Syndrome darlin’ emphatically calling her big brother, “Gray-uh! Gray-uh!” (Graham! Graham!) He and Savannah were here for a couple of days this weekend and she seems to be addicted to him now! She calls him all day long! She calls Savannah that as well – after all, she answers to it.
Oh friends, what would our world be like without her?
Birdie’s eyes are her silent declaration to the entire world, “I have Down Syndrome!” as well as shouting her infinite worth! They are my favorite part of her! Her eyes represent everything fragile about her life while announcing her extra chromosome and sparkling with immeasurable value!
There is no doubt that almost everyone who meets Birdie is completely smitten – whether she gives them her silent stamp of approval or not! This little bite-sized chica is a hoot and a half!
What strikes me more than anything, is that (I’m guessing) over 60% of the people who meet Birdie have said one of these three things: “Oh I just love people with Down Syndrome” while others have told us, “I’ve always wanted a child with Down Syndrome” and a few have even whispered, “We’ve even thought about adopting a child with Down Syndrome.”
With that type of love for people with Down Syndrome, why in the world is the world trying to annihilate these treasures? What is going on? We must, must, must shout it from the rooftops – Down Syndrome treasures add infinite value to the our world!Oh friends, when we were adopting Isaiah in 2006, Isaiah’s crib in the government orphanage was actually end-to-end with a little boy who had Down Syndrome. It turns out that that that little boy was a celebrity of sorts – he would be the first child adopted out of China that had Down Syndrome!
We met his parents-to-be online before we went to China to get our Isaiah and they sent me a picture of them to hang above his crib – which we did! They had anxiously waited for the wife to turn 30 and on her 30th birthday they sent their dossier to China to adopt. They found their son, who was with Isaiah and the rest is history. We were able to meet them after they brought their precious son home.
See, China thought no one would want their babies with Down Syndrome – oh how wrong they were! This handsome little guy was actually a “test case” for China! No doubt, that sweet little fellow paved the way for our Birdie and all the others to come home!
But there are many, many, many treasures with Down Syndrome still waiting in China! Their files have been prepared and they are waiting for families to just say “yes”!!
As I’ve been praying and typing I have to believe that there is at least one family out there who has wondered about adopting a treasure like Birdie. The need is so huge! This is your opportunity to change the world! And yes, the unknowns could be overwhelming but even with Birdie’s difficult adjustment, her walls slowly melted, her broken heart healed and we are knit together tightly!
And let’s share a little truth: It’s been said that kids with Down Syndrome are known to be stubborn. But hold on – aren’t “typical” kids stubborn too? Saying a child with Down Syndrome is stubborn insinuates that no one else in the entire world is stubborn.
Good gracious – I think anyone married could say husbands specialize in that “character quality” sometimes! I prefer not to call it stubborn but rather “dogged-determination” which we think will enable our Birdie to be a “world changer”! Yes, a world-changer!
Birdie’s love for her sister Ree (her name for Ruby) is so tender. She watches out for her. And just this morning Johnny-boy was going to sit at the table, she called to him (her version of “John”) as she pulled out his chair for him and pointed with her short little forefinger for him to sit right here!
The truth is that each person who spends any time with our Birdie or Ruby becomes a softer, kinder, more tender person. They have to! Being with them just does something to even the most difficult soul. God’s heart longs for us to be tender to others, to love the weak and to gently cherish the vulnerable. His will is that each person know a Birdie or a Ruby up close to remind every single one of us that we each are very broken individuals always in need of His tender care.
Lastly, yesterday night we celebrated Isaiah’s 14th birthday. As we sat around eating the homemade strawberry-hot boneless gluten free chicken wings and homemade french fries little Miss Birdie Bee began a little game she invented a few weeks ago. It brings us to laughter and last night was no exception. She is the boss! And if anyone (whose name she can say) isn’t playing along, she insists they join her NOW!
Tell me, couldn’t your home use a little joyful Birdie too?