I want everyone in the world to watch this video and see the amazing things people who have been diagnosed with Down Syndrome can do.
For those of you who don’t know, my niece Everleigh was diagnosed with down syndrome at less than a week old. At first I didn’t really think much of it and saw her as just an average baby but to be honest – she’s so much more than that. I’m probably biased being her auntie and all but I think the amount she has taught me about down syndrome has made her the most powerful two month old out there. Every little progress in development she makes amazes me – what difference would I know if it’s delayed? When she pulls her head up when she’s laying on her tummy I smile just as much as if she was a quote “normal” baby. When she kicks her legs I realize she’s not that little still lying baby that she was when she was brought home anymore – she’s growing and eating more and more each day (the kid is on 6 ounces a meal what a champ!).
To anyone who says that a child with a disability should be aborted should really spend 5 minutes with my niece. I don’t see anything that makes her unworthy of a life. I see ten fingers and ten toes, blue eyes, and hair that just won’t stay down. I see clothes that always seem a little bit too big and a diaper that is sometimes full and every now and then I see a yawn or a sneeze. Does that make her unworthy of being here? I think not.
I never want to use the word ‘retarded’ or ‘retard’ again. I know everyone is guilty of doing this but I want to challenge everyone I know to change their vocabulary to something that is straight to the point and says what you mean. If something is stupid it’s STUPID not retarded. I hate to have the image in my mind of someone using the word to attack my niece when she’s a little girl on a playground. I’m usually a big believer at ‘words are just words’ but this is a scenario where I don’t believe that. If you had it ‘slip’ at someone who suffers from a disability I have news for you – if you never used it in the first place it wouldn’t slip out.
I want everyone who reads this to start thinking of abilities instead of disabilities. Start imagining what people who have been diagnosed with a third 21st chromosome can accomplish instead of what people tell them ‘probably will never happen’. It’s impossible to predict what any baby is going to do but I always love imagining things Evie is going to do. I imagine her being a curious baby and pulling all the cupboards open when she learns how to walk, I imagine her giving her puppies kisses because she loves them so much. I picture her running up to her mom with her arms wide open for a hug and I can hear her both signing and saying momma as her first word. I can see her making every single one of who know her proud. This little girl gives me nothing but hope for future generations and inspires me to become a more informed and less ignorant person. Little Miss Everleigh, you are everything I ever wanted in a niece and you are a gift from above. I cannot imagine going through a single day without seeing your picture on my phone.