Happy World Down Syndrome Day! Today is a day in which we raise awareness about Trisomy 21 (otherwise known as Down syndrome). March 21st (3/21) is the perfect day to recognize individuals with Down syndrome because Trisomy 21 means that these individuals have 3 chromosomes on the 21st pair instead of 2, like those of us without Down syndrome. If you want to know more about it, click HERE.
But enough with the technical stuff. Today is the day we celebrate my big sister, Leanne, whose impact on my life was so profound that she inspired the adoption of our daughter, Josie.
And we loved Josie so much that she inspired us to grow our family even more.
When Merryn was born, Josie became an awesome big sister...
...just like Leanne has become an awesome aunt.
And we're all better for impact Down syndrome has had on our lives.
Merryn could probably live without the excessively enthusiastic displays of affection...
(She looks like she's really enjoying this moment, doesn't she?)
...but she tolerates it because she adores her big sister, just like I adore mine.
Today we celebrate individuals with Down syndrome and the incredible contributions they make to this world.
Leanne reads, writes, has a job, volunteers, competes in Special Olympics and she enjoys an active social life. She is smart, capable, hilarious, hard-working, and extremely kind. She is loved by more people than we could ever count!
Like her Aunt Leanne, Josie is also full of attributes that enrich the lives of all who know her. She is bright, loving, joyful, and eager to learn new things. She will turn 3 next week and she has already shown a very promising capacity to learn, excel, and become independent. She speaks, sings, dances, knows her letters and numbers, and she is becoming a better walker by the day.
If you've never been fortunate enough to know an individual with Down syndrome, here's the bottom line: People with Down syndrome face developmental delays but they can demonstrate how to handle life's challenges with a better attitude than most. And at the end of the day, I've never met an individual with Down syndrome who was the least bit focused on his or her own shortcomings. Individuals with Down syndrome live full, happy, enriching lives and they are a blessing to the rest of us because they have an unparallelled capacity to show us what is truly important in life.
If you need additional proof, click HERE.
Happy World Down Syndrome Day 2013!