My brother has five children, ranging in age from 4-1/2 to 15-1/2. Four of them are biological and one is adopted. I’d like to think their adoption choice was made easier because of my own two precious adopted children. Adoption was no longer such an unknown or something other people did. And they traveled to Ukraine (my brother and his wife) to adopt child number 5.
Today, my brother sent me an article that was printed in the Washington Post on October 18, 2005. The Abortion Debate No One Wants to Have and it was written by Patrica Bauer. You should stop and read this article before going any further.
Now that you have read the article, I want you to read my brother’s posting. Oh, and did I mention that of those five children of my brother’s, two have Down Syndrome? One adopted and one biological. Here were my brother’s words regarding Ms. Bauer’s editorial.
Thank you for printing Patricia Bauer’s article “The Abortion Debate No One Wants to Have.” As a father of 2 children with Down Syndrome (1 biological and 1 adopted from Ukraine) I couldn’t agree more with her conclusions. Our two “Downy Babies” are precious, productive and loving parts of our family. I felt I had to add my voice to the debate. The responses from those disagreeing with Ms. Bauer seem to me to expose their own hidden desire to keep this discussion from the public forum. They castigate her for suggesting that women would chose to do such a thing as abort a less than perfect child and even if they did then that is their right to do so. It seems that there is an unwillingness in that camp to acknowledge that they know this to be the truth, people are that shallow and would take such a difficult and painful decision based on such superficial desires. It is scary to look at the debate in these terms because societal norms change. One day red hair may be so undesirable that we begin to eliminate those with that gene (which I have). Those that choose to disagree with Ms. Bauer do not want to acknowledge that this is a potential outcome of the “abortion for any reason” choice.
I would simply ask, what about the right of society to have these precious, loving, productive and yes, even challenging people involved its diverse mix? Sometimes there is an increased burden on the family as well as society, but that is a question that needs to be resolved not by eliminating the person but by providing the kind of support necessary to allow such diversity to exist. People with Down Syndrome bring to society in general a simple, trusting naiveté that is truly a breath of fresh air in this time of cynicism and mistrust. I, for one, feel that what we need is more people like this, not fewer. Their ability to blindly trust and love is not something the rest of us can do. Maybe it is they who are “normal” and we are the truly disabled.
Thank you dear brother and Ms. Bauer and all the rest of you who realize just how special these Downy Babies are. I already do.
Here are 3 of my nieces and nephews: