Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday...The Men in My Life

Just a Small Rant...

...About Prenatal Testing and Eliminating Imperfection

Not everything can be detected in an AFP, a CVS, an ultrasound or an amniocentesis. As far as I know, those tests will not determine if your child will have mental illness, heart disease, obesity, cancer, diabetes, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, autism and the list goes on. Or do we have tests for these things in the works? Shudder...Those tests can't tell you if your child will be happy or a contributing member to society. They can't tell you if your child will grow up to be a criminal, a serial killer, a child molester or a rapist. They can't tell you if your child will grow up to be bully or a thief. They can't tell you if your child will have motivation or drive or end up being homeless. These tests won't tell you if your child will stand out, or be homosexual, or have a learning disability or be an outcast because he or she is too tall, too short, too skinny, too fat, too pretty, too ugly, too blond, too dark or too anything. I certainly know that the prenatal tests will never tell you if your child will be in a car accident or a near drowning or take a bad fall or have a birth trauma. There is NO SUCH THING as a perfect child and having those tests to rule out the forbidden DOWN SYNDROME or any other detectable birth "defect" doesn't guarantee that you will have that unattainable picture perfect human being. I'm sensitive now, more than ever, to this obsession over early detection for the purposes of eliminating "imperfect" unborn children. There is a push to eliminate children like Joaquin and Sofia. I wish people would understand that "disability" is actually very natural and it's everywhere. People come in all shapes and forms and abilities. I find it impossible to find anyone in the world that doesn't suffer from some sort of challenge or "disability". Wear glasses? Ever had braces? On a diet? Have a bad back? Ever need surgery? Need coffee in the morning? Ever had a headache? Ever need help with anything? Would you say you are perfect? Would you say you are totally healthy? My bet is each and everyone of us has some challenge or special need that they deal with regularly.

I guess this is my way of saying (and this is ONLY MY OPINION) that I don't think anyone should enter parenthood unless they understand that you take on ALL SORTS of risks, trials and tribulations, heartaches, and disappointments when it comes to having a child and you are signing up for the JOURNEY. Wherever it may take you. It's a huge responsibility. And it's a privilege.  So if you aren't up for the challenge, don't have a child. To the medical industry: Let's get off this slippery slope of prenatal testing. Let's be mindful of the direction we are headed. Let's not pretend the testing is to have more "information" or to "prepare". If that were the case, I wouldn't be ranting right now. The abortion rate after a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome is staggering. 92% of babies who are prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome are eliminated. That sentence alone says it all.

OK...rant is over.

On to something inspiring, amazing and beautiful. Thank goodness for that.

A link to a beautiful video:
Wonderful Works

A link to the beautiful new ministry launched today:
Wonderful Works

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

First Day of School Jitters...for the Mama!

Joaquin has his first official day of full inclusion preschool tomorrow morning at 8:30am and I'm a nervous wreck. We have been looking forward to this day since he turned 3 in February. This is what we have always wanted for have the same preschool experience that any typical child would have. The same that his brothers had at this age.  Joaquin is social, easy going, very flexible, enjoys learning and loves people so why am I nervous?

Well, I wasn't nervous until I went to the "meet the teacher" day on Tuesday. I was greeted warmly by the teachers and everyone was very excited to see Joaquin. The teachers (all 3 of them) said they have been looking forward to Joaquin attending the preschool. I picked up the preschool newsletter and the calendar of activities planned and made sure that Joaquin would be on the roster and we happily went home. I eagerly sat down to read through all the paperwork, so thrilled for Joaquin, and then it hit me. I read that one of the first activities next week is to bring in a photograph of your family to share with the class. Oh my gosh. How is Joaquin going to share with the class? He can't talk. It hit me. I mean sure, he can identify each of us in the photograph with prompting and I'm sure he will smile and point at his family members but that's about it. Typical three year olds talk. Some talk A LOT. But I'm certain every child in that room will be able to talk about their family. Joaquin won't. I get teary eyed just thinking about it.

I know I'm doing the right thing. I know Joaquin will learn best from his typical peers and he will learn best to TALK from his typical talkative peers. But it's still hard and it hits you.

Deep breaths as we cross this bridge into new territory. Typical peers. Peers where the difference in abilities will be VERY evident. Painful at times. But it's the best for Joaquin because this is REAL life. Not the safety bubble that special ed provides. Special Ed has a place and a time but I see now how easy it would be to crawl back to the safety net of it. BRAVE. Must be brave. Joaquin deserves this opportunity and I'm certain he will handle it WAY better than I will. Deep breaths.

Things That Make You Go "Hmmmmm"

We're not sure who is to blame here but we got a new piece of furniture and not 10 minutes after the delivery guys left I turned around and saw this...
Yes, that is Sofia inside a glass cabinet. She was all giggles and smiles and Joaquin was one foot away from it...hmmmmmm...