On Adopting a Kid With Down Syndrome

I don’t say much about adoption for a few reasons. First, the conversation invariably becomes about about “Down syndrome” and not about “our son.” Second, we are often thanked for adopting him, which frankly I hate. It assumes a couple things: “normal” children are better and somehow we have made some kind of sacrifice having “a less-than child.” Plus, and, more importantly, it’s insulting to our kid.

It isn’t that I do not have empathy for people who grieve the child they did not plan on, but for my husband and I, our perspective on “the unplanned for” is different.

The previously mentioned guardian ad litem of our son’s case told me, “Think of how hard it was for his parents to find out they were going to have someone like him?”

That is not an enlightened thought. The question is, I told her, “Imagine what his expectations were for coming into this world?”

Our son exists in the world in spite of how someone else feels about him. That goes for all people with Down syndrome.

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