Thursday, October 3, 2013

31 for 21: Join the Club

This morning I met a mama who is waiting to adopt a little guy with Down syndrome from abroad.  The little boy is one year old, and I cannot imagine what it must be like sitting around waiting for red tape, knowing that your child is waiting for you.

Our quick chat got me thinking about the difference between adopting and getting a freebie.

And those thoughts lead me to questions about joining this whole Down syndrome club.  The support and encouragement we've received, though our local Ds group and through blogs and through research--it's all ABOUT people with Down syndrome, not FROM people with Down syndrome.

I'm an honorary member in this community--and yet the whole community seems to be made of honorary members.

And maybe that's why I was a bit hesitant in joining a blog challenge associated with Down syndrome.  What right do I have to identify myself as a member of the club?  I didn't ask to be included.  I'm so new to this that I don't really know what it means for me, let alone have any advice for anyone else.  I'm almost as ambivalent about putting a label on myself as I am about letting Down syndrome define my son.  And, let's not forget, I don't have Down syndrome.  I'll always be learning about that 47th chromosome from the outside.

But I joined in for the same reason I'm blogging at all.  Because I think these early questions matter.  Because it helps me sort things out to write them down.  Because I might meet some other folks asking the same questions, or those who have come up with some of their own answers.

Because if I'm asking these questions, then that means I'm already in.  I'm in the club, one way or another.


  1. I just found you from another blog. My 7 week old has DS. He was diagnosed right after birth, so it was a huge surprise. I'm extremely new to this, and still learning, so I'm not even sure how to raise awareness, other than to share him with everyone I know!

  2. Your son is adorable. Thanks for coming visiting earlier. It's great to meet some new families! I think as time goes on what you want to share and how you share it will change- but it is that sharing that helps raise awareness. It's not so very long ago that having a child with a disability was something folks hid. So to me the very act of sharing my girl, talking freely about my girl, answering and asking questions is a privilege I don't take lightly. And it takes all of us to continue to move the community forward. xo

  3. All your questions matter...all your thoughts...because this is your personal journey with your son. It is good to share. A I did not willingly join but am a part of too.