Saturday, November 21, 2009

Our Fragile Emissary

A poem by Nancy Tupper Ling


With modern screening and such
they wonder why
you're here, on this earth
in our home
and in our arms,
after all, anyone
with any sense would have resolved
this problem of you
pre-birth, pre pain.

Blonde Beauty,
tiny as you are,
you catch their stares,
strangers' second glances
into tender baby blues.
And your young
sweet ears hear whisperings
("Down's," "defects")
words dropped loosely
at extra-chromosomed girls.

With such stinging receptions
how we long to shelter you,
surround you; keep your
gentle smiles to ourselves.
Instead, we hold you
up, for others to see;
let you, our fragile emissary
speak to an imperfect world.

photo by Artist Anaa

Thursday, November 12, 2009

No Cake for Her

TK turned 16. (Really? Really? Can she really be growing up so fast?) Of course she did not want some boring old cake. Nope. We made candy apples for all.



TK loves candy apples. Can you tell?


She was kind enough to share them with all of us. Even Kimani got a bite.


Here's one for you blog friend.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Pro-choice and A Christian?

I have said here publicly that I am pro-choice. I think it is also pretty obvious that I am a Christian. How is this possible?

I am pro-choice when it comes to sin. That is the simple explanation.

The more in-depth analysis of it is that abortion is complicated. I do not think any girl grows up dreaming about her chance to get a d&c. There may be some women who are more callous in their public expressions concerning abortion but for each woman who has walked that road, surely there is a personal story. Most likely a personal tragedy of sorts.

I know it is a baby. I know it should have rights. I am not one of those who beats around the bush using euphemisms such as “losing it” or “ending a pregnancy”. I get what is going on, and though it sometimes makes me sad, most often I feel it is not my business to attempt to regulate other people’s personal lives.

So in a nutshell, here is what I would dictate if I were The Dictator of the world. You can have an abortion up to 16 weeks. After that no deal unless there is proof that the mother risks death or a permanent disability by continuing the pregnancy. (Sorry, mental anguish doesn’t count.) An abortion could also be performed between 18 and 28 weeks if there is proof that the baby will not be viable after birth or will have such a low quality of life medically that it could be considered cruel to save the infant's life. (Sorry, T21 doesn’t count).

Why 16 weeks? At about 22 weeks modern medicine can keep a fetus alive in a NICU. Eventually they will be able to do it without the baby having any of the complications that are a concern today. A 16-week old fetus is entirely dependent on its host mother and cannot be transferred to any other environment and still live. 16 weeks is long enough to know your situation and make up your mind. In time, with medical advances, this dictator could be persuaded to change the number of weeks.

How can a Christian woman believe these things? We are all sinners, and thus all equally guilty according to James 2:10, “And the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as the person who has broken all of God's laws.”

Don’t argue with me about this. It is a view that has been about 25 years in the making. If you have an irresistible urge to exert some energy on this subject, first go adopt Dasha (who is just 3 months older than my sweet Kimani) and then come back to talk me out of my stance.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Joy of Boys

It is barely 7 a.m. and I am still sleepy. Gecko is eating breakfast in the kitchen, getting ready for school. Little Jade is in the living-room running around still in the buff...

Gecko, yelling loudly: “Hey Jade, if you play tag with your penis, it always wins! Because it is attached to you!”

Jade, yelling back just as loud: “My penis isn’t attacking me!”

Boys are such funny creatures, aren’t they? Do you think Mary ever had to deal with this hilarity?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

You’re So Predictable

(To my beloved regular readers... please turn back now. I am not talking to you in this post.)

I am talking to you, stranger... multiple you, those of you who expound on the reasons why babies with Down syndrome should be throw-aways. You are always lurking out there ready to jump into any Ds-related comment thread on any high-profile blog. And you are so predictable that you fit into one (or more) of the six categories below.

I’ve got a little something to say to you, so here we go (better put your seatbelt on).

Hello pro-choice zealots... I’m starting with you. There is no need to turn every discussion about having a baby with Ds into an abortion battle. If the mother of a person with Ds says something positive about her child that doesn’t mean she is suggesting that we overturn Roe vs. Wade. Take your freaking-out self to a blog post that is arguing to restrict or end abortions, kay?

Hardcore pro-lifers... you’re next. Your obsessive attacks against anyone who even thinks about terminating any child are NOT helping to show the general public that people with Ds are more alike than different and worth keeping. All you are accomplishing is making people think we parents of children with Ds are flagellants. So please go follow the pro-choice zealots to wherever they are headed and continue your fighting over there.

Dear maltreated taxpayer... you ask who is going to get stuck paying for these “incapables” once their parents die? Probably the same people who pay for welfare kids, prisoners, EIC, mortgage bailouts, WIC, disaster assistance, Pell grants, Head Start, HUD, wars in the Middle East, etc. Yup, that’s you, and me, and my husband, and my parents, in-laws, aunts, uncles, cousins, children, siblings, nieces, nephews... you get the idea, right? But more than likely there will be parent resources that have moved into a special needs trust... after all, did you know that when you die your money doesn’t go with you to Heaven?

Concerned pseudo-doctor... oh the pain and suffering we have inflicted on these poor individuals with Ds by letting them live. Not for nothing, but Ds is not CP, autism, cancer, SMA2, spina-bifida, etc. Stop comparing Down syndrome to things is it not. (Note: to the parents of children with those medical issues I named, I mean you no harm. I am simply saying that our paths are not interchangeable.) Wanna-be doctor, doctor, are you listening? Hear this... Down syndrome does not cause pain and suffering (though you often do).

Distant relative, next-door neighbor, friend of someone’s someone... you claim to have witnessed from afar a sad situation concerning a person with Ds who became a horrendous burden on everyone around him, causing his siblings to be neglected and eventually driving the mother to suicide. Um, yeah, how come its you out here complaining and not one of those siblings? I’m not saying your exaggerated story isn’t the god’s honest truth... but let’s acknowledge that this sort of rotten apple situation occurs across the entire population and is actually more common amongst typical folks than those with Ds (alcoholics, drug addicts, child abusers, dead-beat dads, porno dolls, and Bernie Madoff, please stand up and take a bow).

And my personal favorite, the incredulous ignoramus who thinks parents who love and appreciate their children with Down syndrome must be lying or delusional... Oh I have so much to say to you but none of it is appropriate for my rated pg-13 blog, so let’s just leave it at, “WTF?”

What’s that you say? You don’t fit into any of the categories above? You have something fresh and intelligent to add to the discourse? Tell me where to meet you. I’ll put on my boxing gloves and be right there.