I am sure many of you have found yourself in a conversation with someone asking you about your children or Down syndrome. I would also guess, many of you have wonderful answers to these questions. I wanted to provide you with three answers I commonly use to start a conversation and easily incorporate Down syndrome advocacy.
Situation 1. Someone asks, "Why 47 > 46?" (I wear our 47 > 46 shirt all the time. found here).
"My son, Gabe, has Down syndrome. Most people have 46 chromosomes, 23 pairs of chromosomes, for a total of 46. Down syndrome, also known as Trisomy-21 or T-21, involves an extra copy of the 21st chromosome, providing a total of 47 chromosomes. So, 47 > 46."
Situation 2. Someone asks, "How's being a parent?"
"I love it! I have four wonderful children and our oldest, Gabe, has Down syndrome..." (see previous example or continue...)
Gabe changed our world the day he was born. We found out at birth Gabe had Down syndrome and it made us think about what is important in life (family, our health, etc...) and to stop worrying things that do not matter. Kristie and I have a stronger marriage and sweeter more understanding children because of Gabe."
Situation 3. "Hi, we just received news we are having a baby with Down syndrome."
"It's going to be amazing! Gabe has been a blessing for our family and has changed the way we look at the world. We truly feel so lucky to have him as our son. Yes, we will admit that things can be difficult, challenging, and sometimes scary, but at the end of the day it is worth the emotional roller coaster. We are excited for you to be on this wonderful journey and while it will be different than anything you had imagined, I know it will be more rewarding than you ever imagined possible."
This is reflection of how I feel, because the moment Gabe was born my perspective on life changed. My values as a human being changed and I have found a new level of joy and happiness after Gabe was born.