Monday, December 7, 2015

No Apology Necessary

On November 27 we received a blessing-- our baby girl. She was 5 pounds 8.5 ounces of pure perfection. Since she was born, I have received condolences or apologies on two separate occasions. I fear that if I don't address it, I will continue to receive apologies and condolences on the life of my little one. She has Down Syndrome. It is the nondisjunctive type and most common form. It is the complete trisomy 21. There are two other types that are sometimes considered milder but that is really irrelevant here. I keep hearing "I'm sorry" or "let me offer my condolences" in reference to her diagnosis. I really don't understand this. I have been give a gift, Lillie is beautiful and the perfect Lillie she can be. God designed her to be as she is. She was designed to have Down Syndrome. I don't know why. I don't know why God chose our family to give this child to, but I imagine it is to teach us something, and so that we can teach the world something.

Yes, my child has special needs and I was aware of this about the 12th week of my pregnancy. I had the opportunity to have a definitive diagnosis back then through amniocentesis. We elected not to undergo this test because of the risk of miscarriage. Everett and I wanted Lillie no matter what her diagnosis, and were not willing to knowingly put ourselves at risk of losing her.

During her hospital stay at birth they drew blood for karyotyping so that we would know what type of DS we were looking at. We really didn't care, but wanted the diagnosis so that we would know what services and medical needs would need to be met. There is nothing to be sorry for. Lillie is special, and would be regardless of diagnosis. Lillie has a bright future, and I dare anyone to tell her different. She can do and be anything she wants.

Everett insisted she have a particular outfit for her "coming home" clothing. It has pink, purple, and grey elephants and hearts and says "dream big" on it. He wanted her to know from her first trip and throughout her life that she can do and be as she pleases; she need only to dream big.

I am grateful to those who want to offer condolences, but they really aren't necessary. I know that those offering are just saying, "hey, I know life is going to be extra hard for you and I am thinking about you," but life is hard no matter what. Please don't think I am mad at you all, just know that we don't want you to feel sorry for us. I am proud of my daughter no matter her diagnosis. Our lives are different now, and in some ways will be harder, but in many more ways will be better than we could ever imagine. Next time you think you want to apologize to a mom for this, just remember we don't need the apologies, we just want to know that you support our little ones and their dreams. After all, we should all dream big.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Words can be many things, but they are not blankets

I have seen a lot of word throwing as of late. What do I mean by word throwing? I mean using words to be hateful, or make blanket statements. Words may be helpful, comforting, harmful, deceitful, cause pain, or bring security; words, however, are not blankets.

Some people use word blankets to say things like "you always" or "I never..." but one rarely always or nevers anything. Other people use blanket statements to talk about others' views. Such as "he or she hates _____ because ___." While this may hold true most of the time, a blanket statement is rarely accurate.

I say this because several times I have seen posts on Facebook that say if you think this is offensive, but not this you are part of the problem, or other things to that nature. One of these pictures is that of the Confederate flag on top, and young Black men showing their underwear (pants sagging) on the bottom. Why can't I find both offensive? If I do, am I part of the problem? Am I only part of the problem if I only find one offensive. And by the way, it can be a young White guy and I find it equally offensive. It's lazy and I don't want to see your underwear. I also find the Confederate flag offensive because I feel that it promotes division. It was a result of the Southern States dividing from the Union, and promoted division then. Now, it makes MANY (not all) African Americans feel marginalized, thereby dividing the nation still. Another has to do with abortion and Gay rights, or something. It's been a while since I have seen it, but basically if I believe in Gay rights, I must also believe that abortion is okay. Yes, I believe abortion should remain legal, but not because I think it's okay. Mostly because if it is not legal, then when it is imperative for a woman to end a pregnancy due to medical reasons, it can mean that she doesn't get the procedure. If the laws were properly written to allow for special circumstances, I might say ban elective abortion. At the same time, however, I don't believe we can police people's beliefs.

The last is the meme that says we should take the welfare checks of anyone caught burning the flag. There are more problems with this one than just taking food from people. First, a lot of people burning the flag ARE NOT ON WELFARE. How shall we punish them? This meme is meant to imply the ignorant poor are to blame, well, my friend, not always. ALSO, this act is actually protected under the first amendment. I am also torn with this. While I think this is a horrid act, and if you hate America so much, leave, I support the first amendment.

I also support the second amendment, but refuse to buy a gun. See, I don't quite fit in that little box. I am a responsible non-owner. While I support the second amendment right to own a firearm, I know that I suffer from depression, anxiety, and PTSD. A gun in my house is a really bad idea. I also expect you to respect that and not bring a gun into my home (if you are a visitor). If more people would be responsible non-owners, maybe some of this violence wouldn't occur. I don't know maybe it would, but I know I will wind up on the news if I buy a firearm. So, I don't buy one.

The world isn't black or white. Words aren't blankets. Please stop smothering people with false dichotomies.