By Audrey Lambert
It was a wonderful experience. I had been praying a long time for a brother or sister and then one Christmas my parents told me: “Look at this picture. Who do you think this is?” I didn’t know, and then they told me the most exciting news I had ever heard. We were going to have a baby! We went to the doctor and the baby was very healthy. Finally, the doctor asked if we would like to know if it was a boy or girl. I wanted a baby sister. My baby sister was going to look just like me. I pictured her riding next to me in the car, but it was a boy. At first I was a little bit sad, but then I became very happy.
Four months later James was born. I didn’t know until I went to visit James that he had Down syndrome and he was deaf. I was very sad. I thought he wasn’t going to be able to do anything or hear my voice. My parents said the doctors told them he wouldn’t be able to walk, talk, sit up, or crawl for a very long time. One day, unexpectedly, I was sitting on the carpet with James and I propped him up against my legs. He sat up! I was so happy. Then he learned to roll over and later to stand up. James got a cochlear implant and now he can hear my voice! I realized no matter what people tell you, a baby with special needs can be amazing!
Some people think that children with special needs shouldn’t be here. I think that they don’t see how amazing people with special needs can be. They only see the outside, the way they walk, the way they speak, the way they do things, the way they look. People are scared because they think their baby won’t fit in with the rest of the world. They think people will laugh at them or point at them in the crowd. They think they will be completely different. They are scared because they don’t know about Down syndrome. When my parents told me that James had Down syndrome, I thought about all the things that people would see on the outside. I thought he would not able to run, play, speak to me, and would never be able to go with me to fun places. This wasn’t true.
I discovered something wonderful. I discovered the inside, the kindness, the loving, the caring and everything good about James. I discovered that James can do many things, things that we cannot do. He can love much more than we can ever dream of loving someone. He sees the world in a way that I don’t. He sees the world as a world of friends where everyone is kind and everyone is a big family. He looks up to me, my mom, and my dad like no one else would. All he has ever known is love. And that’s all that he will ever give.
I think that when people find out that their baby has Down syndrome they should not be sad, they should be very happy. They should try to see the inside the way I now see my brother. Love your baby as I love my brother. There are many things in your baby that are very special. Your baby is incredible. He is a miracle and a gift from God. You should respect this precious gift. When you have this baby, you will have joy. Your baby will have joy. Your baby will love you, so I want you to love your baby back.
To tell you the truth, Down syndrome can sometimes be sad, but it can also be a wonderful thing. When I heard that James was deaf I felt like it was the end of the world for me, but when James got a cochlear implant I felt the happiest I ever felt in my life. A baby with Down syndrome is worth respecting, worth knowing about, and someone you should love. I think that when Jesus talks about “the least of these” He is talking about these poor little innocent babies who want a chance at life. People may look at them as not worth loving, but God loves them the most because they are pure. They just love and that is the only thing they know how to do. We should be more like them. If we always loved, there would be no wars and no hatred. The world would be happy. Happy like a little baby.
Audrey Lambert won an honorable mention in CLSP and IEW's Pro-Life Essay Contest.