Happy World Down Syndrome Day, my friends!
Down syndrome is what most people call Trisomy 21, which means that people with Down syndrome have an extra 21st chromosome.
Three of chromosome twenty one. 3-21.
So on March 21, we celebrate all people, young and old, rocking their something extra.
In the United States, we have many resources for kids and adults with Down syndrome. Early intervention programs, countless therapies, Special Olympics, job training programs, I could go on and on.
But in some parts of the world, children who are born with this special something extra don't have these same opportunities.
Most of the time in these countries, the mothers and families have so few options for their child that their best choice is to place them in an orphanage and pray they are adopted.
[I once thought of these parents rejecting their own children with anger, sadness. But now, I have come to realize it is the hardest decision they will ever make. Even if there is rejection and fear, there must be at least a bit of hope mixed in. Certainly some love.]
So because of this fear and the culture and the misunderstanding, thousands of children sit in orphanages around the world waiting for mama. All because they have a little something extra.
I want to introduce you to the sweetest little boy.
This is Joey*. Joey is six years old and lives in an orphanage in the same Wren and Dub's home country.
Joey has Down syndrome.
Joey is not less of a person.
Joey is not a statistic.
Joey is a precious little boy, a son waiting to be found.
Today, on World Down Syndrome Day, please see Joey. See him for the valuable, image-bearer that he is. He is capable of love, capable of great joy.
Could you be Joey's mama? Joey's papa? Joey's brother or sister or neighbor?
Joey is one of thousands of children who wait today.
What can you do for him?
If you have questions about Joey or other children waiting for their families, please let me know. I would love to chat with you.
*Joey's name has been changed for his protection.