siblings by pandorasecho

siblings

So as I mentioned previously, when I was born, my Mom was 24 and was told that she couldn’t have any more children as she had gone into a very early menopause. So when I was almost 5 we adopted a 6 month boy and thought the family was complete. Then when I was 11 my Mom started getting sick and being treated for an ulcer and before we knew it, the Dr. was telling her, “You know that ulcer? Well, It has a heartbeat.”
My parents thought they were dreadfully old to be expecting an impossible miracle, and my Dad joked about now he would be wobbling around with a walker to play catch in the back yard with this one. Mom was “ancient” at 36 and Dad was 40.
The real shock came when the new baby had the same ABO incompatibility I did, but didn’t need a blood transfusion because a newer treatment using light therapy had been developed. Still, the baby boy, born weeks late, with dried skin and scratches from his long fingernails and almost no amniotic fluid, was airlifted to a hospital 100 miles away and my parents sobbed at the sight of the empty crib waiting at home. Then the diagnosis of being a “Mongoloid idiot” came. It was fought against mentally as mom and dad kept looking for reasons it was a mistake and then the blame came, if only they had not taken ulcer medication, or if they had insisted on the complete blood transfusion. Education relieved some of the guilt and misunderstandings but not all of them because it was a time when most people with Down’s Syndrome were immediately institutionalized and my parents refusal to do so was met by argument from the professionals, “He will never sit up, or recognize you. You are being unfair to your other children. He won’t live past 25 and he’ll only ever be a burden.”

Of course none of the predictions were right, and at 39 Lance is still a joy to Mom and Brett and I. But there were a lot of tears and adjustment of dreams and I remember my Grandma saying, “Look at that poor sweet baby, He’s going to have a hard row to hoe.” Maybe we all have that, and maybe the difficulty only deepens the appreciation of the joy. I know that as Lance Grew, and learned at a different, but steady pace, he proved to have great gifts. He was socially gifted and developed more friends and extended family far beyond what out family had before.
I was 12 when he was born, and Brett was 8, and from that moment on, our family really was complete.
Cruel times Dixie, to want to seperate this gorgeous boy from his family.
September 11th, 2014  
Lovely shots:-)Such a shame that Down's Syndrome was looked on as a stigma.These days,I believe attitudes have hopefully changed.
September 11th, 2014  
I like the look on the faces, looking at the baby. Like , Whats this????
September 12th, 2014  
Dixie, is that you in the bottom right? The girl in that picture looks so happy; there is so much joy that emanates from her. That is a beautiful photo. :o)
September 12th, 2014  
@hoosierhokie yeah. I was trying to get a picture in the top I sewed for 8th grade home ec. I was laughing because the wind would whip up the loose sleeves and my hair every time my mom got ready to try again.
September 12th, 2014  
So many things change with time- although l think there is still some misunderstanding with Down's- but it's way better than it was before. My cousin (first cousin once removed) was diagnosed with Downs before she was born and the dr. told my cousin that because of her age it was advisable...you know. My cousin refused and changed drs. Hannah is a delight- very strong minded and loves music. I think if we lived closer I would have enjoyed a close relationship to her. She's a pip!
September 14th, 2014  
Oh, and I love the spirit behind this story!
September 14th, 2014  
Have know a couple of much loved, even more love-giving Down's syndrome folks. Both of them spread joy like the common cold.
September 14th, 2014  
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