Testimonial by Carol M.
When I was little, I always had an admiration for those who had relatives with Down Syndrome. I instantly noticed how there was a lot of joy and love in their surroundings. I wondered how my life would be if I had a sibling with Down Syndrome, and one day I prayed to God for this to happen. Next thing you know, my mom was pregnant with my youngest sister. My mom was forty when she got pregnant, so doctors offered to do chorionic villus sampling. Chorionic villus sampling is a prenatal test that detects problems such as genetic diseases and birth defects. During this exam, a small sample of cells is taken from the placenta. My parents refused to undergo the test because it could lead to miscarriage, and we were willing to accept and love the baby no matter what. When my baby sister, Andrea, was born, everyone immediately noticed that she had Down Syndrome.
My sister may appear different, but she is like any other kid. She goes to school and loves to play hide and seek. She loves to watch Disney movies and pretend she is a princess, and she loves to sing and dance. These are things most kids like to do, so it disappoints me when I say she has Down Syndrome and people will say, “Oh, I am sorry to hear that.” Now, when people say this, I respond with, “Why are you apologizing? She is healthy, normal, and a blessing to me and my family.”
Andrea is the most loving person I have encountered and has the power to brighten anyone’s day. (In fact, everyone I have ever met with Down Syndrome gives so much genuine love.) She doesn't like to see my family fight, so whenever we do, she will get in between us and start shushing us with her little finger, telling us to stop arguing. Andrea is the glue of our family. If it were not for her, who knows how my life would be right now.
It is true that children with Down Syndrome may need more attention because, when they are little, they don’t measure the dangers of things. But in the end, that is what made me build a really strong bond with my sister. For instance, once we found her trying to climb the bunk bed without using the ladder. Situations like this made me become more attentive towards her, so we were always together. I came up with ways to prevent her from doing things that could get her hurt. I always kept her busy doing activities with me, like drawing and going for walks. She was usually beside me because I had to keep an eye on her and know what she was up to. We became inseparable.
“Why are you apologizing? She is healthy, normal, and a blessing to me and my family.”
I love my little sister as if she were my own daughter. She is only six years old, but she understands me better than my parents. Even when I think I am hiding my emotions, Andrea senses that something is bothering me and will instantly start trying to make me laugh or at least smile. I do not know what I would do if she were not in my life, because she is my life. She is my everyday motivation, and I continue to live life because of her. I can honestly say that she is a guardian angel that God sent to me and my family, because our lives have gotten brighter ever since she was brought into this world.