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World Down Syndrome Day: My child has Down syndrome and I do not need your admiration

My wife Jodi and I are blessed with four amazing children – Levi, Luke, Isaac and Addilyn. Isaac, who is 15, has Down syndrome. He was an unexpected blessing and continues to bring joy to our life every day. Our family and friends who are lucky enough to know Isaac will be more compassionate people because of it.

Wednesday is World Down Syndrome Day, a day when the syndrome draws increased attention. No person wants their child to have Down syndrome. But some of the best things in life are surprises.

To some, our family isn’t perfect. But, what really is perfection? To me, our family is exactly the way God wanted it to be. After all, God doesn’t give us any situation without the strength to face it.

And no – I do not want to be admired. I do not want your sympathy or for you to look at me differently because my child has Down syndrome. It is Isaac who should be admired. Every day with Isaac is a cause for celebration, whether he is surprising us with something new he learned or the happiness and joy he brings into every room he walks into.

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