July 6, 2010 9:07 AM

A brother with Down syndrome - a blessing

Though we've never met in person, Rebecca Jacobsen is a soul sister of mine - nine children, including one with A Little Extra - and her family lives in my favorite state to regroup in once a year, North Carolina. I know you all will enjoy what she wrote today about what it means to have a child with Down syndrome in your family.

Buddies Forever

My 12 year old son is very protective and possessive, at times, of his 18 month old brother. And really, he should be.  My little guy has Down Syndrome and my 12 year old has everything in the world going for him.  Yet they are buddies already!  Christian takes care of Mattie so well and loves him fiercely. 

When Mattie was born and we were surprised with his extra chromosome, Christian didn't blink an eye.  He has a friend with an older brother with Down Syndrome so he knew what it was all about, and yet he was so glad to have Mattie.

My husband and I know he is a special gift to our whole family, but maybe mostly to Christian.  He was the one that prayed for a "baby brother."  One night, he was at church alone with my husband.  Our pastor challenged them to ask God for something...anything.  Ron had the thought to ask Christian, who was then 10 years old, if there was something special he wanted to ask God for.  He quickly said a "baby brother."  My husband was a little taken back because at that point he had a 7 year old  younger brother and 3 younger sisters, but he said that didn't count.  So, they asked God together and we got Mattie :o)

Even now, Christian says that he wants to take care of Mattie forever.  He'll probably have to fight for him though, especially with his sisters!

I know having children with Down syndrome (after Jonny was born, then Maddy, we went on to adopt three more with DS) has made all the difference in my children's character. Our culture programs us to fear Down syndrome - and while yes, they do take more work to raise - if people realized the benefits, everyone would be ready to welcome a child with a little extra.

visit Rebecca's site - Mama of 9

Thanks Rebecca!


Posted in Disabilities, Down syndrome, Mothering | Permalink


My two oldest daughters (12 and 10) frequently peruse the Reece's Rainbow site with me, all of us wishing we had even more children around with Ds--three is evidently not enough! They know our Downsie girls can be a handful sometimes, but they also know their sisters are wonderful and fun and make life so rich and full! I love it!!

Posted by: Jill S | July 6, 2010 3:56 PM

When we first learned our youngest would have DS (I found out while pregnant), I was worried that it wasn't "fair" to my then 3 year old son, to have a brother with a disability, instead of having a "normal" brother. But, now six years later, I can say that having a brother with Down Syndrome has made my older son more loving, sensitive, mature and is influencing him into the amazing young man that he is becoming.

Posted by: Kim Moore | July 9, 2010 12:17 AM

My wife was expecting a downs syndrome child, we did the smart thing and had a (unfortunately late) abortion.

They aren't a blessing. They're a hindrance on an otherwise functional family

Posted by: M Everton | October 6, 2010 2:19 PM

Maybe you ought to hang out here for a while. I regard my family as highly functional, intelligent, creative, compassionate and loving.

My 18 year old son Jonny (with DS) and his sister Maddy (who appeared on American Idol this year) are both highschool seniors and are on their school's homecoming court. Obviously, Jonny's classmates do not see him as a throwaway human being.

In making the decision you made, you do not need to justify it by false assumptions of those who chose otherwise.

Posted by: Barbara | October 6, 2010 5:13 PM

A hindrance to a functional family ? What according to you is the function of a family ? I believe that the function of a family is to love its members, not to destroy them

Posted by: cynthia | October 6, 2010 6:45 PM

I suppose this is evidence that a "functional" family is not always willing to do what it takes for every member of the family. I'd consider circumstances like yours to be quite the opposite of "functional."
I can understand that many would see a child with Down Syndrome as less than convenient, but in my experience, the harder we work, the better the reward.
There is nothing more perfect than the love of a child, and children with Down Syndrome are uncensored and full of love for everyone. Shame on you for trolling around and preying on people's emotions. I'll be praying for you.

PS: It's Down Syndrome, not downs syndrome.

Posted by: Laura | October 6, 2010 6:57 PM

It is too bad you will never know what a blessing your child is. I have a brother who does not have down synrome, but is mentally retarded.

People with disabilities show that we do not need to have great intellect or physical ability to give and recieve God's love.

No matter if your child has down syndrome or becomes the captain of a football team, children need to be loved unconditionally. They need their needs met.

Each person whether disabled or not reflects a unique aspect of God.

Though you think you are better than those with down syndrome you have a severe disability. It is called sin. It keeps you from giving love.

Perhaps you have never felt the unconditional love that God has for you. Maybe you felt like you had to perform or be perfect to be loved. It is not too late to find this for yourself from God.

Posted by: Laura | October 6, 2010 9:33 PM

You honestly need a heart, man.
Abortion because your child would have Down Syndrome? It's people like this in the world that make it hard for others to live and be happy.

Posted by: Hannah | December 31, 2011 6:44 PM

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