The 21st of the month just went breezing on by, and I almost missed the T21 blog hop this month, but I couldn’t resist this easy topic, so I’m sneaking it in.
Kids with Down syndrome can bridge culture and language divides like nobody else. The number one question I was asked as we got ready to move to Afghanistan was “how will Jack Jack be treated?”. I really didn’t know how to answer that, but I sure can now. With love. With adoration. With kindness and friendship. The Afghans we’ve gotten to know (and the ones we’ve just met, like the guards at the airport) respond to his open smile, quick hugs and easy, calm presence. They constantly remark on it and have never once asked me “what’s wrong with him?”. Jack Jack has made friends, not just with the easy targets like indulgent Aunties who ply him with treats and snacks, but also with the guy with the large turban and beard on the airplane, the barber and the university student.
Whatever fun thing your family was into before a child with Down syndrome came into your life — get back to it as soon as you can! For us that was traveling and for a time, we were certain that part of our life was over. We shed many a tear over what we thought was the end to international experiences. And then, we looked around, looked at the baby, who was doing just fine and realized we were crying over nothing.
So, don’t be like us and take a long time to find your way back to the things that make your family awesome. Be awesome now!
We took Jack Jack to Thailand, just short of his first birthday. It was our first glimpse into what a great cross-cultural ambassador he was going to be.