Within the next few days my wife will be giving birth to our fifth child. My wife and I aren’t exactly spring chickens. At our age there is better than a 1/200 chance that our child will have Down Syndrome. Down Syndrome, also known as trisomy 21, results when a baby has three, rather than two, copies of the 21st chromosome.
Today I mentioned to my wife that when I was a younger it was common to see people with the distinctive physical features that accompany the syndrome. However, I can’t remember the last time I saw someone with it. She looked at me as if I had just arrived from another planet. Was I not aware that nearly 90% of all Down Syndrome babies are aborted by parents who do not want them?
Surely that could not be the truth. However, a quick Google search confirmed her statistics to be accurate. During my search I came across a statement from Andy Crouch which was almost identical to the one I had made earlier in the day, “When I was a teenager in the 1980s, I remember seeing many people my age and younger who had the distinctive facial and behavioral characteristics of Down children. These days I rarely see a Down Syndrome child at all.”
I am so incredibly saddened by this. We hope and pray that our baby will be perfectly healthy. But, I can’t imagine not loving him regardless.