Will his life be happy or unhappy? It does not depend on the severity of the handicap. It does not depend on the number of cells in his brain. But it depends on his surroundings, because for him, as for each one of us, happiness is mainly to love and be loved.
The child is there. He does not understand the fuss around him, but he can feel with all of his body. By the tone of voice, by the gentleness or indifference of our movements, by the peaceful or stressful time we may give him, he knows if he is welcome or rejected. Even in the case of a child whose handicap has taken over his whole body and mind, we believe he is a person. How many parents, like the philosopher Emmanuel Mounier, with his daughter Frances, whose intelligence seemed to be extinguished, have been touched by a presence leading them to increased love, hope and gentleness.
AIUTA CON UN PICCOLO CONTRIBUTO:
Left in their loneliness, many parents are almost incapable of showing this unconditional love. They need to be supported by a network of friends. Each one of us can become one of these friends.
At 33 years of age, I gave birth to our third child, a little girl whom we chose to call Marie. A quarter of an hour after her birth, the pediatrician came to tell us that our baby had Down’s Syndrome. Nothing could have warned us about this handicap. At my age, I didn’t think it was necessary to have a blood test. In any case, my husband and I had decided that whatever handicap our children may have, we would refuse to abort. Looking back, I am glad that nothing was detected at the beginning of the pregancy: at least I had a peaceful nine months.
At first I wasn’t too upset – this was undoubtedly a special grace given to me. I had already looked after mongoloid children. I knew that this handicap could be a mild one, that they were affectionate children and that they can be integrated into a normal life. But my husband was devastated. He was not able to accept Marie and wanted us to part with her in a legal way as quickly as possible. Our families shared the same desire. And a feeling of panic started to affect me as well. Why this child? Why did it have to happen to us? At my age, there is one chance in 750 that a baby be born with Down’s Syndrome and it happened to me… What could we do? How were our first two children going to react? And what about our relatives? What would the future be like?
If You Have the Courage, So Do I…
IL TUO 5 per mille VALE MOLTISSIMO per gli ultimi, per chi e' sfruttato, per difendere la vita sul tuo 730, modello Unico, metti il codice fiscale degli Amici di Lazzaro: 97610280014 ****************