31 for 21: Brotherly Love

Luke is lucky to have a loving older brother that adores him as much as Luke adores his brother.  In fact, 88% of siblings report feeling they are better people by having a brother or sister with Down syndrome. Even Kaden’s friends shower Luke with attention and include him into their activities, even though they are 6-8 years old and Luke is only 21 months. 

The other day, Luke crawled into the room where they were all playing quite roughly in the bouncy house. They all stopped and asked if Luke wanted to come in. So Luke climbed in and they played with him, giving him balls and helping him up and down the slide. It was very sweet to see. 

Then the past weekend, Luke crawled into the playroom when Kaden had a friend over and they were eating lunch. So he grabbed a play arrow and started to pretend sword fight with Kaden and his friend. Then afterwards, he sat in a chair and ate pizza and drank apple juice from a pouch just like one of the boys!  

I have heard of others who have a sibling with Down syndrome who ended up adopting a child with Down syndrome. So people who are concerned that their sibling would be a burden, would probably wonder why they would do such a thing.  Why double the burden on yourself they might ask?  But they spoke of such love for their sibling and knowing just how wonderful and capable people with Down syndrome are. And that is a gift that parents and siblings have, as well as close relatives and friends. They know how caring, fun, capable and smart (yes smart!) people with Down syndrome can be. They see them for who they really are and not everyone sees that, especially at first glance.  

They know this wonderful secret that not everyone is privy too, that people with Down syndrome are so much more than most people give them credit for. It gives these siblings great perspective as well as the desire to share that knowledge with others, and are often times great advocates for people with Down syndrome (take Dr. Brian Skoto for example who has a sister with Down syndrome). Maybe one day, the majority of people will see what they (and us parents see). That most people will see our children for who they really are and not just the diagnosis. 

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