Thursday, January 14, 2010

Growing Remarkable Children

American Idol started a new season last night, and apart from all the non-singers that the show highlights purely to make fun of was a young lady who was quite spectacular. And, I don’t mean that she was a great singer (although she was).

This young lady was 16 years old and was one of nine children. The child born after her was a son with Down Syndrome. The parents decided that they wanted their son to have a companion like himself, so they adopted another child with Down Syndrome. And then, they went on to adopt two more sons with Down Syndrome.

The family was indeed amazing, but their daughter had such a positive spirit, an old soul in a young body. The judges all noticed it, and commented. She bowled them over with both her singing and her grace. And all that reminded me of my son, Chip.

Chip, like the young lady, is an old soul – a remarkable person, it seems, from the time he was born. And growing up with his sister, Ashley, has refined that soul and turned him into a very special man.

What do you think – does growing up with a sibling that has a disability leave a lasting, positive influence on your children without disabilities?


MMC said...

Dear God, I hope so.

I wonder sometimes with my youngest. She has struggled with having the Blue Jay as a sister and I know all the time that I was away in the hospital with her sister when she was a baby (even though most of it was spent with her very loving grandma) has affected her.

But she is now starting to step forward - I think I might have commented here last year about Purple Day (an annual educational day for epilepsy) and it's so nice to see my youngest step forward now and want to put herself out there to educate people about seizures. I guess hope does, indeed, spring eternal. ;-)

Shelly said...

I also agree it was inspiring.. That girl's mom has a blog of her own

spinmama said...

What an incredible woman. She must not sleep, ever!!

I wish I knew how my kids are going to ultimately be affected by their special needs brother. I think about it most everyday. They are teens and he is a young adult. They are loving and patient with him. Even though he is older, they teach him and watch over him. Will the fact that he gets more attention than they do make them bitter when they're older? Will they feel like they couldn't have a "normal life" because of all the structure and limitations of living with Down's and Autism. I hope not. I know in their hearts they understand that he would give anything to be able to do the things they will do, like drive a car and go to college. When they're older and are able to build their own lives, I hope that they'll still be happy to be with him

Azaera said...

I certainly hope it does. While Skyler doesn't have any siblings yet I really hope he will someday and whether they have special needs or not, I want them to love each other and be compassionate to all people regardless of anyone's limitations. I hope those things for Skyler too, not just his future siblings.

Terri said...

I really think having a sibling with a disability has made my 2 kids without disabilities strong, resourceful and understanding of differences in people. I am very proud of them for who they are becoming and I think a sibling with a disability is a big part of it--they know a bigger world.

spinmama said...

That is very true. My kids have learned how to be very patient in general.

All families have issues, our are just more visible. Of course you don't realize that until you're 30! My worries is that they'll spend their teens and early adulthood feeling like everybody else's families are normal and their family is not. But, everyone everybody feels that way. So, I guess I shouldn't worry.

Corrie Howe said...

I have to believe it does. I know my children are at least aware that someone having trouble in school might be suffering from a disability. I've tried to instill compassion in them.