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on insisflying

This is all things considered from NPR News, I am *, and *.

I believe in mystery. I believe in family. I believe in being who I am. I believe in the power of failure. I believe that normal life is extraordinary. This I believe.

 

Down syndrome has been in the news recently. The infant son of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has the disorder. About one in 800 babies are born with Down syndrome, today, our This I Believe essay comes from a parent of one of them and we should say, it was submitted before Senator McClain picked Governor Palin to be his running mate. The essay comes for Gregg Rogers, he is an English professor in State College of Pennsylvania, he wasn’t sure he could handle being the father of a child with Down syndrome. Here is our serious curator and dependent producer, Jay Allison.

 

Gregg Rogers came to his belief only after his daughter was born, before that, his beliefs were different, and based he said, on fear. His transformed journey toward his new belief began in the doctor’s office, during the pregnancy when he and his wife first received the news. Here is Gregg Rogers with his essay for This I Believe.

 

It is trisomy 21, it is Down syndrome. Beyond those words, I heard nothing, sitting in the obstetrician’s office. The doctor was talking about my unborn daughter, and the result of an amniocentesis. I know there were words after that statement, but I don’t remember them. I do remember returning home with my wife and crying on the sofa, I distinctly remember saying “I don’t want this.” I didn’t want this situation, I didn’t want this responsibility. I didn’t want to become one of those parents, the parents of child with a disability. People told me, “If anyone can handle it, you can.” Easy for you to say, I thought. God never gives you more than you can handle, they reassured me. Really? Then why do people have nervous breakdowns? We will help however we can, they said. Fine, I thought, you have the kid with developmental delay, and I’ll help you out. For months, I was terrified. My wife Lucy and I now refer to the period of time leading up to my daughter’s birth as the pit. We barely spoke to each other because we didn’t know what to say. We simply suffered through each day together, but feeling terribly alone. And then Genevieve was born.

 

She spent her first eight days in the neonatal intensive care unit at a regional medical center. On each of those eight days, I made the 150-mile round trip to see her because she was my daughter. I sat in a surgical gown in intensive /care, holding her entangled /of/ tubes and wires, singing the same songs I’d sung to other daughters. On the 9th day, she came home, and I began to realize that my feelings of fear and anxiety had changed away, that no prenatal screen could ever have predicted. I now believe Genevieve is here for everyone. I believe Genevieve is taking over the world one heart at a time beginning with mine. I believe that what was once I perceived damnation has now become our unexpected salvation.

 

Genevieve recently turns 3 and she is doing very well for herself. She runs and climbs on everything and loves to wrestle with her two older sisters and her younger brother. She doesn’t have a lot of spoken words yet, although her first full sentence turned out to be “What’s up with that?” She does have over 100 signs that allow her to have strawberries, pizza or ice-cream, or tell us when she wants to sleep or play on her computer. She goes to a regular preschool 3 days a week, and seems to know more people around town than I do; I laugh everyday because of Genevieve. On my right wrest, I /a/ wear simple sliver chain with three little beads on it. I used to say the 3 beads signified the third chromosome that results in trisomy 21, Down syndrome. Now when I look at those beads, they simply remind me that I don’t ever know as much as I think I do. But I am always capable of more than I think I am.

 

Gregg Rogers with his essay for This I Believe. Rogers said the decision not determinate the pregnancy with rarely his wife’s, he said, she had more faith in my ability to handle this than I did, and she was right. They’ve studied an information that work for other families with Down syndrome in their area, and you can find a link on our website npr.org/thisibelieve, along with information about submitting your own essay. For This I Believe, I am Jay Allison.

 

Support for This I Believe comes from Prudential retirement.

This I Believe is independently produced by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman with John Gregory and Viki Merrick.

 

There is a This I Believe journal and day planner that may help you write your own statement of belief. It’s available from the NPR shop and at npr.org/thisibelieve.  

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