An extra dose of love: a brother’s story of Trisomy 21


EvaMy youngest sister, Eva, just turned 12 this past December 31st. Each year, my parents invite friends and family over to celebrate the new year and the birth of our favorite family member at our New Years “Eva” party. Now I know, we aren’t supposed to have favorites, and our large family would seem to make unanimous consent impossible.

Maybe it’s because she’s the baby of the family. But there is something special about Eva, qualities she possesses that I believe truly make her a superior human being. First, she has an extra dose of adorable, that magical quality that melts frowns and lights up the faces of the grumpiest strangers. Second, she possesses an effervescent life and joy that I, with all my striving, have never been able to attain.

But most importantly, Eva is blessed with an extra helping of Love. Eager to shower you with affection and quick to forgive, she exemplifies 1 Corinthians 13:5 which says that love keeps no record of wrongs. Sometimes, I think she must realize her superiority, because she also has an extra pinch of stubbornness. Just calling it intensity would be too generous, but either way, it just makes for never ending jokes, playful sarcasm, and fun!

Scripture teaches us that Love is the most important, indispensable quality of them all. What good are my talents, my wisdom, my wealth, and my generosity, If I don’t have love? Isn’t this what we are all striving for? I used to think I was pretty smart. But life has a way of showing us how the things we take pride in are useless when we do not have love–when we don’t accept God’s love for us, and in turn, love others as ourselves.

It was actually another sister, Grace, who helped me realize this first. Grace, now 24 years old, has the same extra dose of love, joy, adorability, and an indomitable spirit like Eva. One time, Grace started driving the riding lawn mower down the street because she wanted to go to the mall.

When I was struggling to get my focus off of myself, enjoy life, and love others, watching Grace and Eva enjoy life and love others instead of being self-absorbed taught me to redefine my concept of intelligence. If the greatest of these is love, how could I say that I am smarter than Grace? Is she not happier, more loving? Is she not more intelligent, and dare I say, superior?

I feel incredibly lucky and blessed to have not one, but two superior human beings that I can call my sister. And I am sad, incredibly sad, that so few people have the opportunity to know a friend like Grace and Eva, let alone the privilege of having one in their family.

You see, 75-90% of children with these magical qualities do not survive until their birth day. But it’s not because of any life threatening condition or complication with the pregnancy. It’s because when their parents discovered they were about to give birth to a superior human being, they made the tragic and legal decision to terminate their child’s life.

Where do these children get their extra dosage of love? I believe it is contained in their DNA. Instead of the 46 chromosomes of DNA that most people have, Grace and Eva have 47. The scientific name for it is Trisomy 21.

Yes, these parents were likely misinformed as to the meaning of this extra DNA, and instead of judging them, I know that there is forgiveness offered by Jesus, who prayed even for his own captors “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

That’s why I am writing this article, to help you see what a treasure my sisters are, and how much they can teach us about what is truly important in life. We must not allow our jealousy of these children’s superiority to cause us to discriminate, and put them down before they even have the chance to shower their love on us.

That is also why I am introducing the Down Syndrome and Genetic Abnormality Non-Discrimination Act. The common name for Trisomy 21 is Down Syndrome, and even superior children have the right to enjoy their first birthday, to blow out their candles, and to drive lawn tractors down the street. Please join me in ending discrimination and support equal rights for pre-born people with superior abilities.

Editor’s Note: This article was first published on State Representative Isaac Latterell’s website on January 27, 2014, and is reprinted here with permission. You can connect with him on Facebook here.

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