I was reminded of Gaby's essay by a post on Postcards from Holland about siblings of special needs children. She says that she doesn't like to read articles about grown siblings of special needs adults because they are rarely positive. Well, Gaby may yet change her mind, as she was only twelve when she wrote this essay, but, so far, the sisters are inseparable. Her essay won first place in the diocese of Rockville Centre Respect Life Essay contest last year. I can't believe I have taken this long to post it! This photo was taken in January when we celebrated my dad's 75th birthday, thus the girls are sharing a Shirley Temple at the bar (I don't want to scandalize anyone)
I just thought this shot would be funny of the two of them!
My Sister is Special
I have a three year old sister named Christina with Down's syndrome. It can be a challenge having a sister with a disability. When she was born, I cried because I knew people would make fun of the way she looked and spoke .Sometimes people give her wierd looks as they pass by, but it doesn't bother me anymore. Those people don't know her like I do. Christina is slow at learning to speak, and I don't always understand her, but that does not stop her from communicating. She says ''let's go'' and takes me by the hand to show me what she wants like something to eat or her favorite Elmo DVD, and she always says," thank you'' after you give it to her. Christina didn't learn to walk until she was two and a half, but now you can't stop her! Sometimes,she climbs up on the kitchen island, knocks everything down,and yells for me to come and see her standing up there, with a big smile on her face.She loves running away from me when she is in trouble.
People with Down Syndrome really love,and once in a while they teach us how to live our faith better. Christina always seems to have a smile on her face,and really cares for others. One time my Mom took Christina to Eucharistic Adoration. As they went into the chapel, she enthusiastically waved and said, ''Hi Jesus!'' as if He were standing right in front of her. Everyone in the chapel turned and smiled at her saying, "she knows He is here''.
Christina is like any other kid, just slower at learning things and she should not be treated differently. Most people don't know that 95% of Down Syndrome babies are aborted. The people who do this don't know what they are missing! Every year,my family and I go to Washington D.C. for the March for Life and try to stop this discrimination aganist unborn babies. Just because they don't have a voice, does not mean their lives should be ended .We have to be their voice. I think nobody should be rejected because of the way they look or speak. We are all God's children an d he loves all of us.
Gabriela Velasquez, age12