Down in the Southland

CREATING COMMUNITY ACCEPTANCE & INCLUSION FOR PEOPLE WITH DOWN SYNDROME 
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Poems

Heaven’s Very Special Child

A meeting was held quite far from earth
It's time again for another birth
Said the angel to the Lord above
This special child will need much love
His progress may be very slow
Accomplishments he may not show
And he'll require extra care
from the folks he meets down there
He may not run or laugh or play
His thoughts may seem quite far away
In many ways he won't adapt
And he'll be known as handicapped
So let's be careful where he's sent
We want his life to be content
Please Lord, find the parents who
Will do a special job for you
They'll not realize right away
The leading role they're asked to play
But with this child sent from above
Comes stronger faith and richer love
And soon they'll know the privileges given
In caring for their gift from heaven
Their precious charge, so meek and mild
Is "HEAVEN'S VERY SPECIAL CHILD"

- Author Unknown

Welcome to Holland

by Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience, to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this...

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide-books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. Michelangelo's David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland ?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland ?? I signed up for Italy! All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills... and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy...and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say: "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very, very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things... about Holland.

The Creed of Babies with Down Syndrome

Author unknown

My face might be different

But my feelings the same

I laugh and I cry

And I take pride in my gains

I was sent here among you

To teach you to love

As god in the heavens

Looks down from above

To him I'm no different

His love knows no bounds

It's those here among you

In cities and towns

That judge me by standards

That man has imparted

But this family I've chosen

Will help me get started

For I'm one of the children

So special and few

That came here to learn

The same lessons as you

That love is acceptance

It must come from the heart

We all have the same purpose

Though not the same start

The Lord gave me life

To live and embrace

And I'll do as you do

But at my own pace.


Twist of Fate

by Matt Yount
This is a poem he wrote about his sister. He is a senior in college and pursuing a degree
in exceptional education

A twist of a fate brought a special gift to my door
How was I to know what God had in store
The gift was wrapped in beauty and filled with love
It was more special than I'd ever dreamed of
At first I was unsure if this was really a gift
But all my doubts faded when I felt my spirit lift
The gift that God gave me was my special little sister
Overflowing with God's light, there's no way I could have missed her
She has brought me nothing but joy and laughter
The two things in life that are most sought after

   She sings me songs and brings me to tears
With a smile or a hug she wipes away all my fears
She is more than my sister, she's one of my best friends
Her heart is so pure and her love never ends
She was everything I never expected
She was a gift from God who was specially selected
I love her so much we're each other's biggest fan
Her influence in my life has made me a better man
I wouldn't trade the world for the moments that we've shared
Because without her in my life who knows how I would have faired
Her future is so bright, I can hardly wait
My life has changed forever, thanks to a simple twist of fate