While most babies learn to support their necks in a short time, six-month-old Jordy’s neck folded and his chin flapped on his chest for support. I had mentioned the problem to the doctor each time I took Jordy for a medical check-up. The last visit the doctor blurted, “That could be a symptom of Down syndrome. I will submit a requisition to get some tests done.” I took Jordy to get the tests, but I brushed off the idea of Down syndrome because no one in my family had it.
The Friday, just before Easter, the phone rang. I picked it up.
“Yes,” I said.
“I got the result. Your son tested positive for Trisomy 21.”
I collapsed in the chair. The doctor hung up the phone. Tears welled and flowed incessantly. Moments later, millions of questions flooded my mind. What will I do? How will I care for Jordy? This is unchartered territory for me. My heart flipped-flopped from love to anger. In the crevices of my mind, fear and fury collided. Someone made an error in the lab.
After the shock, I told my partner. We had three daughters. He was happy with Jordy’s birth because he now had a son. However, Jordy was not the son he wanted. After I told him Jordy had Down syndrome, he abandoned the family.
Other than a minor speech impediment, Jordy is smart and funny, loving and kind, athletic and authentic. He is musically inclined, an instrument of joy as he beat-boxes, sings and dances to the latest tune. Jordy shows and gives me love. He is a gift. A loving force so fitting for this universe.
Jordy, my son, is not a lab error.
Written by Rosena Joseph
Down syndrome day was Saturday, March 21, 2015
To learn more about Down syndrome you can visit the National