Today is a very special day

And I'm going to try to get through this post without crying... Ugh, too late. Wow, that didn't take long.

Today is World Down Syndrom Day. And I know there is a day for everything but this day really is important. And I think it is important for all of us for different reasons.

For me today it's important because of everything this video below expresses. Down Syndrome isn't this horrible diagnosis. It's nothing to be afraid of. There's nothing "wrong" with people with DS. Because we are all "more alike than different."

Yes, for the families that have children with DS, it is hard and something you couldn't even fathom having to walk through.

But, as I told a friend recently facing a positive DS result while pregnant, "I'm envious of families that have children with Down Syndrome." As weird as that sounds. But it is a healthy thing to envy that which is good.

Because you have never known love until you've looked into those almond eyes. Because you've never known a hug until you've been knocked over by the affection that kids with Down Syndrom have. Something about the extra chromosome brings along with it extra love.

Because kids with Down Syndrome aren't retarded as the definition states. (I will save us all a few paragraphs and not give a soap box on the socially slang and horribly inappropriate use of the word "retarded" today. But come on people, let's go ahead and remove that!)

They aren't the ones that are less advanced, we are. Maybe in height and walking and talking and so many other things your kid will accomplish those milestones faster. But the purity with which souls with Down Syndrome see the world is an advancement we all need to be exposed to.

I am thankful to all my friends with various forms of special needs and how they've changed me. Because knowing someone with something special is kind of like going on a mission trip or service project: you are always changed more than you actual change things for them.

Have you ever known someone with Down Syndrome or other special needs? How was your life positively affected?