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July 12, 2006


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Right on, Joe.


Your daughter is absolutely beautiful.

God Bless you and your family.

Sarah Taylor


Your passionate support of your daughter, and the rights of unborn Down Syndrome children everywhere, inspired me to write my paper for my university class on this topic. The research on this form of eugenics led me down a very troubling garden path where “On the west side of L.A., [children with Down Syndrome] aren't being born anymore” (Bauer, Patricia E.)

May you continue to inspire others to speak for those who have no voice.

Spending time at L'Arche is the best thing I do all week, and the most humbling.

God Bless


Hi Joe,

I have an 11 year old, autistic son. And I'm not saying there aren't days that I don't scream to Heaven above and ask "WHY? Why me and my family? It's so hard. I can't do this. I'm tired and envious of the families with 'normal' kids!" But I have many more days when I get on my knees and thank God for the GIFT of my son. For the opportunity to love unconditionally. For the chance o glimpse the divine in my son's innocence, purity and love of life. This couple will awake from their slumber one day and then the true nightmare will begin.

Thank you for your eloquent defense of the "tragically flawed."

Nerina Bellinger

P.S. Your daughter radiates pure joy.

Uncle MacK

God bless you Joe. Thank you.


What a beautiful child! Thank you for sharing it. God bless you and your family.

Martha G.

I had the great priviledge to teach/coach/woo a number of mentally challenged young adults to swim when I was a teenager. What they struggled with in terms of fear of water & the unknown and lack of "logic", they more than made up for in heroic love and steadfast trust in me. I am a better and more faithful person because of the lessons these "little ones" taught me so openly and beautifully. The world would be an uglier and more hateful place without them. I thank God for the gifts of those who in weakness show the abundance of God's grace.


Amen, Joseph.
I concur.
What a beautiful daughter you have in Sarah Joy.
My next younger brother,just by being the beautiful soul he is and by being the often frustrating and infuriating and exhausting and amazingly gentle and innocent and loving and fragile person he is constantly shows me how tragically flawed I am.


It reminds me of this story:

I still pray for this woman sometimes when I think of it. I'll have to remember C. Smyth now too.


Sorry to double-post but I took you up on the internet research challenge and about 2 minutes of work brought me to the following discussion on It hardly looks like something worthy of a death sentence:

"...Many affected females appear to have no or very few associated symptoms, while others may have various abnormalities.

However, investigators indicate that Triplo X Syndrome is a relatively common cause of learning difficulties, particularly language-based disabilities (e.g., dyslexia), in females. Evidence suggests that affected females typically have normal intelligence with IQs that tend to be lower than that of their brothers and sisters (siblings). Mental retardation rarely occurs. Infants and children with Triplo X Syndrome may tend to have delayed acquisition of certain motor skills and delayed language and speech development.

Affected females often are of tall stature. According to researchers, although sexual development and fertility are usually normal, some may have delayed puberty and/or fertility problems. In addition, in some cases, certain physical abnormalities have been reported, such as a relatively small head, vertical skin folds that may cover the eyes' inner corners (epicanthal folds), and/or other findings."



Thanks to all of you for your input. As as Nathan reminded us, we need to be in prayer.

Mr Grumpy

I don't know when I've ever read such a moving and powerful blog post. Thank you.


Wow! This really hurts my heart Joe. Thanks for sharing.


Thank you Joe, that was beautiful.
God bless!

Cynthia Yunke

A thousand THANK YOUs from the bottom of my heart.

Mommy of an angel with T21

Interesting note. Like all things in this world, there's always (at least) two sides. If someone opts to terminate a pregnancy for a genetic or developmental defect (that will cause mental and/or physical issues), that is a valid and legal choice. If they opt to continue a pregnancy with the foreknowledge of said issues, that is also a valid and legal choice. For those who read and quote the Bible, it is obviously NOT our place as mere human beings to judge other humans' choices. In cases of termination for Down syndrome, Turner's, or others that are assumed to be's not a simple "snap" decision. Parents struggle and research thorougly prior to making such an important choice on behalf of their unborn babies. Perhaps it's not so much the infancy and childhood years that concern them (if their kids are lucky enough to forego G-tubes, open heart surgeries, bowel surgeries, medications galore, etc.). It's the teen years and beyond when their "adult" children are still functioning in the pre-school or grade school level. Yes, love is a given....but is that truly fair to the CHILD? Maybe s/he will be one of the fortunate ones that actually can make it through high school and technical college. Despite all of the early intervention that special-needs children have been getting for quite some time now, it still appears as though some will "succeed" and become somewhat independent, the majority will not.

This isn't about wanting only a perfect child, or being embarrassed of a mentally challenged offspring. It's not about "playing God" (as any medical interventions after birth can also be defined in the same way). It IS about taking a look at the BIG picture and making a decision out of love...NOT selfishness or ignorance. As much as others don't want to accept this fact, it is VERY true. It is done out of the deepest parental love (and is anything BUT selfish). I'm sure it's difficult for those with opposite views to understand; but, nothing could be more true.

In the end....just as parents whose children are living with T21 hope others will open their hearts to acceptance, those who feel they made a loving choice on behalf of their angel babies hope for the same acceptance and respect in kind. I trust that is the case with those here as well. Have a blessed day.


I think the original newspaper article in question raises at least two related points. The first is the sweeping generalization about persons living with disabilities due to genetic defects. Throughout the article, the author refers quite negatively to all persons with genetic defects, and makes a blanket statement about quality of life of those already living. That is a different, though related, question to the topic of abortion based on genetic testing.

Second, the author did not make any claims, such as Mommy of an angel has done in a very graceful way. The author claims it was in fact a snap decision, with very little research done into triple x syndrome. The main qualities of parenthood describes seemed to be all financial, lifestyle and "success" oriented - what I might consider to be the opposite of the values which Jesus taught. As nathan pointed out in his comment - those who take the challenge and do the exact research process which the author claims she and her husband did, will find that triple x hardly constitutes the abysmal quality of life which C Smyth claims. The article does a rhetorical shift - from speaking of triple x syndrome to speaking of Down syndrome - and I'm sure the editors of the G & M are smart enough to recognize that rhetorical shift.

I'm sure that issues like this take on a different tone in an American vs Canadian context. I'm not even going to attempt to disentangle that. Socialized medical care in Canada makes an enormous difference. Heck, after our daughter's open heart surgery, they asked us if we needed to be reimbursed for parking.

I think when a public forum is used (the Globe and Mail is considered by some to be our "national newspaper") to forward ideas, those ideas are fair game for comment. Judging, in the sense of discerning the underlying truths of something, is a necessary part of the Christian life. We do it every time we participate in public life - and I grant that there are Christians of all political stripes.

The worldview expressed in the article was one of harsh determinism (we know what the future will be like for this child), unabashed materialism, and negative judgment on quality of life upon those already living. Love was the one quality which (even the one word) which did not come up in the article.


ps - the original article appeared in the section header "Facts & Arguments"

jennifer graf groneberg

Oh thank you, thank you for this. You put words to what is in my heart. I, too, am afraid of the C Smyths of the world.

Mommy of an angel with T21

Thank you, Joseph. Very well said. I cannot venture to speak for C. Smyth, as I do not know her. However, I can see how her verbiage can be translated as harsh and cold. I truly hope that love played a part in her choice. I know that it most certainly did in ours (and the many other parents who have "walked a mile in our shoes").

I wish only the best to all, no matter on which path life has taken them.


Topics like this are so "loaded" that it is sometimes (okay - very often) difficult to have a discussion at all. I hope and pray God blesses you in all you do, MoaAt21.

Lisa Barrowclough

32 years ago a pair of parents who couldn't conceive finally got their call (after 7 years on a waiting list) from Ontario Children's Aid: "We've got a baby girl for you." A 19 year old unwed university student chose not to terminate her unwanted pregnancy. I'm sure glad she did!
I came with all the "right" chromosomes, etc. - but not without tragic flaws. I've never met anyone without them (except perhaps that birth mum who made gave such a beautiful and loving gift!)

Tragic Christian

Beautiful letter, Joe, and what a cutie in the picture at the bottom! God bless all us parents with "tragically flawed" children whom we love beyond reason!

maria bottis

beautiful text
thank you


She is so beautiful and looks so happy :0)

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blank stare...

  • Copyright Rev. Joseph Walker, St Timothy's Anglican Church

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