photo of Amy Julia and Penny walking down a sidewalk with the Cognoscenti logo

COGNOSCENTI | The future I imagine for my daughter

The future is uncertain. After high school, should Penny go to a community college? Will she be segregated and only socialize with peers with intellectual disabilities?

I experienced a similar sense of disorientation in the early days of Penny’s life. I didn’t know who to talk to. I thought we were all alone in the maze of new parenthood with a child with an extra copy of her 21st chromosome, when instead we were invited into a community.

Early on, fear shaped my imagination. Slowly, love began to reshape it.

I thought we would swim through fear forever, but instead we were called to walk on solid ground, with family and friends and pastors and librarians and shopkeepers by our side. And now as Penny approaches adulthood, I return to that scared young woman with that beautiful new baby, and try to remember what I have learned. I try to remember that love is stronger than fear — at least in our house.

I’m writing today for Cognoscenti


More with Amy Julia:

RNS | Why do I still go to church?
TIME: Doctors Don’t Know How to Talk About Down Syndrome
S7 E4 | Breaking Down Bias: Prenatal Diagnoses and Comprehensive Care with Stephanie Meredith

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