World Down Syndrome Day: A Day In The Life of Amanda

Every March 21, on World Down Syndrome Day, I look for ways to talk about my sister and the beautiful life she has. This year is special because I actually live with Amanda for a temporary season. I wanted to let Amanda be the one to show who she is and what her life looks like on a daily basis.

Journaling is one of Amanda’s favorite things to do. This corner, in what we lovingly call the “extra room,” is where Amanda writes stories, draws pictures, and exercises the Image of God in her creativity. Many of her journals revolve around dream vacations, celebrities, and activities she would want to do with her family. She starts every morning here and does her journaling throughout the day. If you’re lucky enough to receive something she wrote or drew for you, it was done with love and thoughtfulness I am sure.

In “her” chair, with her favorite shirt, and with her pup. This big and comfy chair is designated by Amanda as “hers” and she will watch a movie in the chair every night she can. The girl loves her movies. She has celebrity birthdays memorized, knows if they have kids or not, and can sing every word to every Cheetah girls and High School Musical song in existence. She loves a good t-shirt, especially if she can represent her favorite things. Amanda loves her Walter (and Tucker, and Nova, and Maya), but she loves all dogs so deeply. If you have a dog, you’ll be her friend. But your dog will be her best friend.

Our dancing queen. She has been part of a dance group for several years now, and she takes it very seriously. Every day, right after lunch, she plays her Cheetah girls songs and practices her solo dance. Amanda’s got the moves. In a crowd, she’s sometimes timid and unsure, but when her dancing starts, she’s more confident than ever.

Beauty. Her smile wrinkles, her happy grin, her perfect curls, her precious freckles, those hazel eyes. Beyond her sweet and lovely face, she radiates a beauty unlike any other. It is a beauty that comes from her Maker. God shaped and fashioned her exactly as he wished. Her love for others, sensitive spirit, and curiosity are evidence of God himself. She is fun, sweet, goofy, and sometimes stubborn (more a badge of honor for our family than anything else). We love Amanda, and anyone who knows her would say the same.

Today, I encourage all who would read this to cherish those with Down Syndrome with all the love and value every human life deserves. Amanda, and anyone else like her, is a treasure, not an inconvenience, a person of dignity, not of devaluing.

I give praise to God for the creativity and uniqueness he gives to every human, and today especially all the beauty and grace in the lives of those with Down Syndrome.

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