Learning your kid has Down Syndrome can be incredibly hard for parents but one dad is making the process easy by sharing the positives of sunny kids.
Down Syndrome is a genetic condition that is caused when "abnormal cell division results in an extra full or partial copy of chromosome 21." This extra genetic material affects the baby's body and brain development, according to Mayo Clinic. You would be surprised to know that every 700th child in the world is born with it, as per WHO statistics, and are often called "sunny." The reason for this is their kind and affectionate attitude towards others, which something many of us can learn from them. Unfortunately, there's a lot of misconceptions and negativity surrounding Down Syndrome which mostly stems from lakh of awareness. But one single father in Russia has vowed to bring about a change in the way people perceive these unique and wonderful kids.
Sadly, we often see people giving up their child when they get the Down Syndrome diagnosis. 33-year-old Evgeny Anisimov's former wife too couldn't come to terms with the fact that their son Mishka was born with the syndrome. So when she left, Evgeny had to be the strong one for both of them. Now the Russian father is sharing his story with the world in the hopes of inspiring fellow parents to never give up no matter the hurdles. Recalling the day, Evgeny learned about the diagnosis, he told Bored Panda, "I didn’t know what to do when I learned of the hypothesis that my son had Down Syndrome. I thought my task now was to turn off emotions, ignite thoughts, support my wife because I believed it would be more difficult for her. The results of the analysis we were promised in a few days, and until then, I decided not to say anything to her."
With hardly any information about the condition, Evgeny was left devastated. "I remember that upon learning that my son has Down Syndrome, I left the hospital and cried, but not for long," he said. However, eventually, he felt a "little embarrassed by these tears" as "nothing had changed," but the fact that his child was special. "I was still with two arms, with two legs, my professional knowledge had gone nowhere. My determination, activity, curiosity, and so on—everything was with me. Everything happened as I planned, my son was born. But the child is special, his life and future destiny are already very significant. And I’m roaring here! This is some kind of selfishness! Is it not fair? No, it is my responsibility. You did not have an amniocentesis—it is clear that the probability was low, but still. You wanted a child, so you took responsibility for it. After all, there are many options: autism, cerebral palsy, genetic mutations… And Down Syndrome is not the worst, as I learned later," he shared.
Evgeny's son came along when things were just starting turn around in his career, but he knew "I couldn’t leave my son. He needed love and warmth." Taking care of his child all by himself is not easy but Evgeny loves every minute of it. "I think routine is the most difficult thing for me. Every minute, I must do ordinary tasks—cooking food for my son, cleaning, giving him baths, and walking with him… Every task might seem simple, but doing it every day is very difficult. My mother helps me and I can have time for myself, which is very important. I would advise all husbands to help their wives because although parenting is very interesting, it’s also a very hard thing," he said.
"When I made the decision, I had not yet thought about the likelihood of an optimistic scenario. I thought: well, he’s going to enjoy the sunrise, I’m going to take him out to barbecue, he’s going to live his life. Yes, maybe he seems unhappy to someone, but he will have his own life," said the loving father. "At no time did I think of leaving my son in an orphanage, that would be inhumane," he assured. Speaking about his wife, he explained that the two shared a "good and trusting relationship" and he was "used to giving in to everything, adjusting" in their relationship. But when their son was born he was determined to keep his son no matter what and his who was "just scared at the time" drifted away leaving Evgeny to raise his son.
Evgeny has been doing the best he can to give his son the best life possible from swimming lessons to speech therapy, he does it all. The father insisted that he is no hero for raising his son as it is every child's right to lead a good life and parent's responsibility to make them feel that they are needed. "I want all the articles about Mishka and me that are being published now to convey that idea to society and instill it. And I also want to support, inspire with my example those people who are or will be in the same situation as me. I try to communicate with those who are within reach, I correspond with those who are far away. I hope that those who have difficulties now, as it was for us, read about us. Have no fear! Everything will be fine!" he assured.