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Blessed by the dozen

"Blessed by the dozen" Continued...

Curtis said people are often concerned about how siblings of children with Down syndrome cope. Jonathan's closest sister, Maddy, says she's thankful for each of her siblings with Down syndrome. Last year, Maddy decided to audition for American Idol. She made it onto national television, and Fox broadcast a 5-minute clip about the Curtis family.

"Some people are a little skeptical about people with Down syndrome," Maddy said. "Those four boys bring out the best in every person they meet. They see the world in colors, and we need to see the world that way."

Because of Jonny, the Curtis family decided to adopt a second child with Down syndrome, Jesse, to be his companion. Curtis also began counseling another couple who discovered their baby had Down syndrome-the mother wanted to abort the baby, but the father was unsure. She invited them over to her house so they could see children with Down syndrome living full lives.

A few weeks later the Curtis family got an unexpected letter in the mail from that couple, asking if the Curtis family would consider adopting their child. Daniel was born 15 years ago on Mother's Day.

Then came the phone call from the adoption agency, asking if they'd consider adopting a fourth child with Down syndrome. Justin's parents were Taiwanese and wanted to return to their country, yet they knew their child would not get the education, dignity, or medical treatment he could receive in the United States.

Today, with her dozen children, Curtis is a pro-life freelance writer who counsels other families considering adoption or dealing with Down syndrome. She believes God calls many people to adopt, yet they become afraid of the difficulties involved in raising a child with special needs. She's heard concerns about who will care for their grown children with Down syndrome when she and her husband die. Yet her other eight children have already volunteered to care for their brothers.

The one lesson she wants to teach her children: Spend your life serving others. "It's not about us," she said, quoting Matthew 25:40: "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

-Alicia Constant is a student at Patrick Henry College

Read articles from past Roe v. Wade issues from our archives.

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