The rise of prenatal screening tests has significantly decreased the number of babies born with Down syndrome since the 2000’s. About 90% of babies testing positive for Down syndrome are being terminated in utero. According to the most recent data available, the United States has an estimated termination rate for Down syndrome of 67-90% (1995-2011); Europe as a whole is about 92% (2015). Iceland is leading the world in “eradicating Down syndrome births”, as they report only 1 or 2 births per year. I do understand the struggle and fear of the unexpected and even the disappointment at first, but it’s breaking God’s heart.
Chris and Carissa received the diagnosis at birth that their new born son, Jack, had Down syndrome. Thoughts and questions overshadowed their minds regarding what the future will look like. Will they be able to do this? How will this change their lives? Many of those early memories were positive but they also couldn’t forget the negative ones. From the way the diagnosis was delivered, to the awkward pregnant nurse that was assigned to her room. They received an outdated binder filled with general information on Down syndrome including delays her child will experience cognitively and physically, and a bunch of blurry medical information that scared them deeply. Unfortunately, this is a fairly common and traumatic way of how this diagnosis is given. Instead of celebrating a new precious life, many families are often times treated like the plague and leave the hospital without even a congratulations.
It was out of this life experience where God spoke to Carissa’s heart. What if a family would be congratulated and presented with a gift? What if it set the tone of that day, a chance to celebrate a beautiful baby?
Jack’s Basket was created out of a prayer and dream that all children beautifully created with an extra special chromosome in the Twin Cities (and beyond) could receive a loving welcome. Their mission is to ensure that every new and expectant parent is provided resources and avenues of support within the community and aims to educate medical providers on how to discuss the diagnosis in an unbiased way. Each basket contains a personalized letter and picture of their family and two others that are raising children with Down’s, Jack’s favorite rattle, a couple of toys, an adorable onesie and helpful resources. “The family might not be ready to accept this gift at first, but to hear the news, ‘CONGRATULATIONS’ would be something they would reflect and be thankful for when their child steals their heart” – Carissa.
October is Down syndrome awareness month and Be a Blessing will be purchasing baskets this month to give to these precious families. We desire to honor their big day and spread smiles on their faces in recognition of this new gift of God in their lives. The Word of God clearly states that all life is given by the Father and all life is precious to Him.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.” Psalm 139:13-15
Read their full story at Jacksbasket.org and learn how they are impacting families across the state and nation!
Be a Blessing is a fun and fulfilling way to touch lives all across the globe! This movement provides the opportunity to impact various people and causes every month. Each gift increases effectiveness and is used to bring hope and love to hurting people, and encourage organizations as they serve others. It takes 2 minutes to Be the Difference. Join the movement today!!