Andrea Roberts is one of those people. Statistics show that almost 90 percent of unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted, but Andrea and her husband opted for life -- and love. Their son, Reece, has not only brought joy to their lives but has inspired an organization, Reece's Rainbow, which aims to help other parents of Down syndrome children let go of the fear that grips them and embrace the future with hope and happiness.
As if that's not enough, Reece's Rainbow, through Andrea's efforts, has helped find adoptive families for more than 500 Down syndrome and special-needs children.
Here's an interview with Andrea Roberts by Tony Rossi of The Christophers:
When Atlanta resident Andrea Roberts gave birth to her son Reece in 2002, she and her husband experienced a great deal of fear and anxiety. Reece, they discovered, had Down syndrome. The hospital sent Andrea home with a packet of papers to educate her about Down syndrome, but she was too emotionally distraught to see anything but a bleak future for her son and family.
Eventually, Reece started to smile. A lot. Andrea recalled to me on Christopher Closeup, "That personality and that glow that is so much a part of Down syndrome started to come out and grow . . . It was easy to get to the other side emotionally and to recognize that this wasn't a horrible burden." Andrea's life would soon change in even more dramatic ways, leading to her being a force for good for children and families worldwide.
In 2004, a nurse from the hospital who remembered Andrea called her to say she was starting a social service program for families with Down syndrome children. The nurse wanted to call the program Reece's Rainbow. Andrea was happy to let her use Reece's name, and agreed to personally visit with the families while they were still in the hospital. She would tell them, "I've been in that hospital bed and I know how you're feeling. It's going to be different sooner than you think."
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