Every day, thousands of babies are born around the world with conditions that make them stand out in some way. Of course, all babies are beautiful and none deserve less love, care and attention.
Unfortunately, not all people accept this fact. Some parents, unbelievably, even seek to give up or disown their children if they are not considered perfect in their critical eyes when they are born.
Despite the age of understanding and reason we are now supposed to live in, many babies with Down syndrome are still born with uncertainty due to the ongoing prejudice surrounding the condition.
A Russian father seeks to rid himself of any and all stigma surrounding Down syndrome, while also independently raising his son, Misha, with the condition.
Evgeny Anisimov, 33, is reportedly on a mission to show the world that children with Down syndrome are equally worthy of love and acceptance. He is raising Misha by himself after his wife decided to leave because she couldn’t deal with her son’s diagnosis.
Evgeny and his wife received the news just 1 minute and 39 seconds after their son’s birth when a doctor told them, “I’m afraid your baby has Down syndrome.”
Speaking to Bored Panda, the father said: “I didn’t know what to do when I found out about the hypothesis that my son had Down syndrome. I thought that my task now was to turn off emotions, turn on thoughts, support my wife because I believed that it would be more difficult for her.
“The results of the analyzes were promised to us in a few days, and until then I decided not to tell him anything.”
He continued: “I remember when I found out that my son has Down Syndrome, I left the hospital and cried, but not for long. Later, he was a little embarrassed by these tears. In my life, after all, nothing had changed, in general.
“I was still two-armed, two-legged, my professional knowledge had gone nowhere. My determination, activity, curiosity, etc., everything was with me. Everything happened as 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 a kind of selfishness! That’s not fair? No, it is my responsibility. You didn’t have an amniocentesis, it’s clear that the probability was low, but still. You wanted a son, so you took responsibility for him. After all, there are many options: autism, cerebral palsy, genetic mutations… And Down Syndrome is not the worst, as I learned later”.
That same night, Evgeny began his research on Down syndrome.
“I learned that in Europe, people with Down syndrome are well socialized, able to live and work independently,” he said. “But the decision he had already made was not influenced by that.”
For the new father, leaving his child was simply not an option. Unfortunately, however, his wife did not feel the same way.
“At no time did I think of leaving my son in an orphanage, that would be inhumane,” she said. He and his wife eventually split up, and Evengy is now raising Misha alone.
He explained: “When a child is born, it asks the outside world, ‘Am I needed here or not?’ And I answer with certainty: ‘Son, they need you!’ Being with him, even alone, is a normal act.” for a normal man. I emphasize: I am a normal man, not some kind of hero.
Evegny’s goal is to raise awareness of Down syndrome so that no expectant parent believes that giving birth to a child with the condition is a punishment or obstacle that cannot be overcome.
He told Bored Panda: “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 communicate with those who are far away. I hope that those who are struggling now, as it was for us, will read about us. Do not be afraid! Everything will be fine!”
I don’t know about you, but I think people like Evegny should be praised to the heavens. What an inspiring figure he is, and how lucky Misha is to have been blessed with him as a son.
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