Thousands of kids are born every day throughout the world with conditions that make them unique in some manner. Of course, all newborns are lovely, and none are less deserving of our love, care, and attention.
Unfortunately, not everyone accepts this fact. Some parents, shockingly, consider abandoning or disowning their children if they are not deemed ideal in their judgmental eyes after they are born.
Despite the fact that we are meant to live in an age of understanding and reason, many kids with Down syndrome are nevertheless born into ambiguity due to continued prejudice surrounding the condition.
One Russian father is working to eliminate every stigma associated with Down syndrome while parenting his son, Misha, who has the illness, on his own.
According to reports, Evgeny Anisimov, 33, is on a mission to show the world that children with Down syndrome are just as deserving of love and acceptance as any other child. He is raising Misha on his own after his wife left because she couldn’t deal with her son’s illness.
“I fear that your baby has Down Syndrome” a doctor told Evgeny and his wife barely 1 minute and 39 seconds after their son was born.
“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.”
“I recall leaving the hospital and crying after learning that my son has Down Syndrome,” he stated. These tears later made me feel a little uncomfortable. After all, nothing had changed in my life in general.
“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.”
Evgeny began his studies on Down syndrome the same night.
“I learned that in Europe, people with Down Syndrome are well-socialized, can live and work independently,” he said. “But the decision I had already made was not influenced by that.”
Leaving his son was simply not an option for the new father. Unfortunately, his wife did not share his sentiments.
“I never considered leaving my son in an orphanage; it would be terrible,” he remarked. He and his wife subsequently divorced, and Nowgy is raising Misha by himself.
“When a child is born, he asks the outside world: ‘Am I needed here or not?’ And I answer with certainty: ‘Son, you are needed!’ 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 promote awareness of Down syndrome so that no future parent believes having a child with the illness is a punishment or a barrier that cannot be surmounted.
“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!”