Wednesday, February 29, 2012
2. Also, I heard again today that the Bible says "Fear not" 366 times. I have not checked that out to see if it is true, but I do know that His grace is sufficient to cover my fears every day of the year. And, for a fearful person, the thought of leap day being covered is extra encouraging.
3. I do not know anybody who was born on February 29th.
4. God is Good!
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Friday, February 24, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
January 2012 Plattner Family Update
It’s the middle of February and I cant think of any kind of intro to our update. I typically try for a thoughtful or quippy intro but time has got the best of me. Also, it is our best intention to write meaningful content every month for our accountability to those who care and give such wonderful support. But, with no intro and poor content, we acknowledge sending this update out as a mater of discipline and not delight. So, here is our update for the month of January in its fully sorry state.
January was full. We flew back to the island on the 3rd and picked up our first team on the 7th. The team was great and we enjoyed the fellowship of our friends from Little Rock, Arkansas. The next week was a board meeting. This means lots of traveling and lots of hosting as board members fly in for the meetings. The board members flew out just as we welcomed our second team of the year. This team comes every year from Dayton, Ohio. The team did some great work in the school and with our staff. And, in a blink, our January was gone.
Our family continues to experience profound blessing. Between our fits of complaining and extreme selfishness, we stop and marvel at God’s grace on our lives. From our children’s growth, to our marriage, to our opportunities to minister, we give thanks. We have fellowshipped with some wonderful people and have been blessed by the Body of Christ. Thank you so much for your ongoing support of our family.
Kirk, Keri, Drew, Truitt, Daisha, and Danae
Monday, February 13, 2012
Saturday, February 11, 2012
To Cade and the Eight PercentMy son Cade is a survivor.
Eleven years ago this week, Rebekah and I celebrated the birth of our first-born. Despite his Down syndrome diagnosis, we were overjoyed to welcome this new life into our family.
But not everyone welcomes children like Cade.
It’s no secret. People with Down syndrome have been targeted for extinction. In November, the New York Post heralded The End of Down Syndrome and profiled a new, safer test for pre-natal detection. Before this test was available, 92% of Down syndrome diagnoses (and many times false diagnoses) resulted in the mothers choosing to terminate their pregnancies. With these new tests, some experts foretell the end of Downs.
Why the rush to rid the world of people like Cade?
Certainly, it isn’t because his disability physically threatens anyone. Rather, Down syndrome children pose a different kind of threat to society—the in your face reminder that our aspirations for “perfection” may be flawed. People like Cade disrupt normal. Whether it’s his insistence that everyone he says “hello” to on the busy streets of Manhattan respond in-kind or his unfiltered ability to hug a lonely, wheelchair-bound, homeless man without hesitation: people like Cade bring new dimension to what normal ought to be.
I’ve been encouraged to see several pop-culture venues putting on display just how normal children like Cade—and the surviving 8%—really are.
I was surprised and delighted when I opened a Nordstrom catalog a few months back and saw a young boy with Downs syndrome posing as a model for children’s clothes. No mention or special attribution was made of it. But there he was, hanging with a few other boys, included as one of the gang. The way things ought to be.
Then again, last month, dozens of major news outlets picked up this story line when the same young model was included in the latest Target ad campaign. One father and advocate, Rick Smith, took the story viral when he posted 5 Things Target Said Without Saying Anything on his blog.
Only two weeks ago on the popular show Glee, a sixteen-year old girl with Down syndrome was portrayed beautifully. Her character showed life as a high school teenager, a member of the cheerleading squad dealing with the pressures of modern teen life. During the episode, you could hear her internal thoughts playing out as the writers took a bold step forward in portraying how it might feel to walk in her shoes.
But these public displays of inclusion are only part of how we counter the extinction of those with Down syndrome.
Why do the majority of expectant parents determine not to carry these pregnancies to full term?
Fear of the unknown.
Fear that life will never look the same.
Fear that they won’t have what it takes day to day.
Fear that they themselves, won’t be accepted.
We—as humans—feel ill equipped to handle life-altering uncertainty. If we could see the future, we’d do everything we could to keep things safe. Yet it also seems that when we can control the future, we don’t do well. In the case of prenatal diagnosis, when we catch a glimpse of the predicted future, nine out of ten times we choose not to permit the adventure of life with a Down syndrome child! We buy into the utopian lie that we know what’s best for ourselves and for this world.
This is where community comes in. Mothers, Fathers, family members and friends need each other to come alongside and encourage that the Creator has a full intention for this life. To use this story to challenge our understanding of what it truly means to be human. To dispel our temptation to control, preserve order and protect a superficial version of what a perfect family must be.
When our second and third children were en utero, Rebekah and I were highly encouraged to do prenatal screenings; but we politely declined. While we knew we had the highest odds of repeating a Down syndrome birth, it made no difference to us. A life was a life. On our worst days, we focused on the fear of the unknown. On our best days, we focused on trusting God to give us the strength to parent whomever’s life we were about to be given the privilege of stewarding.
So, why should you care about a Down syndrome diagnoses? This isn’t just about Down syndrome. It’s about our understanding of the common good.
The historic definition of the “common good” is the most good for all people. But today this definition has a competitor called the “public interest.” In this presupposed progressive view, the most good for the most people is all that matters. Only one word changed but the implications are enormous. A commitment to the common good demands we value the elderly, the disabled, the unborn and those unlike us. It’s an old, rooted conception being lost on a generation consumed with progress.
We must allow life in our world that doesn’t follow our scripted narrative.
We must have the courage to choose that which is good over what is convenient.
Our fellow citizens have fought hard to encourage and protect diversity and acceptance in our society. We wear political correctness as a badge of honor; but the rising statistics of pregnancies terminated after a Downs syndrome diagnosis reveal the hypocrisy of our celebration. We see equality as sameness and diversity in shades of color. We embrace differences when they fall within our market-driven, politically correct framework but rarely when they disrupt our status quo. When a fetus is diagnosed with Down syndrome and the mother chooses not to carry the child to term, more is lost than her future inconvenience and fear. The world loses another soul in its greater body.
What would you do if you were faced with this challenge? If you had an unplanned pregnancy over the age of 35 and a prenatal test showed that your child might be a candidate for Downs, how would you and your spouse face this decision? Would you be open to a new kind of perfection? One that disrupts your current life, but that could bring a deeper meaning you’d never imagined. All this because you walked with courage into the unknown.
Cade’s life, and those like his, offers an alternative view of the good life.
These individuals alter career paths and require families to work together.
They invite each of us to engage, instead of simply walking by.
They love unconditionally, asking little in return beyond a simple acknowledgement.
They celebrate the little things in life, and displace the stress that bogs most of us down.
They seem to understand what true life is about, more than many of us.
They offer us the opportunity to truly value all people as created equal.
Happy Birthday Cade! I’m so grateful that God let us be your parents. You’ve changed us in ways we would have never changed ourselves. You’ve given us permission to measure loving kindness over productivity. You’ve offered us a glimpse of God’s grace while shattering our preconceived ideas of what is most important. We love you!
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Friday, February 3, 2012
Meet "Silly Sally!"