Down Syndrome Awareness Month: About Amanda

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, and if you know me, you know why I care about this month.

Because if you know me, you know Amanda.

Over the next few weeks, I will share stories, encouragements, and exhortations fueled by my love and care for those with Down Syndrome. Before I start that, though, I want to give you the why.

My sister, Amanda, is three years younger than me, and she has Down Syndrome. Through my forthcoming posts, I’ll weave her in often because any knowledge, passion, or experience I have related to Down Syndrome is entirely because of her existence.

Today, I just want to tell you about her, primarily because she’s awesome. If you ever get the chance, you should be her friend.

First, Amanda has the best laugh in the world. She will start with a higher pitched giggle if she thinks you’re amusing. But then, if the circumstances are extra funny, her laugh will evolve into an uncontrollable cackle. Her whole body is involved when you really get her going, and it is a joy to watch her laugh.

She also enjoys the most simple things in life. Coloring books, writing stories in journals, reading fiction, watching movies (especially ones with superheroes), music, Starbucks, pizza, cheeseburgers, and ice cream. She isn’t difficult to please, and when you do any of these things with her, she won’t forget it.

Amanda loves people. I mean really loves them. If you are nice or take an interest in her, she will be a most loyal friend. Every time I talk to her, she asks how my friends are doing, and eventually they become her friends too. Do you need a friend who will always be excited to see you? Amanda is your girl.

She is the most consistently encouraging person that I know. Every time I take a trip, post an article, or share anything on social media, Amanda is there to tell me that she likes the picture, my trip looked so cool, or that I did great writing an article. She will tell you how cute your baby is, how beautiful she thinks you are, and how everything you do is awesome! Boundless and consistent encouragement – no one I know is better at it!

I could spend all day telling you all the reasons she’s wonderful, so I’ll cut myself off for now.

The most important thing you need to know about Amanda, though, is this:

She is a child of God, a daughter of the Most High, created in His image.

She is a person, and that makes her worthy of love.

This is what her name means, and this is who she is.

Amanda is worthy of love.