The Worth of a Soul: The Story of Kirill — 5 Minutes for Special Needs

The Worth of a Soul: The Story of Kirill

by Tammy and Parker


According to a judge in Russia, a little boy with Down syndrome is better off in an institution than with a family wanting nothing more but to love and cherish him.

In other words, that extra chromosome to this judge is worthy of only one thing.

A death sentence.

My friend Veronica holds dual citizenship in both her new home, America, and the land of her birth, Russia.

Veronica tells me that in situations such as Kirill’s you have to think like a Russian. It is fantastically inconceivable to many in that country that anyone would want to adopt a child with Down syndrome.

Even after they’ve spent months in the application process and tens of thousands of dollars.


My beautiful son, Parker, who is learning how to read. Don’t tell me his life isn’t worth living.

This isn’t so different in other countries. Except we express our views on Down syndrome by trying to wipe out an entire population of people via earlier prenatal testing created to make easier for a woman to abort the fetus she finds too distasteful to bring into the world.

I recently read on blog about a mother who rationalized her decision to abort her child with Ds as doing what 90% of the rest of the world would have done.

(Important fact: In many states there are WAITING lists to adopt children with Down syndrome.)

Down syndrome does not make a child disposable.

It’s time for us, ALL of us, to stand up against this way of thinking and put a stop to it. Today it may be my child who’s life is deemed unworthy by so many.

Tomorrow it could be yours.

You can read more about Kirill and the family that loves him here and here.

You can find Tammy and Parker hanging out at their other blog,, and on Twitter where they are known as ParkerMama.

Email Author    |    Website About Tammy and Parker

I am the mother of 5 wonderful kids. My youngest, Parker, is a medically fragile blessing with Down's Syndrome. I am @ParkerMama on Twitter.

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1 jo March 28, 2011 at 12:46 pm

wishing you all the luck in the world in your quest to give this beautiful little boy a chance of a good life with a family that love him. my thoughts and prayers are with you all xxxx

2 Travis March 28, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Not every soul is wicked and every heart black.

My wife and I recently were informed that there was a possibility we may have a child with Downs. While it ultimately turned out to be a false positive (because of her age) we did not receive the news as anything other than “early warning”, meaning we would be able to prepare ourselves and our world to welcome a special-needs child, no more, no less.

Would it have been difficult? Surely, and I do not envy those with such a weight to bear – I also cannot profess to even BEGIN to understand what it is like for those families and those children… but it is not for us to choose how our blessings come to us – and regardless of our readiness, abortion is NOT a valid method of birth control.

3 Tammy and Parker March 29, 2011 at 12:27 pm


Of course not every soul is wicked or every heart black. To employ early testing as a means of preparation is one thing. Unfortunately, the company that created this latest early testing protocol intended it to save parents from the burden of a child with Down syndrome.

Can being the parent of a child with Ds be hard. Yes. Interestingly enough though, Parker has been easier to raise than my now 22 year old son was.

Every kid comes with their own unique challenges….typical kids and kids with special needs. But to deny a child a chance at LIFE because of an extra chromosome. IMHO, that is absolutely unacceptable.

Good luck with that new little on of yours!

4 Tooner March 28, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Grrrrrr this kind of thing really bothers me because too many people think that people with disabilities aren’t worth anything, and I think that they have more to offer than people assume. Just because a child has down syndrome, doesn’t mean that they are worthless. I have a disability and I think that I have a lot to offer the world. People just need to see past the challenges.

5 Tooner March 28, 2011 at 4:48 pm

If you would like to visit my blog you can find me at:

I have a similiar story to this on my blog.

6 Tooner March 30, 2011 at 4:26 pm

sorry that

7 Danielle March 29, 2011 at 3:36 am

A few more links that are relevant:

Kirill’s Story at the Davis family blog:

Video of Kirill:

Save Kirill Group:

Also being adopted from the same region… going before the same judge:

Evan – (who’s family still has Christmas ready for her) has court Thursday before the same judge:

Baby J – (the social butterfly) just met her parents for the first time and is awaiting a court date:

8 Kathleen March 29, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Amen, Amen, and Amen again! I’m constantly harping on this issue. I think the problem is that people don’t *know* anyone with DS. DS has been reduced to a bunch of Scary Bad medical figures, and we keep swirling around this vortex that gets tighter & tighter. How do we get the message out to everyone who doesn’t already care?

9 Tammy and Parker March 29, 2011 at 12:21 pm


I don’t think the how is as important as the just start!

Social media has done a lot towards educating people about the inappropriate use of the ‘r-word.’

The same medium could be used in the quest to educate people about the beauty found within an extra chromosome.

Twitter. Facebook. Blogs. All are good places to begin.

When Parker was born we received many condolences. We understood their hearts…..and that they were lost as to how to respond. So Reed and I now make it a point to lead by example. As people realize how grateful we are for our Brave Hero, how much he has enriched our lives…..their attitude towards Parker changes.

I try very hard on my personal blog ( to show our lives in a very real and honest way. But most of all I try to show that life with Down syndrome is indeed worth living!

10 Kathleen March 29, 2011 at 12:47 pm

I do the same on my blog, but I’m afraid that by and large I’m preaching to the choir. :/ I do talk about DS regularly, and interestingly enough it seems that my hits are always higher on those days. :) Perhaps that’s the part of me that’s the most interesting. LOL

11 Kathleen March 29, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Incidentally, I’m so sorry that you got condolences! We met a family in the waiting room for J’s echo. They said their families didn’t even acknowledge the birth of their child with DS. I couldn’t imagine it. Our families were way more ready to accept J. than we were, when she was born. It took us a couple of days. (Just being honest; I love her with every breath I take, but it was not something I was prepared for.)

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