Mother of Two Children With Down Syndrome Urges the Church to Make Room for Those Who Are Different in New Book “Scoot Over and Make Some Room”

Josh and Heather Avis, with kids (L to R) August, Macyn, and Truly

The Church should be known for embracing those typically pushed to the edges of society; a place where the unique talents, abilities, and needs of others are both recognized and celebrated. 

But far too often, the Church has fallen short of including those often ignored by society.

Heather Avis, a mother to three adopted children — two of whom have Down syndrome — is urging the Church to make room for those who typically don’t have a seat at the table.

“When we’re looking at Scripture and it talks about being ‘fearfully and wonderfully made,’ there’s not an asterisk there; it doesn’t say “if you fit this certain mold,’” she told The Christian Post. “Every single one of us are image bearers of God. When God created my kids, He gave them an extra chromosome with pleasure and for His glory.”

In 2008, Avis and her husband, Josh, adopted their first daughter, Macyn, followed by their second daughter, Truly, in 2011. And in 2013, their son, August, was born and came home to be theirs.

A popular speaker, blogger, and author who regularly documents her family’s life on social media, Avis said her “whole world became richer” the second she met her first child.

“People with differences offer so much to the world and to our lives,” she said. “They’re fully valuable and worthy as they are, and my life is so much fuller because they’re in my life and because they’ve put me into communities with people that are different from me. I instantly gained  an understanding of what it means to be human and what gives worth and value to a person.”

In her latest book, Scoot Over and Make Some Room, Avis shares the joyful moments of parenting — but also the heartbreaking moments when her children were denied a place at the table and when she had to fight for their voices to be heard — particularly in the school system.

“The school systems are very segregated; those with disabilities are expected to learn in a different classroom because it’s thought that it’s what’s best for them,” she said. “The expectation is that my children can’t learn alongside their peers. What I’m asking our educators to do is to see the assets that my kids bring and not their deficits. Let’s look at what they can do and not at what they can’t.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett