Family Research Council

The Ups of Downs


By Tony Perkins
October 30, 2013

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No child is perfect. And after five years of loving his special needs daughter, no one could be happier about that than Heath White. Hi, I'm Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. For most of his life, being the best was all that mattered to pilot Heath White. So when he got the news that his daughter might have Down Syndrome, having an "imperfect" child seemed unthinkable. On ESPN's "E:60," the Whites share their story of how the birth of their little girl led to the rebirth of their family. Like a lot of parents, Heath was angry about his daughter's diagnosis. For months, he pushed his wife to abort. Now, five years later, they shudder to think what life would be like if Jennifer had agreed. The first time Heath saw Paisley smile, the new dad was changed for ever. Before she was born, Heath says, "I only worried about how [her] disability reflected on me." Now he knows: there are no special needs, only special gifts.

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