web analytics
April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Aliyah and Keeping Young with Yisrael

After they made Aliyah, Randi discovered she was pregnant with Yisrael, who has Down syndrome.

Yisrael Simcha, age 6

Yisrael Simcha, age 6
Photo Credit: Michael Lipkin

Share Button

Michael: It was immediate. Though we had no specific foreknowledge that Yisrael had Down syndrome, given our ages and some anonamolies on a couple of the ultrasounds performed during the pregnancy, the idea is not something that would have surprised us. Even though reality can be different than expectations I can honestly say that there was not a moment where I felt I needed to “adjust”.

Yisrael mugging for the camera (photo credit: courtesy Michael Lipkin)

Yisrael mugging for the camera (photo credit: courtesy Michael Lipkin)

V: How did your children feel about having a brother with Down syndrome? What is it like for your other children still at home in terms of bringing friends over to the house? How are they with Yisrael?

Michael: I think the combination of our open and positive reminiscing of our time at HASC and our positive attitude from the beginning helped the other children quickly adapt to Yisrael’s special nature. Our youngest was only 6 when Yisrael was born and we didn’t feel the need to tell her immediately. We just wanted to let her enjoy having a new baby brother. When we did tell her a few months later she too, accepted it quite easily.

She has a friend also with a brother with Down Syndrome who is a couple of years older than Yisrael. He’s quite adorable and she quickly related her brother to him. Being very bright, she also wanted to understand the chromosomal abnormality that created Yisrael’s condition.

V: Describe if you will, what happened when Yisrael was born, how you were apprised that he has Down syndrome? How might the staff have better handled this issue?

Michael: Randi had a scheduled C-section given her age and the fact she had had previous complications. Randi was prepped for surgery with a local anesthetic. She remained awake, if not woozy. I was seated safely next to Randi’s head behind a divider that prevented me from seeing her guts on display as I nervously waited to hear that first cry.

After a few minutes of jostling and suctioning sounds the doctor held up my new son, still attached to his umbilical cord. He looked pretty gross, as do most babies who are covered with blood and guts, and yet beautiful at the same time.

Right away I noticed that they appeared to be doing a little more with him than the typical Apgar testing—his was 9/9! Specifically, the pediatrician seemed to be checking his muscle tone by flopping him around like a rag doll. At the same time the nurse quietly said to me, “Did your wife have a skira [routine, detailed ultrasound]?”

Well I didn’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out what was going on. When I went over to look at the baby, the doctor asked me, pointing to his beautiful almond-shaped eyes, “Do your other children look like this?”

Being the nice guy I am I didn’t say out loud what I was thinking, which was, “No, Moron. My other kids don’t have Down syndrome!”

I immediately looked at his palm and sure enough he had a simian crease, an almost certain marker for Down syndrome.

Even though I knew the answer, I asked this Russian pediatrician if he thought that my son had Down syndrome. His reply was, “Well he’s not going to be the smartest kid in the class.”

I went over to Randi and whispered to her, “He has Down’s.”

She said, “Okay,” as if she had known all along.

Randi and Michael Lipkin with Yisrael (photo credit: courtesy Michael Lipkin)

Randi and Michael Lipkin with Yisrael (photo credit: courtesy Michael Lipkin)

As soon as he was cleaned up I asked to hold him. The moment I held him, I felt my prior expectations shift to accommodate this new reality. That seemed to surprise the staff! Before being whisked off to recovery, Randi gave our son a kiss and told him she loved him.

They really didn’t know what to do with us. It seems that their standard protocol is to say as little as possible so as not to upset the parents. But we weren’t upset. We had discussed this possibility. We loved him just as we had loved each of our newborn children. We were fine, we were going to be fine, and we wanted to make sure everyone knew that from day one.

V: How old is Yisrael? How do you feel about the level of care that Yisrael receives in Israel? Are you satisfied?

Share Button

About the Author: Blogger and mother of 12 Varda Meyers Epstein is a third-generation Pittsburgher who made aliyah at age 18 and never looked back. A proud settler who lives in the biblical Judean heartland, Varda serves as the communications writer for the nonprofit car donation program, Kars for Kids.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

8 Responses to “Aliyah and Keeping Young with Yisrael”

  1. Great article about a great family. Yisrael is one lucky dude.

  2. Wow. What a touching, wonderful story. You are such a sympathetic interviewer. Little Yisrael looks like my nephew when he was little. I'm sending this to my cousin, who has a child with Downs Syndrome.

  3. Malky Storch says:

    Yisroel is famous! I love that kid!

  4. What a kick it is for me to read about Michael, Randi, and have Varda writing the article, having known you in previous lives. it is a tremendous inspiration , and a Kiddush Hashem to see how you have dealt with with everything, I agree with you that it is not proper to say that G-d always puts special children in the place where they need to be. But , he did in Yisrael's case.

  5. Cherie Lewis says:

    Mazal Tov on your beautiful child!

  6. Thanks, Robert. I kind of just let people talk. It's fun.

  7. That's COOL. Lenny. It seems like the Lipkins and I have lots of mutual friends.

  8. Just look at that gorgeous, delicious, yummy face! What a blessing this little boy is. Thank you for a great article. This made my day.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Dueling Shofarim
Mass Shofar Blast Against Anti-Israel Enabling on April 29
Latest Blogs Stories
Logos of the Arab Bank

The State Department is said to want the court to intervene on Arab Bank’s behalf for foreign policy reasons.

U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. recognizes the “West Bank” as having “sovereignty” for passport purposes, but not Israel?

Adolf Hitler and the representative of the Palestinian Arabs, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini, December, 1941.

Hitler promised Husseini that “solving” the Jewish Question in the Arab lands was part of Nazi Germany’s plan.

Loving couple next to the Old City Walls in Jerusalem, prior to their wedding. August 13, 2013.

There is no song that tells the story of freedom like Shir HaShirim.

The IDF will take everyone’s #WeAreHere stories and create an interactive, dynamic honor to the Shoah survivors.

Peace, true peace, isn’t up to us. We’ve offered it on gilded platters forever. Nothing we do will bring peace to our Land.

The Justice Department allows the FBI to use demographic mapping, but the NYPD no longer can.

Check out the IDF’s most innovative weapons (at least the ones they can tell us about.)

When will the State of Israel decide the Palestinian Arabs are a hostile enemy and treat them as such?

Like Hamas, Hezbollah also builds tunnels. Those tunnels pose a serious danger to IDF border patrols.

Visa has ads in an Egyptian magazine in which a story describes Jews as vampires. And worse.

World Council of Churches expresses solidarity with “Palestinians” ‘languishing’ in Israeli prisons.

The Seder: We starve (during the sometimes endless recitations and discussions) and we feast.

The unique skills of people on the autistic spectrum adds great breadth to IDF intelligence work.

Passover is a road that we still travel, a long journey from slavery to freedom.

In Iran, 131 offenses are punishable by death, including blasphemy, adultery and homosexuality.

More Articles from Varda Meyers Epstein
The triplets (left to right): Esther, Aliza, Judi.

“I don’t think my kids have any difficulties that are specific to the Israeli school system.”

Michael Behar is fighting the good fight for Israel from Seattle.

The universities and the local progressive culture make Pacific Northwest a hotbed of Israel hatred.

Finding Tekhelet is about fulfilling an ancient mitzvah that was there the whole time.

While tekhelet is a biblical commandment, it’s one full of “buts” that bring me up short.

“We very strongly identify with the Aseh Chayil National Religious and Modern Orthodox ideology.”

“Everything we have done and learned regarding the gifted students has also come from speaking to more experienced Olim, not through the system.”

She had a heart problem but no one imagined she would pass away the next day.

After they made Aliyah, Randi discovered she was pregnant with Yisrael, who has Down syndrome.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/ear-to-the-ground/aliyah-and-keeping-young-with-yisrael/2013/11/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: