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Dad raps tribute to his daughter with Down syndrome
By Genevieve Shaw Brown
Most parents are enamored by their children. But one dad is so inspired by his daughter, he created a rap and video dedicated just to her.
Thijs de Bruijn lives in the Netherlands. He and his wife Marike have three children. Their 4-year-old, Eline, has Down syndrome.
« Eline brings so much joy into our lives, » de Bruijn told « Good Morning America. » That joy, he said, « inspired me to use my love for music and make a song, with the help of my friends, just for her to let her know in my own way how much I love her. People who heard the song we’re moved by it and encouraged me to spread the positive message publicly. »
Other dads of kids with Down syndrome heard his song and wanted to be involved. The result is a video that sends « the message of love across the world, » de Bruijn said.
And the proud dad has a message for future parents.
« Because of [prenatal testing], more parents will have to make the decision whether to keep or abort a child with Down syndrome, » he said. « Is that an objective decision while society and medics continuously produce negative messages? Who is telling them the whole story, including the positive side? I experienced first-hand that medics say very negative things about Down syndrome, even after my daughter was born. That’s why this song is so important. Future parents must hear the positive side. »
Still, he’s honest about the feelings he had at his daughter’s birth.
« I rap also about the dark side. I was afraid that people would find me a bad dad for not being happy for the first few weeks and maybe wouldn’t get that it’s actually the greatest love song I could possibly write. I was really surprised when a lot of other Dutch fathers recognized themselves in my story and wanted to support me by sending me videos of themselves and their child with Down syndrome for the music video. By realizing that my feelings were not unique I felt better about myself as well. It helped me loving myself again. »