When his son, Misha, was born, Evgeny Anisimov witnessed an enormous level of happiness.
However, he was shocked to hear the doctor say, “I’m afraid your baby has Down’s syndrome. His enthusiasm had been replaced by uncertainty and fear.
Evgeny was upset when he heard his baby might have Down syndrome.
The 33-year-old father remembers leaving the hospital and crying when doctors told him the news. However, the tears quickly dried up and he was actually ashamed of how he first reacted.
“In my life, after all, nothing had changed, in general. I was always with two arms, with two legs. My professional knowledge was nowhere,” he said.
“My determination, my activity, my curiosity, etc., everything was with me. Everything happened as I had planned, my son was born. But the child is special, his life and future destiny are already very significant.
His sadness turned to determination.
Evgeny recognized that he was self-centered and realized that he should be able to take care of the child, however difficult it may be.
That evening, upon returning home, he turned on his computer and began researching Down syndrome.
He had no idea of his son’s diagnosis.
“I learned that in Europe people with Down syndrome are well socialized, can live and work independently. But the decision I had already made was not influenced by that,” he recalls.
He never considered leaving his son behind, but it seems his wife had other thoughts.
She wanted to entrust their boy to a foster family.
He always had a “good and confident” bond with his wife. Evgeny persuaded his wife that they would work it out together after hearing about his plan. Unfortunately, she was unconvinced and their disagreement eventually led to them going their separate ways.
“Now I understand that she was just scared at the time, she started acting on the wrong script, and by then the Rubicon had already been crossed and it was too late to back out of the script,” he remarked.
Evgeny has since raised Mishka on his own.
Every evening he gives her a bath and prepares dinner for her. Although each chore is simple, the single dad recognizes that it is difficult to accomplish every day. He is lucky that his mother helps him so he can have time alone.
To help Misha develop physically and mentally, Evgeny also plans a variety of activities for him. The child has been taking swimming lessons every week since the age of five months. In addition, he started speech therapy.
Evgeny is grateful that many people contributed to their ability to pay for these expensive activities.
“I understand the future may bring more problems, but hopefully we can make it all up,” the loving dad said.
Evgeny’s goal is to spread knowledge about Down syndrome and help families who face the same challenges as parenting a child with special needs.
“I want all the articles about Mishka and me that are published now to convey this idea to society and inculcate it. And I also want to support, inspire by my example those people who are or will be in the same situation as me,” he shared.
“I try to communicate with those who are close at hand. I correspond with those who are far away. I hope that those who are struggling now, as we were, will read about us: Do not be afraid! Everything will be alright!”
If fatherhood was a contest, Evgeny is definitely in the running for first place!