In 2012, Carissa Myers and Chris Ringot (now of Platte City, Missouri), met through the Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City. On August 8, 2020, they were married. (Engagement photo to the left). Last week, TOGETHER sat down with the couple, over online video, and they shared their story. Carissa’s mother, Jodi Myers, was also present.
Lisa- How did you meet?
Chris and Carissa- We met in 2012 at the Down Syndrome Guild’s annual wine auction, a fundraiser. We had been asked to come and speak about the Down Syndrome Guild Prom, to tell them what the prom was like.
Chris- As soon as I stepped off the elevator, I said, “I saw an angel.”
L- I’m curious, Chris, did you go up to Carissa and talk to her right away, that evening?
Chris- Well, I was kind of nervous at the time. I was quiet at first, until I felt that she was feeling the same way.
L- Carissa, did you see him too?
Carissa– He looked handsome in his suit.
L- When did you get married?
Chris– We got married in August of this year.
L- So you are really newlyweds! How long did you date?
C and C- For 8 years.
L- What do you remember the most about the wedding?
Chris– A special moment for me was when she walked down with her wedding dress on. I started to cry because she looked so beautiful in that dress.
L- What do you like best about being married?
C and C- Being together.
L- What advice would you give to other couples living with down syndrome who would like to marry?
Chris- If you’re considering marriage, don’t jump into it fast. Get to know each other for a while. See how you do. See how you’re feeling for that special person.
L- What would you say, Carissa?
Carissa- We had classes with Pastor Dewey. Pastor Dennis Dewey.
L- Marriage classes?
L- And was that helpful for you?
C and C – Yes it was.
L- Can you remember one or two things you might’ve talked about in the class?
Carissa- We did questions. We had assignments. A, B, or C. Multiple choice questions.
L- It sounds like that really did help to prepare you.
L- Who supports you in your marriage?
C and C
– Everybody around us actually supports us; like our parents, friends, and staff.
L- And staff supports you? In your apartment?
C and C- Yes.
L- Is there anything you’d like to add?
Chris– For the ones who maybe have down syndrome, if marriage is an option for them, or not, it depends on the support they have.
L- Jodi, is there anything you would like to say at this point?
Jodi Myers- (Carissa’s mother) What I want to say is that being married was very, very important to them. And it was something that myself, my husband, and Chris’ parents, as well, worked very hard to get to that point because that’s what they wanted. They had their classes with Pastor Dewey, and he felt like it was going to work. And so, I would just encourage, when they feel really strongly – that that’s something we should work towards. When Carissa was born, we didn’t think it would ever happen. But we’re so very happy that it did, ‘cause, yeah, they’re a happy couple. And their strengths and their weaknesses complement each other so well, which is a delight to experience.