It’s time for another in our Best of 2016 blog series.
Things are about to get real serious here on my usually lighthearted blog.
I’m a member of a group on Facebook and last week someone asked for prayers for her friend who was pregnant. The woman had long wanted a baby. But when she had the genetic screening tests done, she learned that her child tested at an increased risk for Down’s Syndrome. And now, she has decided to abort the baby because of these results.
My heart is broken into a million pieces.
Having lived through a positive result to a Down’s Syndrome screening test myself, I sympathize with the fear and worry this mother is facing. And although I never thought of killing the baby (let’s call a spade a spade, I’m not a fan of terms like “terminating the pregnancy”), I cried for days worrying about my unborn son and what this would mean for him and for our family. It is scary. It’s not part of your plan. There are unknowns. You are hormonal and emotional and fat and it just seems like too much to handle.
For us, in the end, the test was wrong. Our nearly 4 month old son was born without Down’s. Had we taken this woman’s approach and killed our baby, we’d have missed out on the joy of his little face every single day.
But I will tell you what that incorrect positive test did for us. It allowed us to grow in our faith, because we realized that God was in control and the baby he had created for us was going to be just that…the baby for us, regardless of the number of chromosomes he had. And, should our next baby be born with an extra chromosome, well I think we’ll just be even more ready to love him or her after all of this. It allowed us to grow in our love for one another. Hearing my husband resolve that if the test was right, that baby would have a good life with us is easily one of the moments I have loved him most. And, I believe, it has given us an understanding and a perspective from which to encourage others facing a similar situation. Not only to tell that the tests are frequently wrong, but also to encourage if the test is accurate. As difficult of a test as this was to walk through, if God can use it and use us for good, I am more than happy to have born that cross.
Babies With Downs Tremendous Blessing.
Knowing several people who have children with Down’s Syndrome, I know what a huge blessing those kiddos are to a family. I am sure there are huge challenges raising a baby with Down’s. But…hello…there are huge challenges raising a baby period. But there are amazing blessings as well.
My friend in Chicago has a precious daughter with Down’s, and I absolutely adore her stories of Jen’s humor, love, and mischief (like swiping cash from anyone’s wallet she can get her hands on). If you don’t follow #Benstagram on Instagram, get over there this minute and you will see the cutest little Asian boy with Down’s. I have a co-worker whose teenage son with Down’s is my favorite thing to see on Facebook….had you seen this kid in his Where’s Waldo Halloween costume, you’d agree for sure. My friend from law school has a precious little girl who is frequently recorded playing rock song drum solos with her dad.
I thank God for all the Down’s Syndrome babies I know, and for all of their parents who are fulfilling their challenging, yet beautiful vocation, of loving these precious souls.
I despise the idea that if a baby is not “perfect” he or she is not worthy of living. You know who thought this way? Hitler. Let that sink in a minute. Newsflash: There is no perfect baby.
That cute red head of ours?
He has severe acid reflux. And a heart murmur. And he’s started this yelling thing that can drive you just about batty. Does that mean somehow we should not have wanted him? That we should not have loved him?
And where is that line? Why is Down’s something that justifies killing the baby but acid reflux is not? What about allergies? Bad knees? ADHD?
You are not going to get a perfect baby, but you will get the baby that is perfect for you. I have no desire to question God’s plan by thinking I know better. Been there, done that, learned my lesson, have the t-shirt. I never know better.