October 24, 2014

Dear Liberty,

     I read an article today about a 69-year old woman in the UK who wishes she had aborted her 47-year old son who suffers from Down Syndrome.  Having relatives with this condition, I know it is a difficult situation.  What troubles me, though, is her reasoning and callousness.

      “We would have had a normal family life.”  “Stephen...has brought a great deal of stress and heartache into our lives.”  Before they judge us “they should know how it feels to watch Stephen's constant suffering and witness the almost daily destruction wreaked on all our lives.”  “I know our lives would have been happier and far less complicated if he had never been born.”

     I can’t deny this woman’s pain and suffering.  It is real.  But Liberty, I want to remind you that in situations like this, we must turn to God for guidance and strength.  We are not promised perfect lives.  We are not promised perfect children.  But as a child of God it is our response and our attitude towards these trying times that not only strengthens our own faith, but are examples of Christ’s love for others.  

     This woman laments every day that she did not have an abortion.  How sad to live your life that way.  She’s sorry her son has the life he has but she tends to quickly turn to how it disrupted her plans.  She’s miserable and she blames her son.  I would like to point out that she lead the life she chose.  Not one with a special needs child but one drenched with hurt, regret, disappointment, and despair.  She believes her life would have been happier with another child, but who’s to say that child wouldn’t have some other issue, or become a drug addict, or severely injured in an accident leaving them in constant need of care?

     When I was pregnant with you, Liberty, there was a moment where a test result revealed a heightened possibility of you having Down Syndrome.  Your father and I were scared and I won’t lie, it made me wonder what kind of life you would have.  I wondered how caring for a special needs child would change our lives in ways far more different than having a “normal” child.  However, there was never a second, not even a thought, of terminating the pregnancy.  We knew God would not give us more than we could handle and I was going to love you for who you were.

     One of my co-workers at the time found out about the test results and came to tell me about his Down Syndrome child.  He told me of how loving and kind his son was.  More so than any of his other children.  It was comforting.  I spent time talking to other co-workers as well trying to work through the possibilities before me.  One of them told me after you were born that she was impressed by how I handled the news and how my display of faith inspired her.  I’m telling you this, Liberty, not to brag, but as an example of how we, as God’s children, affect others by everything we do.  The day we got the test results was one of the worst days of my life.  Yet by clinging desperately to my Heavenly Father, instead of cursing Him as our sinful nature wants to do, He used me as a witness to someone else even in a very trying time for me.

     We were blessed to find out that you did not have Down Syndrome.  We rejoiced and praised God for His blessing.  I feel for this woman, though.  Not because of her son’s condition, but because she was unable to see his beauty and uniqueness beyond that condition.  I’m heartbroken that she was unable to embrace her circumstance and make the best of it instead of living a life of sorrow for 47 years.  She said she loves her son, but how can you love someone you wished was dead every day of his life?  What’s even worse is I’m sure her son knows how she feels.  And that’s the most tragic part of all.

     That’s my 2 cents.