I work with special needs kids. They bring and exhibit such joy. What if someone had decided their lives were not worth it? Here is a post from a friend and coworker of mine who totally gets what it means to take a chance on a child many would have not carried to term.
I have kept quiet long enough…I have a few things to say and am climbing up on my soapbox as I type this, so consider yourself warned!
If you know me, you know my first born son Drew. Drew was in distress at birth and due to a lack of oxygen, damaged his brain. We never let that define him. We treated him just like the other two. He had amazing teachers all throughout his public education. In fact his elementary and middle school teachers were the reason I went back to college and got my degree in special education. Drew is now getting close to being 30 years old and is the most remarkable young man ever. Despite his IQ of less than 50, he holds down a full time 40 hour a week job for the company he has worked for for the past nine years (in March). He unloads trucks in receiving at Stevensville Meijer and even has trained non-disabled workers!!! He receives absolutely no state benefits or services and according to the state of Michigan is not even considered disabled. Drew is an independent young man that even has a drivers license and is doing great! Yesterday, he loaded up his snowblower in his truck and went to make sure some of the single or widowed ladies he takes care of could get out of their drives before and after church. He is a valuable member of Summit Church and volunteers for just about anything. He is a very hard worker and a friend to everyone he meets. So when I hear the news about New York…it seriously awakens so many emotions!!!! Not many of them good! To choose to abort a life just because it is not what a mother wanted or expected is crazy. Was I prepared, did I think I was capable, was it what I dreamed of….NO! But I trusted God that He would not give me anything I could not handle. But that was soon to be tested only six years later. I was pregnant with Teagan and only a couple months into the pregnancy when I was told she had severe Down Syndrome. This was a hard pill to swallow when you are learning to be a mother of a special needs child and his younger brother which always had me on my toes. Oh was I angry. I remember running out to the backfield as soon as I got the boys down for a nap and screaming at the top of my lungs. I was so angry with God. He had promised he would not test me beyond my ability to remain firm…but I screamed at Him to check my gauges…I was sure it was past my ability level! All of this was tough enough not to mention that I did this all while trying to hide my failing marriage to an out of control alcoholic from the world. My doctor wanted me to get an abortion. He said I had enough to handle and no one would blame me for getting rid of this “problem”. Oh, that doctor did not know what would unleash on him by even suggesting such a thing! I do not think I was very kind. I was hurt, I was overwhelmed, I was basically a single mother, but I was not going to give in. I told God if He really thought I could handle it…I would try. Did I believe I could…no way but I could not bear to think of the alternative. For weeks I started learning everything I could about Down Syndrome. I took classes at Michigan State about how to handle everything I would need to know about giving birth to a child with Down Syndrome. I also did some research on the accuracy of the test that determined Teagan had DS. I decided it was a long shot but I would have the test redrawn. Needless to say, the second test came back negative! If I had listened to those doctors, I would have killed a perfectly healthy little girl. Doctors make mistakes too. Tests can be wrong. A life is a life and should be valued! If a loss of heartbeat determines the end of a life…shouldn’t the presence of a heartbeat indicate LIFE!!!! I am blessed beyond measure with my family. I could not imagine my life without either of these two that others would have discarded (or any of the other kids). It was never easy but God provided just what I needed for the step I was on. I had amazing parents that helped as much as they could from 100 miles away and I had the most outstanding friends ever that went above and beyond to help. There are so many more parts of this story that are glimpses into why things happened the way they did and how God used my struggles to help others but this is long enough. Just my two cents…had to weigh in on the situation…now I will go back to praying and being quiet.