I didn’t know my son would have the challenges he has when questioned by a student (I taught high school at the time) whether or not I would “do” something if I knew the child I was carrying would have problems or if something would go wrong. That still small voice (I believe the Lord) whispered to my heart, “Be careful how you answer, because there is.” I explained to this well-meaning student that the life and care of my child meant more to me than to end it for my conveniences.
Statistics continue to indicate there are an estimated 54 million Americans with a disability; and according to an article in Christianity Today (January 2010, “Welcome the Exceptional” pg. 59) “Recent research on Down syndrome reveals what common sense suggests: Negative attitudes about disabilities significantly increase the chance that a mother will have an abortion. Researcher estimates that in both the US and the UK, 90% of pregnant women who find out that their child has Down syndrome will choose to terminate the pregnancy.” I wasn’t able to find more current statistics, but my guess would be that those stats are a bit higher on both accounts today.
In my head I understand these statistics, but in my heart and life, I can’t comprehend them. Little did I know that about 6 months into my child’s life, my husband and I would begin to see huge developmental delays and the projected and future amount of care that would be needed by us to help him.
Having a son with cerebral palsy, mental/learning challenges, epilepsy, some severe (could be fatal) food allergies, behavioral issues, and very low speech ability for the past 34+ years has indeed been a challenge. It’s also been a joy.
When our son was going through his initial and ongoing therapies, doctors visits, tests, CT scans, IEPs, and so much more, there were times of being overwhelmed and frustrated, and sometimes it was indeed hard to see the blessings.
But fast forward to today, and without a doubt if the Lord stood before us and asked, “Would you like me to heal him now?”
We’d probably say, “Oh, Lord, You knew just what we needed when You sent us Joey. You knew the great people we’d meet, the daughters You’d fashion to be lovely caring young ladies because of the things they learned and experienced, and You’ve helped us to learn so much, too. You’ve helped our family and friends view special needs differently, and You’ve helped us see the importance of all life. Perhaps there’s a young family who might be interested, like we would have been so many years ago. Or maybe You already have a plan just for them—like You did for us. Thank You, Lord for allowing us to accept and give this child a life … and for the improved life You’ve given us as a result.”