I wanted to go to the March for Life on Friday. I really did. My husband and my older kids went to D.C. , and marched amongst probably hundreds of thousands of youth, rallying for the dignity of the unborn child. I’m missing the exhiliration and excitement of the March, the feeling of being a part of a tremendous movement that will one day put an end to history’s greatest atrocity, the legalization of abortion.
But sweet little Junior has had a rough past few weeks, as babies often do during the winter. Instead of Marching in the nation’s capital, I stayed at home playing peekaboo.
However, I thought I’d share this little pro-life story:
Forty-some years ago, my mom found out that she was pregnant with her third child. It should have been a joyful moment except for one thing: at the time she became pregnant, she was on radioactive iodine to treat her hypothyroidism.
According to NIH, RAI treatment during pregnancy can lead to fetal hypothyroidism, mental retardation and increased malignancy risk in the infant. When the doctor confirmed my mother’s pregnancy, he was afraid the baby would be born with serious birth defects that would severely compromise the baby’s and my parent’s quality of life. Such a life, he thought, was not worth living. So, instead of congratulating her, my mom’s doctor made an appointment for her to have the pregnancy terminated.
My Mom never went to that appointment. Instead, she and my Dad prayed and trusted and trusted and prayed. Several months later, my Mom gave birth to a baby girl. Contrary to the doctor’s expectations, my younger sister was born healthy and without any birth defects. Witness the power of prayer!
Later in childhood, my sister suffered from severe allergies and asthma, but that did not stop her from living a full life. Stubborn and scrappy, she played street hockey as a kid with the neighborhood boys. Later, she went to college and became an engineer. She travelled all over the world; she did volunteer work in Peru, (was crazy enough to climb Machu Pichu), walked across France and Spain on the Camino de Santiago, got a master’s degree at Cambridge, helped the Sisters of Charity in Calcutta at their orphanage for disabled children, and did development work in Malawi. Now she is married and a mom to four adorable boys. Not bad for someone whose life was expected to be “not worth living”. In fact, she’s had and still has a wonderful life by anyone’s standard.
A year-and-a-half ago, my sister found out that her youngest son has a rare genetic disease. It’s so rare that there isn’t even a name for it, much less a prognosis. Because of his hypotonia and developmental delays, the doctors are treating him as though he has Down Syndrome. But really, they don’t know what to expect. And you know what?
It’s okay that we don’t know what the future holds for him. (As if we do know with our “normal” kids.) It’s okay that he might not be as bright, athletic, or talented as his siblings. When God “deprives” in one way, He compensates in other ways. This little guy is the sweetest, most winsome charmer ever. You can’t help but love him when you meet him. And we know God has a plan for him. Whatever that plan is, it’s going to be great.
You never call tell how someone’s life is going to turn out. Life is full of surprises. Yet countless abortions are committed because parents and doctors are afraid of what a new life might bring. Afraid of that extra chromosone, afraid of financial burdens, afraid of future sufferings. There is so much fear and hopelessness in our world today. And that’s what we need to fight in order to build a culture of life. We need to inspire courage, hope, and joy. We need to let others see that even in suffering life is worth living.