Wednesday, October 19, 2011

National Down Syndrome Awareness Month: 5,400

5,400.

5,400 out of 6,000.

5,400 Down syndrome pre-birth diagnoses out of 6,000 in 2010 resulted in abortion.  And that's just in the United States.  Can there possibly be statistics gathered worldwide?

When I was a good Catholic boy in a Jesuit high school, a hippie friend of mine talked me into picketing a Taco Bell-turned-abortion clinic almost directly across the street from us.

Yeah, I’m Catholic, I told myself.  So I’m pro-life.  So I guess I can do that.  And it was fun.  The handful of us made the evening news that day and I saw myself on TV.

But today, I know why I’m pro-life.  And it’s not only because of biblical and philosophical reasons.  I think of the 5,400.  And I think of my Harper and my Hailee.



You know the saying, It’s better to love and risk being hurt than never to love at all?  Well, I thought life was just fine before Harper and Hailee crawled into my life and into my heart.  I’m sure you’re reading this and thinking the same thing—life couldn’t get better, before you had your baby.  But when he or she was born, you thought, Boy, was I being presumptuous!  It’s so much richer now!



All it takes is one glance at either Harper or Hailee and my heart jump starts like a car battery.  I get the giggles just looking at them, holding them, and kissing them.  My greatest fear has arrived: I sound just like my father’s dad whenever he saw us.  He just started laughing!  When I was young, I thought that old man was nice but strange.  Now I’ve become him.  My laugh even sounds like his!  But I digress.


I am so eternally grateful that my two daughters with Down syndrome were not aborted in the womb because they were seen as “mistakes.”


But…

What about the others who were and are not as fortunate?

The first category of humanity that Hitler exterminated were those with disabilities, 275,000 in all.  Hitler saw this stage as the model which set the example for the planned mass executions to come.  And yes, many were adults, children, and pre-born children who had Down syndrome.

If Americans shudder at this fact, how is this different from doctors offering prenatal tests to offer parents an “alternative” to giving birth to a baby with Down syndrome?

What are we doing? 

I’ll ask that again:  WHAT ARE WE DOING?!

I do not want to hear anyone say that it’s better to abort them because they won’t have a good quality of life.

Quality of life?

My two daughters didn’t have a good quality of life when they ate, slept, rocked, and soiled themselves in a two-foot by three-foot crib for the first years of their lives because they were seen as undeserving.  But when I look at them now, they are happy and loving life and doling out joy to countless others they encounter on a daily basis!

5,400.

Where are you, dear ones?  We cannot hear your voices.

And it is for that very reason that WE will be your voice…in this National Down Syndrome Awareness month.

So let me change that saying I quoted earlier in your honor…

IT IS BETTER TO LIVE AND RISK BEING HURT THAN NEVER TO LIVE AT ALL!

Do not miss my wife's post here that features a powerful half-hour documentary on this subject by Ray Comfort.

7 comments:

  1. I love this! And I love the beautiful pictures of your precious ones!

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  2. So perfectly said...why do we fear all the circumstance and "exceptions"...God can do anything and will if we let him.

    "It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." ~Mother Teresa

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  3. HOORAH - need more be said? Your bride's thoughts were equally brilliant!

    aus and co.

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  4. I absolutely LOVE this!!!!!!!! I think it is amazing the love that you share on your blog!!! Your blog has helped many fathers step into adoption!! You are a hero my friend!!!

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  5. Elle, thank you for your encouragement. I am always grateful!

    Anonymous, well put. And I LOVE the quote by Mother Teresa.

    Aus, you're a shining light, my friend!

    Jax Mom, thank you for these words. I want all men to know that it's time for men of God to rise up and be heroes of Christ through simple obedience and surrender to him.

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  6. Posted this one too. Hearts will be turned!

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  7. Anthony, yours and Adeye's blogs have started a fire in my heart. Before, I would have never thought about orphans, aside from an "aww, that's unfortunate" every now and then. But now, it's on my mind a lot of the time.

    BTW - it seems to me that Harper has picked up some of Adeye's facial expressions! She smiles just like her! I remember reading that Adeye reminded the social worker of Harper's birth mom, but the photo you posted makes it evident. She was knit in the womb to be your child! Lovely girls, those two. :)

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