Sunday, August 19, 2007

Spread the word: all babies are blessings

Knowing the horrible statistics of abortion for children prenatally diagnosed with Downs and the other trisomy's, I am co-sponsoring a nation-wide billboard campaign with Prolife Across America.

I have read that often women who decide to abort after a discouraging prenatal diagnosis do so on a whim and out of false compassion.

They read about these chromosomal issues and equate their child with the disease and expect to give birth to the next Elephant Man (well, actually, some do, but rarely!)

The point being that diagnoses are often overdramatized. I remember when I discovered that my daughter had neurofibromatosis-- the most common type of genetic mutation. I found out after she was born, but I had a similar reaction.

I thought that she would be scarred for life and die of cancer. I was very frightened by it.

So far, my daughter is five years old, and except for some cafe-au-lait spots, the mutation has not manifested itself. It may never manifest itself. Or if it does, it will show up in a fairly benign form.

With my daughter's autism and now her new diagnosis: Developmental Co-ordination Disorder, I'm not going to say that it's a piece of cake to raise a child with medical issues. And I know there are kids far worse off than mine.

But all children have their positive sides, even with their own issues. All babies can be loved and managed. All babies can bring joy into one's life, if you let them. Once you hold that baby in your arms and you let the love transform you, you do become a different person, and that baby isn't a diagnosis any more, but a little gift from God.

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