You can find the beginning of this post here.
No one can truly appreciate another's life experience. Who should decide whose life is valuable?
The Angelina Jolies of the world - with their excessive wealth, nanny for every child, globe trotting lifestyle, etc - might consider my life to have less value than theirs.
We work hard for every dime we bring in (and by "we", I mean Shawn because he certainly works harder than me. And brings in more dimes.:) We have a small, starter home...that we've lived in for 13 years and have squeezed seven children into. We are raising these kids without outside help, nor do we have a housekeeper, a driver, or a chef. We drive vehicles that are over 10 years old. If the fuel pump goes out in the mini-van, we just don't drive it until we can afford to get another. Our vacations consist of camping in nearby parks in our tiny little camper...that leaks.
But our reality is so much MORE! We have love and laughter (daily). We have great friends and actually enjoy the work or our hands. Our children are a blessing (all of them) and we delight in them! While I prefer 5-star resorts, gourmet coffee, and theatre performances, I've learn to LOVE camping, McDonald's ice cream cones, and the $1 movie. :) My life is full and rich, even though, at times, suffering has been a part of it. (Who has never suffered?)
Wouldn't have been a shame if the Angelina Jolies got to decide my fate based on the first description?
Just because Eon will never father a child, might not marry, go to college, hold a job, etc., does not mean that he will suffer. Just because his life will not be like mine, doesn't mean he shouldn't have one.
How did we come to this - where we can project our hopes for our own lives onto our children to the point that, if they can't meet them, we decide that they must die?!?
We give women, in their darkest hour, a list of all the possible health issues their child might face and ask them to make a heart wrenching choice. They are supposed to take a gamble on what kind of life their baby might have based on a list.
It breaks my heart.
The list never told me that my child with Down syndrome would:
* make me laugh every single day
* eat with gusto everything his momma cooks
* learn to use sign language
* wrestle with his brothers
* be everybody's favorite sibling
* be such a great problem solver
* introduce us to so many wonderful people
* love music, Blue's Clues, and pizza
* have a smile that lights up the room
* be so active (and fast!)
* have so few health issues
* charm everyone he meets
No list of diagnoses and potential problems could EVER accurately describe the life of a person! I don't know what the answer is. I do know that education and advocacy help. So does prayer. I'll continue to do both. I hope you will, too.