Tuesday, July 23, 2013

He Chose Life

While in his country to adopt Bo, we were given information about his background and medical history. Some things stood out to me.

His birth parents struggled with infertility for ten years and Bo was a product of fertility treatments. Fertility treatments that often fail, but didn't this time, so insistent was he to become. 

Experts estimate that eighty percent of Down syndrome pregnancies end in miscarriage. Termination rates are high, too and in his country, prenatal testing for women over thirty-five is the law. His birth mother was thirty-four. It is a wonder he survived the womb. 

After birth, he was diagnosed with Down syndrome and a heart defect that caused pulmonary hypertension. His parents walked away. He had trouble breathing initially, and spent some time in the NICU, alone, before being placed with his foster family. 

At six months of age, the social worker picked him up and delivered him to the hospital where he underwent open-heart-surgery. He had undisclosed complications and spent many weeks in the hospital, alone, before being discharged to foster momma and returned to their home. 

In that home, filled with the smoke of unfiltered Turkish cigarettes, he continued to wheeze and was mistakenly diagnosed with asthma and prescribed nebulizer treatments which did nothing for the potentially life threatening condition he actually has. 

Unaware that he has swallowing issues, his caregivers gave him bottle after bottle of juice and milk through a nipple with an over-sized hole, in effect drowning him with every gulp and setting him up for countless bouts of pneumonia that should have cost him his life, but miraculously did not.

Even being home with us, his forever family, did not eliminate his risk of death. Not knowing about his subglottic stenosis, we mistakenly thought the bout of croup he suffered his first week home was something we could handle without medical intervention. With our new-found knowledge, we now understand that a trip to the emergency room was most definitely in order. Still he survived. 

With all the talk of terminating pregnancies for Down syndrome, no one speaks of what the child would choose. By his very survival, against all odds, Bo has spoken. He chose life. Time and time again, orphaned, abandoned, rejected and without a known future or a hope, he fought to survive. He chose to live.

He chose life.

I am so incredibly glad that he did.


  1. Wonderful blog post, Tara. I couldn't agree with you more. I would like to send this to the woman who came after me last week on my website about MaterniT21. Of course people want to live. That's why we wear seat belts, eat well and visit the doctor when we are sick. Why don't people see that all babies WANT to live.

    1. Exactly, Valerie! It's ingrained in ALL of us, regardless of the number of chromosomes we sport.

  2. I am so happy that he chose to LIVE, and found his way to your family to do so. Interesting about his birth story. Abel's is almost identical.

    1. That is interesting, Leah. You have a family of survivors, as well!

  3. What a story! I am glad that God has preserved your little guy!

  4. Me, too! He definitely has a plan for his life. :)

  5. You can only marvel at such strength - Go Bo!