since we have broken our news, some of the reactions we have gotten were quite surprising to us at first. most people have been completely supportive of our decision to continue the pregnancy, however, a few have expressed that they don’t understand why we have made that choice, or feel like we are not making the wise choice. for example, a distant acquaintance of greg’s, upon learning of jonathan’s prognosis, asked him directly: “well, did you think about having an abortion?” those reactions don’t surprise us anymore.
the answer is simply “no.”
however, my lifelong decision to be pro-life, personally and politically, had to be defended in my heart almost daily for a time. by this i mean that the issue hits closer to home than i ever imagined it could. before i can defend our decision to anyone, i must first be completely unshakeable in my belief that:
"Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture." ~ Psalm 100:3.
"The word of the LORD came to me, saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…” ~Jeremiah 1:4-5
i confess, the first couple of days after hearing the diagnosis were so devastating to greg and me, that we both immediately expressed our desire to each other and to only a couple other people that we wanted to miscarry naturally as soon as possible, and we asked for prayer for that very thing. we thought at that time, from deep in our sorrow, that it would be the most merciful thing God could do for us and our baby. i was only 17 weeks along. it would allow us to avoid many potentially heartbreaking issues the further i progressed. it seemed like that would be the easiest and best solution. during those low, low moments that week, i also understood a little better why someone who would hear the words, spoken from an experienced doctor, “your baby has too many defects to live outside the womb” and “he has no chance at life” could fathom the idea to terminate. you see, there is no hope offered in a diagnosis of trisomy 13. all of the negative findings of the ultrasound or amniocentesis are laid out on the table very clearly, presented alongside all of the daunting research and statistics that has been gathered over the years. it is completely overwhelming in every way. so of course there is no hope given to any parent. the option to terminate sounds like the best way to go for most of these parents, and many follow through (up to 80% according to some studies.)
greg and i couldn’t spread the word of our baby’s diagnosis for almost 2 weeks while his parents were out of town, so we only shared with family, a couple of our closest friends, and our ABF pastor and his wife. we know prayers went up all day and all night for us. and an amazing thing happened during that those first few days: our hearts completely changed and the very next time greg and i discussed the life of our baby, we both had decided that we wanted him to live for as long as God desired, not how long we desired. if that meant carrying to full term, then so be it. we didn’t want to cut ourselves short of any blessing God would like to give us during this time, especially if that blessing meant holding our son while he passes peacefully away. there is so much dignity in that for our son: to be held and comforted by his loving parents in his final moments, rather than…well, i think everyone would agree there is no dignity in cutting any life short, but especially by elective termination.
so back to the “issue.” what we weren’t able to comprehend in our deep sadness those first couple of days was that God has a plan and purpose in everything, and even when it appears He made a mistake creating our son, we know He didn’t.
Psalm 139:13-16 says
“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be."
God created our son just the way he is. and for some reason, He specifically chose us to be jonathan’s parents, to care for him while he is alive, and to love and cherish him for the rest of our lives. what an honor!
and what an about-face from what we were feeling that first week. i want people to know more than anything that there has already been great freedom and even joy in our decision to just “allow” God to work in any way He desires in our lives and in jonathan’s life.