Most kids known to have Down syndrome in their mother’s womb don’t make it out alive. I’m thankful ours did.
The third Sunday of January is National Sanctity of Human Life Day and since that happens to be today I thought I’d share a few things that constantly weigh heavy on my heart.
A Reminder Of Brokenness
This website and our other social media channels have a wide reach and we regularly receive messages from people all over the world. Most of these messages are overwhelmingly positive and give us great encouragement. But every once in a while we receive a message that reminds us that our world is deeply broken and in desperate need of repair it. Here’s an example of one of those messages that we received just yesterday:
I wouldn’t want the burden of having a child with Down Syndrome. I would have terminated the pregnancy.
Sadly, this isn’t just the opinion of the person who sent me this message. In fact, 92% of children with Down syndrome are aborted (yes, 92%!) This means every time you see one Noah (my son) there’s 9 Noah’s you don’t see as a result of people not wanting the burden.
In other words, if you’re a baby with Down syndrome, your mothers womb is a very dangerous place for you.
And it breaks my heart.
My Son Wants To Ride A Dinosaur…Not Become One.
My friend Gabe Lyons notes, “people with Down syndrome have been targeted for extinction.” Our culture has become obsessed with making it easier and easier to detect if a child has Down syndrome in the womb so parents can
murder their child make an informed decision.
I couldn’t begin to count the number of stories I’ve heard from parents of children with Down syndrome about how their OB/GYN”s repeatedly tried to get them to make an even more informed decision after telling them they planned on bringing their child to full term. In fact, one dad told me he was so upset by the repeated pressure of their OB/GYN to abort their child he told him if he suggested they abort their child one more time he was going to hit him! This is why I highly recommend every OB/GYN / Pediatrician in the world read our letter on how to correctly deliver a Down Syndrome diagnosis.
Even after a child’s birth this discrimination and blatant disregard for human life continues. In Noah’s birth story we shared how our OB’s first words to us were,
I’m so sorry.
I’m going to prescribe you some antidepressants.
to which we politely declined.
Our culture reminds me almost every day that it’s on a mission to exterminate everyone who they deem a burden, or less than worthy of life.
So What Do We Do?
I don’t have all of the answers. In fact, I have no answers. But I have a few ideas…..
Every since man first decided to trust their way over God’s our world has been going down hill. The Bible is clear that our world isn’t getting better, in fact quite the opposite. There are some problems that are so big that our best efforts to change them will never be enough.
The good news that we have access to The One who created the world and all that’s in it. When we reach the end of our gifts, talents, abilities, and creativity that’s where the true power begins.
In other words…
Prayer changes things. We should pray often for God to protect these little children in the womb, and that He would change the hearts of our culture to view all people as worthy of life, and recognize that all people are created in the image of God (in the womb or out….Down syndrome or no Down syndrome.)
2. Be Kind
Mean people rarely change the world (for the better.) Enough said.
3. Tell Your Story
If a tree falls in the woods…..
Stories have power….but only if they’re shared. The internet is a powerful place, and these days we all have access to a global audience. If you have a child with Down syndrome (or other special need) find a way to tell your story. You are your child’s biggest advocate. You have to find a way to help the world understand that your child has more in common with a typical child than people think.
Start a blog. A Facebook page, twitter account, heck, even an Pinterest page. Call up your local college and offer to come speak to a class about your family’s story. The possibilities are endless and every family had a different way of telling their story.
Different is ok. Being silent isn’t. So share your story…as often as you can. Here’s 14 ideas to get your started.
Oh, and just in case you think God doesn’t use stories to change lives, here’s a quote from another message I recently received:
“I just got the phone call last night that my blood work was abnormal and my child may possibly have Down’s Syndrome. After the initial shock and confusion I buried myself in research looking for more info and a better perspective on what this could possibly mean. While my first thought was to abort if DS was confirmed all that has changed thanks to your story and others like yours.”
That little kid’s life is forever changed. All because of a story. Look for ways to share yours today.
5. Constantly Reflect On Your Own “Burden-ness.”
Never forget that you were once someone’s ‘burden’ (who knows, maybe you still are!) Let’s be honest for a second, all of our lives are train wrecks in some way. We all have flaws. Issues. Hang ups. We’ve all caused our parents headaches and heartaches at some point in our life.
People aren’t burdens. People are gifts from God. Created in His image for a purpose. Every. single. person. on. this. planet…..in the womb, or out. Let me say it again, this time read it slowly.
Every person on this plant is a gift from God, created in His image for a great purpose.
Only 1 out of 10 kids with Down syndrome make it out of their mother’s womb alive which make a mother’s womb a very dangerous place for a baby with Down syndrome. Thankfully our son was one of the lucky ones. So was Cade. And Seth. And Julian. And Ellie. And all of these kids. And these.
My great prayer is that God will change the hearts of our culture. That our culture will come to understand the value of human life (even little bitty lives.) That more children like my son will be brought to full term. That we will stop aborting children in the womb for any reason…especially simply because they have an extra 21st chromosome.
1 out of 10 is pretty bad odds, but thankfully God likes bad odds.
In God I trust,
Rick (Noah’s Dad)