Sharing the blessings of life.

Ready for bed, Henry and I snuggled in and opened up his Storybook Bible:

From the beginning God had a shining dream in His heart.  He would make people to share His forever happiness.  They would be His children, and the world would be their perfect home.  So God breathed life into Adam and Eve…And when God saw them {he said} “you look like me, you’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever made.”

We were created in His image.  Fearfully and wonderfully made. 

Every single one of us.

He doesn’t make mistakes.

My mind runs in circles trying to make sense of it all.  Babies born with an extra chromosome, cast away to live as orphans.  A new “less-invasive” prenatal test designed to detect Down syndrome early in pregnancy, “saving women from losing normal children just because of a procedure.”

Could this be?  Have we reached the point where no life is sacred – both inside and outside the womb?

Of all the different paths in life, this is not the story I imagined.  Before Charlie I’m ashamed to say I didn’t know the first thing about people with handicaps, nor had I put much thought into the true value of each and every life.  But here I am; the subject of orphans, international adoptions, special needs and acceptance weighing heavy on my heart and mind.   Crazy right?  Yet I know the Lord wants my attention.  Have you ever had the Lord impress something onto your heart and soul?  You just know.

How do you explain to the world what a blessing your child is?

The joy he has brought to this life?

These topics spark a fire in my heart.  Whether it’s our own child with Down syndrome, or one that lives across the world it doesn’t matter; their lives have value.  We can’t reason or rationalize their lives out of existence.  Call it what you will, a choice, a quality of life issue, a burden too great…created in His image.  Fearfully and wonderfully made.

The message of this new prenatal test is clear; save the normal babies, avoid those with Down syndrome. The statistics back this up even before the new test reaches the U.S. market; 9 out of 10 babies diagnosed prenatally with Down syndrome are terminated.  Elsewhere in the world, babies who are fortunate enough to be born with extra chromosomes, don’t actually get a chance at life.

My head is swimming, my heart breaking.

My son isn’t a statistic.  He is a real person, loved and worthy of this life.

A little girl, Olga, will turn five this month and will be removed from the only life she has known – an orphanage for babies – and sent to live in a mental institution; her hair shaved and chained to a metal crib unless a family steps forward.  A little girl who has a $12,709 grant waiting for the adoption process.  All because of an extra chromosome.

I’ll be honest, we’re not adopting at this point in time.  I’ve struggled with this, but know in my heart its the right choice for our family; adoption is not a journey you begin when divided.  There was a let-down after making such a decision as adoption seemed like the only “real” way to make a difference.  Perhaps it was time for me to move on.

Surprise!  The Lord was not finished.  I had never before felt His weight, calling, presence – whatever you want to call it – take hold of my heart.  For weeks I was teary, knowing He was calling me into to action.  I wondered if perhaps I mistook his calling?  I doubt the Lord of the universe was calling me to leave my own family and adopt a handful of orphans.  {I’m kidding, you know that right?}  I also doubted that the Lord wasn’t calling me to help the orphans.  I mean seriously, it’s not like God is ever going to tell anyone not to help an orphan.

At this point I’m pretty sure I sound like Susan Sommers.  Or is it Sally Struthers?

To some this may sound silly {crazy?}, but I see that satan was working hard to make me believe this.  I was believing his lies; mainly that if our family didn’t adopt then we could never make a difference.  After all, how could I “talk the talk” – encouraging other families to donate, adopt, or spread the word about orphans with Down syndrome – if our family wasn’t truly “walking the walk?”  I hope this makes sense.  I realized that satan was pushing me into inaction – right where he wanted me.

I don’t think God uses guilt to bring us closer to Him, to move us into action.  But I am grateful that my eyes have been opened once again and He has put this weight on my heart.  It is not a burden to carry, but an honor.

Maybe I will always feel like this.  A mother forever working to ensure the world sees the same thing our family does.  Battling against the current to show the beauty of my child and others like him.  Isn’t this what parents do?  We work to make the world a better place for our children.  All of our children.

I want to focus.  To have clarity.  This is my constant prayer to Him.

To carefully balance the joy of our life with the reality of our world.

It feels so overwhelming – and really – what can I do from my little corner of the world to make a difference?  Yet at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I will continue to speak these words again and again.  I will use my words to raise awareness, to raise money and to speak for those who don’t have a voice.  I will travel.  I will share our story and the stories of others.  I will not stop. 

I will make a difference.

And there you have it.  My thoughts spilled out.


8 thoughts on “Sharing the blessings of life.

  1. You make a difference, Lib. He’s caught our attention. I know we can do more … my heart goes out to Olga and others like her. I eagerly anticipate His leading. xo

  2. My heart is breaking for Olga! Your blog is serving God by calling people’s attention to children that are cast aside by their society. You are making a difference, Libby!

  3. Libby – you make a difference every day
    I Look forward to your posts – i eagerly read them each week
    You give me hope and i now believe i make a difference, Thank You.
    Who would have thought that half way around the world someones words could be so encouraging.
    I gave my son life and enjoy and embrace every moment that we have
    with him.
    I, like you feel guilty that i should be doing more and want to do more
    but how, with two of my own and no substantial money behind us – we couldn’t financially adopt. My worth i see now is giving Riley the best possible start in life so that he too may be able to enjoy the things that other kids do.

  4. “How do you explain to the world what a blessing your child is”….I ask this very same thing each day. I can’t even explain to other family members what a blessing Sage is to us. How could I explain it to people who don’t even *REALLY* know her???

    These tests, oh, I don’t even need to get started!
    Anyway, abortion is a topic I get WAY upset over, so I will just leave it with telling you that I absolutely love your writings. You have a beautiful way of expressing yourself, and you have a beautiful family! Thank you for choosing to share yourself and your heart with all of us!

  5. This is a lovely post. I still believe that abortion should be legal, for certain circumstances and certain situations…and that it IS a woman’s choice. I believe so strongly that there are times, oh so rare times, when that should be an OPTION. I wish there were a way to make sure that it is only used when there are really and truly no good options left…and I hope to teach my kids and my friends and their kids that there are almost always options. In the meantime, though I agree with you personally, I believe the law is the law.
    p.s. I hope you don’t decide not to post this just because I have a different opinion. I’ve been a loyal reader for more than two years! I think blogs are an excellent place for healthy discussion.
    p.p.s. love the chalkboard over the mantle!

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