I have sat down numerous times to summarize my thoughts about the news we received last week and it has been too difficult. There are so many things swirling in my mind—many of which I know are not good or true. What am I to make of being told some of the seemingly worst news I could receive awaiting the birth of our baby? It was taking too long to put these thoughts in any coherent statement, but I have found it important to at least jot down some of them, albeit in a random fashion…
* Wylie is a gift. Regardless of her diagnosis or presence of Trisomy 18, she is a person who is alive and has value because she is made in God’s image.
* Wylie is not suffering. She is kicking, living, moving, and growing. Karla’s health is good. The only difference in this week and last is that we have an 89% positive Trisomy-18 blood screen report (with her other choroid plexus cysts and heart defect the doctor said it’s more like a 95% positive).
* A 5% chance of health is no small thing. Besides, God is not bound by percentages or predictions.
* Karla and I, at the end of the day, really are called to be her advocates. It's sobering to realize that we live in a world that says Wylie only has value if we want her to have value. She is only a person if we say she is a person. This description of the world's viewpoint causes me to feel, with extreme clarity, the sad and hopeless reality that comes with it. If we gave up fighting for Wylie and advocating for her, no one would stop us. If we gave up on any of our other children, we would go to jail. With Wylie, we realize that we are her only line of defense from being disregarded. Wylie, and others like her, truly are the most vulnerable among us.
* If Christianity isn’t true, then Wylie does not have value. I can’t possibly elaborate on this now because it would take a long time, but I’m convinced it is true. She is made in His image and thus has immense value regardless of what we think.
* I have always sought to avoid pain and suffering; if that be taking our kids to the hospital for shots or helping a kid at the skate park with an injury. I’ve usually looked for someone else to step in and take over for me. Even before this news, God has been preparing to change this in me. I'm realizing the desire to avoid pain and suffering is really a desire to avoid love, because if there is no love, then there is no pain. Failing to love out of fear of suffering will lead to a failure to understand the power of the Cross. A few months ago, I asked God to show me just how much He loves me and to have a better understanding of what the Cross means. I think this prayer is being answered.
* None of us know what the future holds. Two weeks ago, I would have never imagined life as it is now. But the reality is that all of us, at any given time, can have sudden life alterations. Considering these traumas both random and filled with hopelessness is what produces confusion and anger. Could the happenings of life be purposeful? Meaningful? I say yes based on my life experiences and my walk with God up to this point. In fact, I believe that God really does hold my future and knows far better than me what is best for my family and me.
* When I picture a future full of fear and pain, it's usually because I'm not picturing a future where Jesus is with my family and me. When I picture Him there with us, as He is now, regardless of the situation, there is peace.
* I have a new sympathy with those facing abortion. The option to terminate the pregnancy must seem like your only one when you are without hope, facing the possibility that your life is going to be completely different than you imagined, feeling unable to cope, and with a supportive media and medical community (which has offered us this option on several occasions). However, I am also convinced, more than ever, that this seemingly "easy out" is a trap of the worst kind.
There are more thoughts that I could list, but this is enough, for now, other than to say that words cannot adequately express the gratitude and love that we have felt from so many who have sent us food, prayed with us, called, and visited. It's truly amazing to see so many people walk into a painful situation instead of sending someone else, like my tendency often is. Thank you. I know that Wylie is a gift who will continue to teach us all a wonderful thing about Him and His love.