By now many of my readers will have read or watched news stories about the families who volunteered to adopt a Down’s Syndrome baby whose parents were threatening to abort. This Washington Times article was released Tuesday and is floating widely through social media this week.
The priest who offered to find an adoptive home for the unborn baby is my former pastor in Virginia: Fr. Thomas Vander Woude. He’s awonderful priest and a truly holy man. The Hubs and I miss him.
This emotional story really hit home to my heart in two ways.
First, it’s no secret to my readers that I’m in the final weeks of pregnancy with my own little one. I can testify first hand that every pregnant mother’s greatest wish and desire is for her baby to be born healthy. And our greatest nightmare is that our little one will enter this world with extra struggles, extra hardships, extra suffering in some way. Pregnancy books talk about the “night terrors” of worry that often assault us pregnant women… they are most definitely true.
So it is with the greatest admiration, respect, and gratefulness that I think of all the mothers and potential mothers who volunteered to welcome a Down’s Syndrome baby into their hearts and love that baby as their very own flesh. That kind of love for life and love for children is truly, profoundly heroic.
Secondly, did you hear how many couples volunteered to adopt this precious little one? Nine hundred couples. That’s 1800 men and women who opened their hearts and homes to an unborn baby this week – without tremendous time to think or pray or plan, they simply stepped forward and said “yes, I will love that baby: please pick me.” Those 900 couples didn’t know if a single other family had stepped forward when they made their own offer…they just stepped out in love and said “yes.”
Among those 1800 heroes were two relatives very close to me. My in-laws who stepped foreward already have a large family of their own. They’re busy. They live on a budget. And yet, when the word went out that this Down’s Syndrome baby needed a home, they called right away to offer their home to this child.
When my sister-in-law talked to our family about her offer to adopt the baby, she said “A mother’s heart–called “God’s masterpiece of love”– is full of joy and sometimes pain, with always room for more. Now in our life it just seemed really natural, like, ‘yes we could do that.’ And not knowing about all the other families, that we should do that. But it was not a heroic decision at all — exciting yes — but just very natural.”
I don’t know about you, but that’s my definition of hero right there.
To the 1800 of you who said “yes” to life and love this week:
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” – Isaiah 6:8