As parents, we are faced with decisions about our children from the moment we conceive. On my vacation, I ran into a family whose decisions impact their life every day. I want to tell the story of that family.
Once upon a time, there was a young woman who found herself pregnant. She was a teenager, not married and living in a very small town. She sought prenatal care for her child, at at one point was told that her child had terrible birth defects. She was advised to end the pregnancy and was told that he would likely not live to be born, and if she did carry him to full term, that he would not live long or would be a vegetable. She declined to end her pregnancy, instead opting to give birth to her baby.
This baby was born, and he did have a number of problems, the mos pressing with his brain being malformed and misshapen. She named this child Angel.
Angel did not die. He grew, he learned to hold his head up, he learned to eat, he learned to talk. Soon he entered school. His vision was in question, and therapists focused on helping this little boy learn to walk independently. He started with a walker, then progressed to a cane. He greeted people, he would tell you about his mom and his grandma and grandpa. He was a cheerful and happy child.
Fast forward 4 years. Yesterday I was talking to a friend of mine before heading home. I saw three people walking down the street, two women and a tall young man, wearing a jaunty cap, moving at a fast pace, aided only by the slight support of a cane. As they came closer, I realized that I knew them. It was Angel and his mom and grandmother. They went into a restaurant and I entered to talk with them. Angel greeted me, told me about his dog who had died, and made sure that I had greeted his grandmother. He was delightful, engaging and definitely NOT a vegetable.
The decisions we make, indeed. The experts don't always know everything or what is best.