Today I want to side step from my normal posts about homeschooling and special needs parenting to share my heart. We live in a culture that tends to place the value of one person’s life over another. Why? Who are we to decide who is and isn’t valuable? Since when do we get to determine who’s life has purpose? After all, we are ALL children of God. We are all made in His image, and He loves all of us.
Can I just be blunt with you? It absolutely sickens me when screenings for disabilities are done while a child is still in their mother’s womb. It disgusts me when this information is being used to determine if the baby will be given a chance at life, or if the pregnancy will be terminated. I have no problem if you choose to screen just so that you will know and be prepared for what lies ahead. My problem is with using that information to justify ending a pregnancy.
Even those children born with disabilities are God’s children. He created them, and He created them perfectly. They are created for the purpose He has for their life.
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” – Psalm 139:13-16
Even though my strong convictions are based on the Bible. I also feel them because of the story of a precious girl named Vernise.
Vernise was born in Haiti in 2008. She was born three months premature weighing roughly 2 lbs. Even by the medical standards in America this precious baby girl would be considered a miracle to survive. The fact that she survived in Haiti makes her life an undeniable miracle. Sadly, Vernise’s mother passed on from this life shortly after delivering her baby. Because there are people who disagree on my position, I want to add that because of the complications, I don’t believe abortion would have saved her mother’s life.
Like all faith stories, Vernise’s story doesn’t end there. God continued to weave a miraculous story through her life. She was medically fragile, there’s no denying that. It’s also no secret the economic struggles for the people of Haiti. Vernise remained hospitalized for about two months. Knowing of her intense needs, her father reached out for help. He was in contact with an orphanage. This orphanage not only cares for orphans and arranges adoptions. Their primary focus is to help care for babies in need while their parents try to get back on their feet in hopes of bringing them home.
The mere fact that this man was seeking help was another way God saved Vernise. After she was in the hospital for about 2 months, the hospital went on strike. From my understanding the place was pretty much deserted by staff. No doctors or nurses, just patients. Vernise was abandoned by medical staff, essentially left for dead unable to care for herself.
Because this orphanage knew of Vernise and the strike, they went to get her. A staff member actually had to remove the IV from Vernise. She was brought to the orphanage and cared for. Her father and half siblings would come visit her. She was very loved by everyone.
Ultimately her father had to make the most difficult, heart wrenching, selfless decision a person can be faced with. He needed to decide if he could raise his daughter with all of her complexities. I can’t even begin to comprehend how difficult this decision must have been. His love for her was obvious. I’m not sure I would have been so selfless in his shoes when he decided to allow an adoption plan.
While she was still at the orphanage, the extent of her disabilities were still unknown. Allowing her to be adopted meant further medical evaluations could be done. It meant Vernise was given the opportunity to have access to all the medical care, treatments, surgeries, and therapies she needs.
All Lives Have Purpose
So back to my previous point. All lives have purpose, even the medically fragile. Having special needs doesn’t mean that God isn’t at work in that person’s life. While it is incredibly hard, there is still a purpose. When we start playing the role of god and decide if these unborn children should be given a chance at life, we are not allowing God’s purpose for that person to be fulfilled. Who are we to stand in the way of God’s plan?
I think of Vernise’s story. The part of the story I just shared with you covers just her first 9 months of life. Look at all the miracles God gave her during this short time period. How can you read that and say there is no purpose for children like her? How can you possibly say it would be better if she wasn’t born? If there was no purpose for her life, God wouldn’t of saved her again and again.
How do I know Vernise’s life has purpose? Because today she is known as Ladybug (and her real name by those of us who know her personally) and I have the privilege of calling her my daughter. God’s purposes for her life are still unfolding. I don’t know what they will all be, but I’m excited to see what God has planned for her.
For now, I can tell you she has served the purpose of opening my eyes to the special needs community. She has opened my eyes to the need for adoption and orphan care. Ladybug has taught me the value of life, and reminds everyone around her to find joy in the little things. She has inspired me to share our story in hopes of encouraging others, maybe even you.