This is Part 4 of our story: When life and belief collide. Please scroll down to Part 1.
Miracles are wrought by the Spirit of God, in them is seen the Finger of God–Unger
Our baby boy was born on this day, June 4. He had a 9 out of 10 on his Apgar! There were no blue lips as the doctor supposed, there was no need for an emergency team. There was no cyst on the base of his neck. He was breathing, crying, moving and beautiful. He has Trisomy 21, and for this we are thankful as well!
“Miracles are out of the ordinary course of events. They produce astonishment as being outside the ordinary operations of cause and effect”–Unger
We named him Anker Josiah. Anker-the name of three godly men who came before him. Josiah-the name chosen before his diagnosis of Fetal Hydrops. Josiah means Jehovah has healed!
Our baby was still taken to Intensive Care. I understand it is not a common sight to see a new father cheering joyfully as he follows his newborn son to ICU, but they saw it this day!
They began tests on our boy right away. They checked his heart, and his lungs. We asked them to check the fluid in and around his kidneys which the ultrasound revealed only a few days before. All tests came back normal! He stayed in ICU for 2 long bittersweet weeks.
As I sat in the rocking chair among all of the incubated babies, the nurse handed me my gem. She said his ears are deformed and he cannot hear. I held him closely and rocked, singing,
“Great is Thy Faithfulness, Great is Thy Faithfulness!”
I sang this song throughout the months of carrying my babe. He knew my voice.
“Morning by morning new mercies I see”
His little head began turning toward me as he fought to open his baby blue eyes. We locked eyes for the first time as I embraced his tiny living body and continued praising Jesus,
“All we have needed Thy hand has provided. Great is Thy Faithfulness,
Lord unto me!”
I knew our baby could hear me. I had no doubt.
I had to leave my newborn son and go home without him as the ICU continued to monitor him. I barely slept a wink, waiting for the first waking hour they would allow me to visit. I used a breast pump in order to bring in that precious gold called colostrum.
As I walked in the ICU holding my bottle of gold, I reached out to hand it to one of the nurses standing beside my boy’s bed. That little bottle of gold was filled with my Mama- love. It was the little bit I could do to nurture my hospitalized son. The nurse mockingly asked me, “What’s this?” as she pulled it from my hand.
I realized I had interrupted the two nurses as they were talking in a hushed manner. The second nurse abruptly said, “We heard you had an amnio”. I confirmed the fact. Her face shown the judgment of my choice. “Then, why didn’t you-?”, she asked me harshly. What she was asking was, “If you knew he had Down’s Syndrome, why didn’t you abort?” I was taken back for a moment as I gathered my surprise and my thoughts.
“Do you have children?” I asked them both. They both said yes. “What would happen if your child was hit by a car and became brain-damaged? Would you wish he never lived? What if your child is the slowest kid in the class, or grows up to be an alcoholic? Will you be ashamed and stop loving him?” They stood silent.
I was dumbfounded by two intelligent women making a value statement about a child’s life. I was even more concerned that these were the women caring for my child when I could not take him home. Everything within me wanted to rip the monitors off our boy and run with him. I knew then, baby A.J.’s enemies were ignorance and narrow minds. We would have to do something about that….
Our quiet little home was eagerly awaiting A.J.’s arrival. No longer would the carpets be clean, the sink remain empty or the evenings be silent. Our home became filled with joy and baby barf and gratitude.
There’s a lot more to share with you about parenting our precious boy, but I’ll leave the rest for later. Today, we celebrate 18 years of life. God has gifted us a beautiful boy with special needs, and his two younger brothers who adore and enjoy him.
AJ loves to sing, write, read Disney stories, play with and care for his dog. He enjoys swimming, Special Olympics Track, basketball and bowling. He loves to go to school and he loves to go to church.
He loves to drink smoothies and fruit is his favorite snack. He sings at the top of his lungs, asks his Daddy to read him a Bible story each night, and helps out with the dishes.
He tells knock-knock jokes and knows the directions to almost every store and restaurant in town. He thinks almost everything he wants costs $2. He knows every word to the Veggie Tale songs.
He is hug-able, lovable, stubborn, sometimes grumpy, and very messy when he plays.
He is Anker Josiah, chosen and dearly loved.