Dear Friend

Dear Friend,

I'm so sorry about what you are going through right now. "How do you stop thinking about it?" you asked me. I don't know. When I was pregnant with Jessica, it took over my thoughts so much so that I couldn't concentrate on anything else.

Concerning your struggle with the idea of terminating the pregnancy based on a certain level of risk, I feel a heavy burden in my heart to share another aspect with you. Many people simply state that this is a personal decision, and the outcome should be dependent upon the individual circumstances.

I am deeply saddened by the argument that an unborn child is not yet a part of your "existing" family, and therefore doesn't deserve as equal a consideration as the other members. If the prenatal tests came back "normal," would you love this baby any more? What area of your "existing" family's life takes precedence over caring for this baby?

Some state that they don't believe they "could handle it," but I often wonder if they understand we will (most likely) all one day face a heavy burden of caring for someone else. If your child became handicapped due to an accident or severe illness, what would you do? If your spouse was paralyzed, and totally dependent on your care, would you decide to abandon your commitment to him?

Is the only difference the fact that we are actually allowed to opt ourselves out of the "burden" of caring for a special-needs baby? If we had the chance, would we do the same for a burdensome child or spouse — I can't believe anyone who loves their family could answer: "It depends on the circumstances."

We've had to invest a lot more effort into caring for Jessica than we ever dreamed possible, but do we regret this? Absolutely not! Looking at our little girl, I cannot imagine ANY situation where it would have been better to abort her — not if we had less money, less time, or other children.

One of the biggest disgraces we have placed upon ourselves is the idea that an unborn baby, especially one with a "risk" of being handicapped, is anything less than a human being. This has allowed some to make a tragic, irreversible (but not unforgivable), mistake. My heart truly breaks for them.

Growing inside you, regardless of its physical or mental condition, is a child entrusted to your care. Please don't sacrifice this baby to fears you have about the future.

Many of us understand your concerns and fears. You are not alone. I will pray that God gives you the strength and peace that accompanies assurance of His understanding and guidance.

Love from Jessica's mom

Background Information

Journey of No Return
Sometimes as parents, we have a knee-jerk response to our kids as we're barraged by their numerous inquires and desires. Maybe it's time to stop being so negative.

When Not To Discipline
Parents should recognize when they should and shouldn't discipline their children.

When You Feel Like Calling in the SWAT Team
Are your children constantly testing you? This classic parenting advice will help you regain the upper hand.

Questions and Answers

After I spank my child, she usually wants to hug me and make up, but I continue to be cool to her for a few hours. Do you think that is right?

We'd like to be more unified in our approach, but how do we successfully move from two financial approaches to one?

How long do you think a child should be allowed to cry after being punished? Is there a limit?

I have never spanked my 3-year-old because I am afraid it will teach her to hit others and be a violent person. Do you think I am wrong?

It just seems barbaric to cause pain to a defenseless child. Is it healthy to spank him or her?

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