A Special Mother is Born: Celebrating Special Needs Kids

Opinion   |   Rebecca Taylor   |   Dec 9, 2011   |   6:16PM   |   Washington, DC

Leticia Velasquez had done the world a great service with her new book A Special Mother is Born.  It is a compilation of stories from mothers and fathers  of special needs children. 

The overwhelming theme is that, while challenging, these children are far from hopelessly devastating as our culture of death imagines them to be.  Instead they are truly gifts to be cherished.  In this book, that is not simply a cliche.  Each story relates a tale of how these children bring out the best in everyone around them.  How fear and self doubt is replaced with love and hope and strength and most importantly faith. And it really does not take a special mother to have a special needs child.  We are all able to answer the call and be enriched by the experience of embracing those with special needs. As Leticia says:

God does not choose the equipped, but rather He equips the chosen.

Leticia, a mother of Christina who has Down Syndrome, relates what she said after it was clear in the delivery room that Christina had Downs:

So on my way to my room, the nurses circled my gurney and said coldly, “We regret to tell you that this child has symptoms consistent with Down Syndrome.”

I was ready with my response.  “This child will never take drugs, go Goth, or shoot up a classroom.  She’ll learn the Faith and keep it her whole life.  She’s my best chance at getting a daughter to Heaven, and I consider her a special blessing from God.” My answer came from a book Pregnancy Diary, by Mary Arnold, which I had read regularly for inspiration.

People from all walks of life can find such inspiration in this book as well.  The people I think that most need it are medical professionals.  It seems that in every story the medical community is guilty of a dereliction of duty.  In a disturbing undercurrent, the book chronicles mistreatment of parents and children by doctors, nurses and genetic counselors.  These so called professionals have pressured women into aborting their special needs children and have neglected these children if they were lucky enough to make it out of the womb.  I have one thing to say to prenatal and postnatal medical professionals. You should be ashamed of yourselves and what your profession has become: a pusher of discrimination and death.  It is time to leave death behind and embrace life.  As this book clearly shows, it will make you a better person.

I love this quote from mother Christina Bogdan about our responsibility to spread the word about children with special needs:

With a 92% abortion rate for babies diagnosed with Down syndrome, and new specialized testing available to test even earlier in the pregnancy, I know now that God has a task for all of us: to tell the world what a blessing children with Down syndrome are. All life that God has created is sacred, and it is our job to bring the truth to everyone who crosses our path.

A Special Mother is Born does just that.  It is the perfect Christmas gift for anyone with a special needs child or parents who are expecting.  It is also perfect for the rest of us who have no experience of the challenges that these families face.  The stories are so full of strength, hope and faith, I even recommended it to a friend who recently lost her child.  But I would especially recommend it for the medical professional in your life who thinks death is the answer for children with special needs.  I truly believe this book will open the eyes of anyone who is lucky enough to read it.  You can purchase your copy of A Special Mother is Born here.

LifeNews.com Note: Rebecca Taylor is a clinical laboratory specialist in molecular biology, and a practicing pro-life Catholic who writes at the bioethics blog Mary Meets Dolly. She has been writing and speaking about Catholicism and biotechnology for five years and has been interviewed on EWTN radio on topics from stem cell research and cloning to voting pro-life. Taylor has a B.S. in Biochemistry from University of San Francisco with a national certification in clinical Molecular Biology MB (ASCP).