Sunday, May 22, 2011


Stories like this one here about choosing to abort a child with spina bifida really get to me.  Evan saw me writing a response and asked what I was doing.  I explained to him I was working on a comment about a story where a mother finds out her unborn child had spina bifida.  She decides to have an abortion, to prevent her child from suffering.  We had a little discussion that went like this:

Me:  Did you ever wish that I had abortion with you and you were never born?

Evan:  WHAT???
Me:  Life is hard when you have spina bifida, maybe it would be better not to be born.

Evan:  Nope, I like my life and want to live to a ripe old age!!

Evan didn't disappoint.  I knew he would answer that way. 

One of the shocking things about this story to me was the comments.  I am always appalled that so many think it's okay to abort a baby just because it has spina bifida or some other disability.   They stopped accepting comments so I didn't get my say, but I will share here on my blog.

I was four months pregnant when I heard the news that my unborn baby and sixth child would be born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. We were told he would be a burden to our family, paralyzed, mentally retarded and possibly a “vegetable”. We were given the option to terminate the pregnancy. Our family’s choice was life. Our love was unconditional for all our children. We wanted our five older children to know that we loved them and if they were ever injured in some way and disabled their life would still be worth living. That decision was made twenty three years ago and I have never for a second regretted it. Despite the challenges he faces in life (wheelchair user, cognitive challenges, several major surgeries, and yes incontinent, etc) he is one of our happiest children. He is an Eagle Scout (his Eagle project was a wheelchair collection drive, with the wheelchairs being distributed to third world countries), he has chores and responsibilities to do in our home, he has cheered his siblings on in their sports, and they have cheered him too!! He plays power wheelchair soccer! He loves anything Star Wars and has the most wonderful laugh that lights up a room. He has traveled across the country and enjoyed the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, held an alligator, witnessed a Space Shuttle launch, been to the top of the Empire State building, and helped Al Roker do the weather on national TV, among other things.

I will admit it’s not always easy, but everyone has their challenges, it’s just part of this life. We grow stronger when we face those challenges, whatever they may be and do it head on. I am NOT a super mom or better than anyone for continuing the pregnancy. I am however a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father. I put my trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and did what was right!! The sad thing about Sara’s story is she will never know what her daughter’s life would have been like, or heard her laughter. People need to realize that the medical community is negative and give the worst case scenario. Prenatal scans do NOT tell the whole story and there is no way for doctors to know the true extent of damage done to the spinal cord, until after the baby is born. I am appalled to read so many think it is ok to just end a pregnancy because a child might suffer. Suffering is a part of our life on this earth. We learn compassion when we help those that struggle. We cannot and should not be the ones to determine when life is worth living. That is for the Lord to decide.

Monday, May 9, 2011

8 is Great!!

Grandchildren, that is!! 

We have a new little grandson.  Joshua Raymond Anderson was born on May 2nd.  

The proud parents are Katie and Brad, and the not so sure about whole thing big brother is Kyle.  I am sure he will get used to the idea though!! 

Katie told me a few weeks ago they were going to name the baby Junior.  I didn't believe her at first because I knew that Brad did NOT want to name the baby after himself.  But, Katie still insisted that was going to be the name.  So, I started thinking.  Hmmmm, Junior.   Junior, that could be J.R.  Then I call to ask if the babies initials would be J.R. but Katie would not confirm or deny that!! I asked it they would call the baby Junior, not just name the baby Junior. But she would never confirm or deny that either.  Hmmmm!! What could J.R. stand for??   I had no idea what the first name would be but thought the middle name might be Raymond because it is my great grandmother's surname. And Joshua fits perfect with it!!  Welcome to the family little one!!  Can't wait to see you.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Sweatshirt

This sweatshirt hid in the back of my hall closet only to surface several months ago.  I knew it wasn't mine although it did look very familiar.  I thought that maybe it belonged to April.  So, when she last visited I asked her if she wanted it back. I was surprised when she said, "It's not mine."   Hmmm, then where did it come from??  April replied, "Wasn't it Grandma's??".  Then it hit me and I remembered her wearing this sweatshirt.  It had been in my hall closet, unused, for over ten years.  It's not unused now!! I love to wear this sweatshirt.  I feel my mother's love wrapped around me when I have it on and it makes me happy.  I miss my mom today, the first Mother's Day since her passing.  However, a mother's love is felt from beyond the grave.

Abraham Lincoln said,
“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother”

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Special Olympics

My feelings towards Special Olympics have always been rather ambivalent.  I remember Evan's first Special Olympics many years ago.  My little eight year old Special Olympian competed in a manual wheelchair race against an adult!!  Didn't seem like he had a chance to win.  Not that winning is the most important thing. didn't seem right to me.  Then there was the year that one of the clowns forced a latex balloon on Evan, who has a latex allergy.  I watched this from the stands during the parade of athletes, not being able to do anything.   Fortunately, he did not have a reaction.  I tried to discuss with the "powers to be" about the dangers of latex allergy, that they also used to decorate.  "They" didn't listen to me and still loved using the latex balloons to decorate and mark the different tents, etc.  So, I just tried to keep him away from the balloons.  Then there was the year that Evan competed in boce ball and one of the mothers stepped in and helped her son's team to win.  So, unfair!!!  

Through it all, Evan has enjoyed Special Olympics.  It makes him happy to compete.  So, I let him compete.  Last year was his first year winning a gold medal and I missed it to attend the funeral of a close friend. 

So, yesterday I was ready to attend Special Olympics again  and...

my Special Olympian was ready too!!

Evan was on The Learning Center team.

Evan loved being on the track!

 He raced his friend Katie in the 30 meter shalom. 

They both did great in the shalom thanks to power wheelchair soccer drills.

It was fun to see them on the medal stand together!

Yeah, Evan and Katie!!!!  It was great to hear all the cheering for all the athletes!!

  Evan got to go through a "human tunnel" after the award ceremony.  I was backing up to get the video and ended up in this man's lap who was in a wheelchair.  Maybe he hadn't had anybody in his lap for a long time.  He just busted up laughing and I was so embarrassed.  
 Evan earned two gold medals yesterday, and also a special award for Most Supportive Athlete.  This award goes to those who "exemplify a caring and supportive attitude towards others".   I was pretty proud.  

At Special Olympics they always have a "tent city".  Different businesses and community organizations have booths with games and prizes.  At one booth they were giving out trophies.  Not just any trophy, but trophies that other people had earned and donated to Special Olympics.

I was very touched that people would give up their trophies to give to others.  Thank you, Lauren, I don't even know you, but Evan loves this soccer trophy!!

Yesterday's opening ceremony was very touching to me.  One of the local schools brought their band and their cheerleaders to support their team.  I had never seen that before. It impressed me.  It just seemed all around to me a more supportive feeling from than in years past.  Oh, and one more thing that made me very happy was I did not see a single latex balloon the whole day.  Yeah!!

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