Sometimes I try to imagine how my life would be if Samuel weren’t in it. And, of course, you can’t really know, but I can assure you that a whole lot of joy would be missing.
March 21 was World Down Syndrome Day. The date matters. Down Syndrome is a genetic condition in which the person has three copies of the 21st chromosome. That is what makes them special, and also where their challenges lie.
People ask when I knew that I wanted to adopt a special needs child. The answer is the first time I had the honor of meeting and hanging out with them. Their yoke was easy. Most people are complicated.
The conversations always go the same way. People tell me it’s cool we adopted Samuel, and that he is lucky to have our family. We don’t see it that way. We know that we are blessed to have him. And I think he knows that, too. It shows in his swagger.
The cool thing about Sam is that he fills so many roles.
He teaches us to stop and enjoy things that we would otherwise miss. He teaches us to be happy with how God made us, and to rock it. He teaches us to cry for others, and pray for others. He teaches us about the miracle of adoption, because God adopted us into His kingdom and loves us just as we love Sam. He makes us laugh more. He has the best belly laugh in the world. It's all easy for Sam. We are still learning.
Today, 90 percent of babies with Down Syndrome are aborted. Chances are, you couldn't get a baby like Sam if you wanted one. He's a bona fide endangered species. Do you know how special that makes him?
His adoption agent knows. I called her last week to see if she wanted to help me with a charity I wanted to start to help fund families who want to adopt special needs children. She told me the story of a little boy. She had his story sent to her to try to find an adoptive family. The birth parents didn't think anyone would want him because of his special needs. Despite the fact that hundreds of babies cross Heather's desk each year, this one touched her heart. She went home and told her children about him, and her son decided to name him so he could pray for him.
"His name is Lincoln!," shouted her 7-year-old son. "Because he will do great things."
She and her children prayed for this baby for weeks. She knew the birth parents were leaning toward abortion in their final month of pregnancy, because they were convinced no one would want a special needs child. Heather received the chilling news via email that little Lincoln had died. "Fetal demise," they called it. I call it partial-birth abortion, or cold-blooded murder of innocents. An aberration. A holocaust.
Heather was distraught over Lincoln's death, but as she was crying, she heard that still small voice say, "You're upset because Lincoln had a name. But they all have names."
They all have names.
I searched 10 years for a baby like Samuel to adopt. If only Lincoln's parents had known. There are waiting lists for babies like Samuel and Lincoln. But it doesn't fit well into Planned Parenthood's marketing plan to sell abortions for parents to know that truth about waiting families.
While the statists fight to keep children from playing in La Jolla Children's pool because a seal pup might be bothered by the human children, we engage in a wholesale slaughter of Samuel's kind and more. Where are the "Save the baby humans" shirts for sale?
Some people get it. Birth moms like Caroline, whom I interviewed this week, get it. She says that "adoption is the empowering choice for women." She tells how the couple who adopted her baby, Mark and Bethany, couldn't have kids. She told me tearfully in our interview, "to know that I fulfilled that … that I did something that not even modern science could do …" How often in life do we have those chances?
To Mark and Bethany, Caroline is a hero. She says they are the heroes for raising her little girl, Penelope, with so much love. I say they are both right.
Real heroes today are rare. The real opportunity to be a hero only comes when we face life altering danger. I saw a sign in a store this week that said, "Real heroes don't wear capes. They wear uniforms."
But sometimes they wear maternity clothes, too.
My prayer is that more women faced with an unplanned pregnancy, special needs or not, will consider Caroline's "empowering" and heroic choice of adoption. And I am so thankful to Samuel's birth mom as I celebrate March 21 this year.
We take our annual vacation with Samuel's hero birth mom this week. And again, I will find myself fumbling to find the words to say "thank you" to a real hero, and one of my closest friends. And once again, my heart will ache for all of those who don't get it, like Lincoln's parents, who missed such opportunity, and robbed the world of such joy. And once again, I will renew my commitment to do my little part to change that.
They all have names.
If you would like to help fund an adoption of a special needs child, or if you are a family in need of financial assistance for a special needs adoption, please visit DrGinaShow.com. #TheyAllHaveNames