Recently, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf vetoed the Down Syndrome Protection Bill passed by the PA House and Senate. This bill would have saved these precious unborn babies from abortion. Read article here
The following is the story of my encounter with a special family. They welcomed and embraced not only their unborn child diagnosed with Down syndrome, but made a decision to welcome into their family other children with special needs.
In late 1970, I had the privilege of meeting Florence ‘Floss’ and her husband Sam through my pastor. Floss and Sam had two children. She told me the story of when she became pregnant with their third child. Her and Sam learned the baby had Down syndrome. While the diagnosis was concerning and unexpected, they knew that many challenges lay ahead of them. Little did they know that their precious baby girl would be the impetus that would lead them to a special call from God.
Many of these babies are born with heart defects and other medical issues. Floss told me that some doctors did not want to treat these children. In their view, it was a waste of their time and resources. Floss was a fighter and fought for not only her daughter’s right to medical care and educational needs, but also parents fighting the same battles for their special needs children.
So great was their love and concern for this God-given mission, they fostered and then adopted two older children with Down syndrome. I would visit the family many times and join them in hymn sings. The children were so filled with joy as they sang their very best in their praise to the Lord.
Years ago, while attending adult night classes at a community college, the professor brought up the issue of abortion. A student said that unborn Down syndrome babies should be aborted. I strongly disagreed. I told him that these children have more love, compassion and acceptance that I had ever experienced from anyone. He was dumbfounded and had no response to my statement. This man’s attitude toward those born with Down syndrome continues to this day.
The unconditional love these special children have for their family, friends and anyone they meet is a gift from God. In their eyes, no one is a stranger.
Below is a poem I wrote in tribute to Floss and Sam and to parents who chose life for their special needs children.
God’s Gift of Love
The sentence is death, I heard it today
The doctor told Mommy there’s no other way
Please give me a chance Mom to show you God’s reason
His purpose for my life will come in due season
I may not be cute, or charming or bright
My speech may be slow, my limbs not quite right
My gifts may not dazzle, enthrall or bring cheers
It’s God’s love I can give, full of laughter and tears
His plan for my life, a gift from above,
Is just to show others a glimpse of His love
His marvelous love to reach just one soul
Who longs to be loved, accepted, made whole
I wish you could see all the blessings in store
It may not always be easy. Life won’t be a bore.
So Mom, please listen to His voice from above…whispering
“This is a Special Gift of My Love