The dad saw the baby, held the baby, and wants to keep him. The Mom said she will divorce her husband if he does.
And so she did.
And therein lies the uproar.
Our local ABC station posted a link about the story on Facebook, and asked for people's thoughts and comments.
OH MY GOODNESS at all the mom bashing going on. The comments about this child's mother are awful, most of them.
And, listen, I don't agree with the mother's decision at all...but we don't know her life.
Maybe she's really scared...of the unknown.
Maybe she is as clueless as I was when my doctor told me Joshua had Down Syndrome. I had lived all over the world with my Air Force family. I was "educated," if you count having a college degree as being "educated." But I knew NOTHING about Down Syndrome...other than a small picture and a brief paragraph about it in a textbook.
Maybe she cannot even think of another way to handle this other than what she's always known...because of her culture.
People calling her a "monster?" A "piece of trash?" Saying she should "rot in hell?"
There's no place for that in God's kingdom.
The truth is that there are kids with various degrees of "special needs" in orphanages all over the world. Abandoned by a Mom or a Dad...or both.
In the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA there are over a half-million children and youth in foster care. Statistics suggest that 1/3 of those have a disability of one sort of another...from being mildly delayed, to severely physically and/or intellectually challenged.
Today in my state of ARKANSAS, there are 4,000 children in foster care. There are 500 children RIGHT NOW waiting and ready for adoption. Every year, 250 children "age out" of foster care without ever finding their forever family.
Sibling groups, teens and children with special medical needs are the most difficult to place in foster care or to an adoptive home, according to The CALL.
Why the uproar over THIS baby?
Because the law in their country says it's okay for the parents not to keep him?
Don't we kind of have the same thing here in America...can't parents give their child up for adoption for any reason? I don't know the law, but they can, right?
Is it because the MOM is giving up the child and the DAD wants to keep him?
Maybe, because I think we always hear about the dads who make the choice to walk away from their child or their child's mom.
Maybe it's because the child has Down Syndrome?
Here in the United States, many people choose to abort a child who has Down Syndrome, and it's legal in many states. In fact, it is suggested that 90% of parents who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome...choose to abort.
THIS: Our culture puts so much value on independence and individual achievement that human beings who do not "measure up" to certain standards can be rejected and aborted. Children become commodities that can be tested and found wanting and then destroyed. Only if they pass a criteria established by their parents are they judged acceptable and allowed to be born.
Why the attention over THIS baby?
Maybe the culture IS changing. Maybe more people are seeing the joy and blessing that all life can bring. Maybe there is more education, more acceptance, more willingness to embrace the hard.
And, hey, raising any child is hard. In this case, this father is going to need a lot more than pats on the back from people here in America. He's going to need support...medical, financial, emotional...and his baby is going to need medical care and therapies and early intervention.
How do YOU want to be treated, should that happen to YOU?
I'm just saying that babies...all babies...are not able to choose whether or not to be born. And I'm just saying that we are all (myself included) so quick to jump on our band-wagons and point out all the wrong...when other, just as serious issues, are staring us right in the face.
Because if, as Believers, we are pro-life...and if we convince mothers and fathers to keep their child/children...what then? What do we do with the life? How do we help the families stay together and thrive? Or how do we care for the children of this world when the families cannot?
Those children who happen to have Down Syndrome...as well as those who do not.
Today, there are 4,000 children in foster care in Arkansas. Today, there are over 500 children who are available and waiting for adoption here in Arkansas.
We aren't all called to foster or adopt, but how can we help families who are?
All lives matter.
"Defend the weak and the fatherless..." Psalm 82:3