Baby Joseph Finally Given Second Chance at Life

March 2011

Lent is a season of mercy and the Lord is indeed merciful. 

I am pleased to offer this latest update on Baby Joseph.  Baby Joseph is now at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis, Missouri.  Due to the prayers, donotions, and hard work of many people and agencies, including Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life who flew with Baby Joseph in an air flight ambulance to the U.S., Joseph is now receiving medical treatment with the dignity that he deserves.  For more information, updates, and to continue donating for his care and treatment, see his FaceBook page and www.priestsforlife.org.

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Update: the hospital in Michigan has not accepted to care for Baby Joseph. But he is still alive and NOT euthanized. Please continue to pray for this family and offer financial contributions where possible to the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition which is helping with legal and other fees.
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Prayer works. Collective action also works. This past weekend I wrote about an Ontario, Canada baby who was scheduled to be removed from life support by the hospital. They would not perform a tracheotomy so that Baby Joseph could breath on his own and go home to live and die on God’s time in the loving care of his family.

Thousands of people have been praying for this little boy and his family. Thousands have taken action by writing, calling, contributing, and publicizing about baby Joseph’s case. At 10 AM this morning the hospital was set to euthanize baby Joseph. Instead, it looks like he will be able to be med flighted to Children’s Hospital in Michigan.

I say, praise the Lord!

Let’s continue to pray for and support this family. Please see my previous blog post to join the Save Baby Joseph page on Facebook and to make a contribution to cover their fees if you are able.

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A Child with a Disability Has a Right to Live and Die with Dignity and Love

Should the government have the right to tell you when, where, and how you will live or die? This is what is happening in Canada now.  Baby Joseph Maraachli is a one-year-old who suffers from the same illness as another child the family had who has since passed away.  That child died at home in the care of her parents.

Baby Joseph has been in the hospital since last October and is on a breathing tube.  The hospital has gone to court and won the right to remove that tube.  Joseph’s father says that the hospital staff have said that they will remove the tube and give the baby an injection to die.  The family would like the hospital to perform a traceotomy so that Joseph can go home and be able to breath and live with his family until his time has come to go home with the Lord. The hospital says to do the traceotomy would be too risky.  But why NOT do it if they are scheduling to euthanize the baby on Monday anyway??  Why not take the “risk” that the baby could live or die peacefully at home??

Why is the hospital and government so bent on controlling the life that they did not give?? Every person has a right to live and die with dignity and having a disability does not erase that right.

Please join the Facebook cause for Baby Joseph.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-baby-Joseph/142316562497565?sk=wall

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A Healthy Baby? A Perfect Baby?

“As long as it’s healthy, right?”

I’m not nosey or anything, but I do like to listen to what people say (most of the time) because I hear some interesting things.  For example, I hear most of the same lines when someone questions a pregnant woman and I’ve been told the same lines.  

 “Do you know what you’re having?” 

Response: “Don’t know yet.”

“Well, as long as the baby is healthy that’s what counts, right?”

That didn’t mean too much to me until I already had two children who were not exactly “healthy.”  They were born with disabilities.  After that, I always had a bad feeling when people said, “as long as the baby’s healthy, right?” to me or to anyone else.  What if the baby wasn’t healthy?  Then what? How is the mother supposed to feel?  Is she any less pregnant? Should she be any less happy? Is the child any less valuable?

When I was pregnant with my third child, people who knew me and knew that I had two daughters with disabilities did not give me that line of “As long as the baby is healthy.” Some were uneasy; they knew that I had the chance of having another child with a disability.  They knew that besides blindness, my children had been somehow affected by autism, learning disorders, and a seizure disorder.  Some asked if I thought this third baby would have a disability.  I answered that only God knew.  To strangers who would say that line, I would say, “Well healthy or not, I’m happy for the baby.” And some people had a perplexed look but no response. 

People are supposed to want healthy, perfect babies, right? If not, there is genetic testing then pressuring to “terminate the pregnancy” and “try again” for a healthy baby.  That is why about 90% of children diagnosed with Down Syndrome in the womb are aborted.   I remember after having my first daughter who is legally blind because she had bilateral congenital cataracts, I read about a couple who aborted two subsequent babies because their first child had bilateral cataracts.  I was surprised and even wondered how they knew because I didn’t know of any tests to test for that.  And I never found out with my two other children because I did not want to know about such tests.

So when I gave birth to my son, I had a dilemna.  How was I to feel if he indeed did have a disability?  I had been down this road twice before.  My first thought was that I did not want him to have the cataracts or anything that would require the risk of surgery under anesthesia.  I’m always stressed as my children undergo the several hours worth of surgery under anesthesia but each of the times (14 + in total) they’ve been thankfully well.  I thought if my son did need sugery, I would pray that he would go through the surgeries well because that was all I could do. And another thing I could do was love him just the way he was, just the way the Lord made him.

I pondered on these things a lot while the specialist took my son on his second day on this earth to test him.  And I pondered more when she returned him and told me the news.  I looked at him and touched his soft hair.  He had no idea that he would be going through surgeries and constant appointments for a while.  He was not the “healthy” baby. But he was beautiful just as my girls were and has shown me what love really is.  I was so happy and still am very happy and blessed to have him and my daughters.  And I am so thankful to God that I didn’t listen to the health care provider who had wanted me to make the choice to abort him because my “hands are already full” with two other children with disabilities. 

Of course there are trials.  Nothing is easy in this life.  But the unconditional love that they show me is my reward for loving them too.  I always wanted to be a mother and mothering my three children has been and will always be the greatest joy of my life.

And here’s a revelation: There is no perfect baby in society’s terms.  The perfect baby is the one that God has given to us to care for and love.

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Children with Albinism are hunted down and killed–An Outrage!

I remember when I first heard about children (and adults) who have albinism being hunted down, maimed and killed, I was saddened and outraged.  People with albinism have very reduced pigmentation in their skins and eyes.  They also are visually impaired, some of them being legally blind, due to the lack of pigmentation.  I am a teacher of students with visual impairments (as well as a mother of blind children–not from albinism) and I am familiar with albinism.  I was watching a documentary about how there is a superstition in Tanzania that possessing powder from the bones of people with albinism will bring good luck.  Polititians and business people will pay a great deal of money to get that powder from witch “doctors.”

albinism .gif (100433 bytes)

The people amputating the arms and legs of their victims with machetes do not care if the victims are babies or young children.  They subject their victims to all manner of torture and chop off their limbs, often leaving the children to bleed to death.  The children hide inside their homes and families try to keep them out of sight.  But the supersitious murderers often find them.

I would like to see the United Nations as well as individual countries and people speak out against this atrocity.  In a civilized society and world, this genocide cannot continue.  This genocide and maiming is happening in Tanzania as well as other East African nations.

When I posted an article about this on Facebook, one of my friends responded that this country needs Jesus.  I agree, for if they knew Him, they would recognize that those with albinism are their brothers and sisters and should not be hacked to death, with limbs being sold for tens of thousands of dollars.

For more information, see the links below:

http://www.mediaglobal.org/article/2010-02-11/albino-killings-in-tanzania-related-to-ancient-tribal-beliefs

http://abcnews.go.com/2020/africans-albinism-hunted-tanzania/story?id=8567612

http://abcnews.go.com/2020/tanzanians-albinism/story?id=8725048

photo from:  http://medgen.genetics.utah.edu/photographs/pages/albinism.htm

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A Beautiful Life, A Beautiful Boy

My 3-year old boy.

My beautiful boy Mikey.

This is a post that I put on my FB page on my son’s third birthday in May 2010.

Today, May 1, my beautiful son turns three! He has been a balm to my soul and I love him very much. Some didn’t want him to be born. And my midwife wanted me to abort him for the same reason: I already had two other children with disabilities.  She did say, “whatever you decide.” But when you even bring up abortion to a mother, it is a suggestion to do so, otherwise the topic would not have even been brought up, especially at an initial visit with another provider.  I did not ask about abortion.  She asked the nurse to ask me to see her in her office after my visit with the nurse.  Of course I was disappointed at the suggestion as she had been my midwife with my first two and actually delivered my second.
Women don’t want abortions. They feel like they have NO other choice. (for post-abortive healing and testimonies see www.rachelsvineyard.org, www.silentnomoreawareness.org, and www.priestsforlife.org). From the moment I was pregnant with my son, I was asked several times if I was going to keep him. My midwife said I had too much on my plate already, especially with an autistic daughter, and suggested that I abort him. Some people openly pitied me. I was caught unawares–I thought females were pressured into having an abortion when they are very young, or perhaps in school, but not a grown, married woman. I learned that the culture of death is so rampant that no female is immuned from it’s ugly clutches. I thank God every day now for helping me be strong enough to say I choose life for my son. Yes, he was also born with a disability. And when I see him with his thick, cokebottle glasses, walking off balance with his severely pronated feet, smiling and coming to hug my legs, I thank the Lord again for a beautiful life and the lessons of unconditional love and the dignity of every human life. I am so grateful for my three children!
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