Story by Samy C.
My mom was twenty-five and my dad twenty-seven when they were pregnant with their second child, and first son. They had planned for this baby and were waiting excitedly for him. They painted, decorated, and prepared a room for him to the last detail. They felt young, free, and masters of their world. In April of 1998, my mom got a call from the doctors. They told her the results of her blood test indicated a high probability that her baby will have Down syndrome, and that she needed to come in for an ultrasound. This news came as a shock to their families, because no one was expecting this to happen to a young healthy couple. My parents discussed this heavily for two weeks. Having a Down syndrome baby would change their lives dramatically. One of them would have to stop working; it would necessitate a major shift in the way they lived their lives. This brought great tribulation upon both my parents. This decision was not easy for them; they cried themselves to sleep every night.
In the end, my parents decided to have their child. My mom recounts that “it really helped that I wasn’t alone, that I had your dad’s support; there was even warmth in the thought that we were going to face this together... it bonded our marriage.” On Mother’s Day, she felt a kick from her baby, seeming to say “Happy Mother’s Day.” On May 19th, 1998, my mom went to her ultrasound. She sensed something was wrong, but they would not communicate anything to her. Finally, she got the news that her baby had died within her. Two days later she went to deliver him. They gave her medicine to induce her and he came out Friday, May 22nd, 1998. My parents named him Angel.
This decision was not easy for them; they cried themselves to sleep every night.
The doctors told my parents that if she decided to have more children, there was a high probability of having another genetically disordered child, and that risk would only increase with age. However, at this time my parents understood a message loud and clear: they are not the ones in control of their lives, and they do not have to be afraid of the adversities that come with it. Now, 21 years later, my mom attests that she “couldn’t be more fulfilled as a woman.” Twenty years ago she would have never dreamed to be where she is today: partnering with her husband in both domestic life and family business, and strengthening her kids in every way she can. Because of this decision to be open to whatever life sends their way, my parents feel that the lives they live today have surpassed all the personal dreams they had ever desired.
...in a very compelling and real way he is so much alive and active in my family.
My brother Angel really changed us; because of him my siblings and I are here today. My parents initially only wanted to have two or three kids, but after Angel they were open to the number that God wanted to send them. Angel was due to be born November and I was conceived in December, so if he was born on his due date, it is unlikely that I would have been conceived. He sacrificed his life so that I could have mine.
I have a little saint, who prays for me and helps me from up above. I can honestly say that my big brother takes good care of me; he keeps me in check, and in a very compelling and real way he is so much alive and active in my family. You can see him in our smiles, you can hear him in the random laugh attacks we get, you can notice him in the profound conversations we have. He is our beauty; his mark is all over us whenever we are together. He gave me the most precious thing in my life, the thing that is needed so greatly in today's society: a family of love.