Kyla is my daughter. At 3 months old, she was diagnosed with 8P- Syndrome (A rare chromosomal disorder involving deletion of the short arm (p) of chromosome 8 resulting in various abnormalities), with a deletion designation of 23.1. Kyla was born with a congenital heart defect of a complete atrial and ventricular septal defects, skeletal malformations- diagnosed at 2 years of age, and focal cortical dysplasia (a congenital birth defect that stems from abnormal brain development in an unborn child) diagnosed at 5 years.
At 3 months old, having only the heart and syndrome diagnosis, we were told that she would be completely mentally retarded, relying on others for her entire life. Our first response was shock and utter disbelief. This was our perfect baby girl, our wonderful little gift from God…and she would forever be at the mercy of others? This is not the life that any parent envisions for their child when they find out that they are carrying a precious baby. I feel very fortunate that the Lord prepared me for this in a small way. Throughout my pregnancy, I just had a feeling that something was very wrong. The ultrasounds didn’t show anything, and all of the other markers were perfect. By all accounts, I and my baby were in perfect health…until the day she was born.
At my follow up appointment with my OB/GYN, she was shocked…and embarrassed that they’d missed something so big. I then proceeded to be horrified as she apologized that I hadn’t had the chance to terminate the pregnancy. Terminate??? This thought was not even one that had crossed my mind! Regardless of the challenges my child would face…God’s child, created exactly the way He intended for her to be, I would never have chosen termination. Who am I to say that the gift that God has so richly blessed me with, isn’t good enough? Who am I to say that her life was not worth living? Imagine what they would have told me if they had found all of her issues while I still carried her.
6 years later, Kyla is in Kindergarten…and doing very well. She has received early interventions since she was 2, and will in fact, go on to lead a perfectly “normal” life…whatever that is! The little girl who I would have been advised to abort, the little girl who had no future, is a bright and shining star. Her strength and stamina are an inspiration to me every day! Even on the days I wish she had an off button! She has such an internal joy and great sense of wonder with the world around her. Everything is a game to her, everything is something to explore and learn about…even if it does make a huge mess for me to clean up!
My point here is that typical or not, all of our kids challenge us. All of our kids have challenges! There are no perfect children, and there are no perfect parents. But through my faith in God, I see that God gifted me with the perfect child for me. And God gifted her with the perfect parents for her.
Do I believe that God will always do what’s best for us? Absolutely. If any of us really believes that…how can we end the lives of our children, before they’ve even begun? If we truly believe that God is perfect, and doesn’t make mistakes…how can we then say that this child is a mistake…not worthy of life? If we believe that God has a great and mighty purpose for every citizen of His Kingdom, how do we judge our unborn children, saying that their purpose is not great enough to be carried out? These are questions that I just don’t have the answers to.
I will end Kyla’s story with this. I was told that I would never have children, that I could conceive, but not carry. I had been told this by 3 different doctors. I had accepted the fact that my children would be adopted…and I was more than okay with that. Five weeks after my husband and I were married, we found out that I was 5 weeks pregnant. God had opened my womb to bear life…to bear one of His sacred children. God had opened my womb in the same way that he had opened the wombs of some of the greatest women in the Bible. God defied the medical world, and blessed me with a family in a way that I thought (and had been told) was impossible.
How many people try to have children for years and years, only to find out that the child they are carrying, is not the one they pictured? And how many of those parents terminate their pregnancies, only to live with regret and guilt? Those are just 2 more questions that I don’t have the answers to.
I pray that everyone who reads this story sees the blessing that our daughter is to us, and that we are a blessing for her. That God chooses everything…and it is good.