Monday, May 2, 2011


I'm loving this CSA that we are members of! (Check out our farmer's CSA here) Besides providing us with tasty, and of course, nutritious, fruits and vegetables, it seems to be providing in a different way--feeding my soul.

Last week, one of the items in our box was beets. Now, I don't know about you, but I know approximately two people who actually like beets. I'm not one of those people. I'm really not being fair, though, because I've never tasted them. That's right. Never. Yet I still will say that I don't like beets. I've actually had this fear of tasting them.

But here they were, in our CSA box. I guess, you could say, I had a few choices in how I was going to deal with these red roots. One, I could just easily throw them away, but I felt that would be a waste of our farmer's hard work. Two, I could give them away, but like I said, I only know two people who like beets, and they don't live in the Charleston area. Three, I could give the beet a chance.

I chose the third option. That meant looking online for recipes. Now here's how I feel about recipes. There are some that, no doubt, will be delicious. Others, there's definitely a risk, but hey, if someone out there says their recipe is good, it's possible that it actually might be good. You just never know. And then, there are some recipes that the first time, they actually turn out delicious, but then I try and recreate them, and well, they just aren't that good the second time around. I wondered which type of recipe I was in for.

Dealing with these beets has a similar flavor to dealing with a child who has Trisomy 18.

Can you see where my analogy is going?

I don't know that many people who actually want a child with Trisomy 18. But sometimes, just like with the beets, a person is going to get that child. That person has choices. One, throw the child away (terminate). But the way I see it, that would be a waste of The Farmer's good work. Two, give the child away (adoption). But really, how many people want a child with a disability? Three, give the child a chance.

Of course, with option number three, the parents look online, and they see that the outcome isn't guaranteed. There's definitely a risk. Some will have a child that has mosaicism, let's say, or doesn't fall on the severe side of the spectrum. Others won't be as fortunate. They will either face a miscarriage or stillbirth, or the child may not defy those grand odds. Even if the child lives, he or she may have severe problems. For those who do defy the odds, one day, everything is going well; the next, everything comes crashing down. Nothing is guaranteed.

I chose to give the beets a chance because I wanted to live adventurously. I didn't want to miss out on something that might actually be delicious. I added some juice, and Dave added some sugar. Actually, they were a sweet surprise.

I chose to keep Lily for the same reason. I wanted to live adventurously. I didn't want to miss out on something. . .delicious. . .in my life. I add lots of hope and love and patience, and Dave does the same. And occasionally, we throw in a little sugar. (Well, actually, we throw in a LOT of sugar ALL the time.)

Her life with us has been a sweet surprise.


  1. I think you will like this. It really speaks to the trisomy parents. Someone I know wrote it and posted it on her blog when I told her that we had been told that one of my baby's doctors (trisomy 13) asked the other doctors "what wants a child like that?"

    Who Would Want a Child Like That?
    I am told one doctor said to another about a woman wanting to bear and deliver a child with known severe disabilities: "But who would want a child like that anyway?"

    Dear Doctor:

    Who would want a child "like that"? A person who wants to learn about love. A person who wants to know about self-sacrifice. A person who wants to know more about the value of life, who wants to move beyond the understanding of owning stuff to the understanding of giving and emptying of the self.

    Who wants child "like that"? A person who is connected, a person who wants a challenge, a person who wants to face hell and own heaven right here, right now. A person who wants to grow and change and learn to navigate the waters of joy and despair, of choices deep and dark and profound.

    Who wants one "like that"? Someone strong who wants to learn about weakness. Someone weak who wants to learn about strength. A person who wants to change the whole world, a person who wants to change one child's world. A person who wants to cry hard and laugh harder. A person who wants to drink deeply from what is sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet.

    In short, who wants a child "like that"? A parent wants a child like that...their child...and they want to have every chance to do their job well. They deserve every support medical and social, emotional and financial that it takes to bring "that child's" life to fruition, to bring "that child's" gifts to the world into which "that child", for whatever reason, chose to enter.

    Who are you to question the life of a child "like that"?

  2. I love that analogy, Jill! So so true... and Anonymous above, what a wonderful letter.
    "That child" is still a child. Bottom Line.
    PS. I can't say I like beetroot either... but I am game for giving things a chance :)

  3. Stunning essay, Jill! It should be published...seriously. Beautiful.

  4. I agree with both Taryn and Lorraine. and Anonymous~ beautiful essay. So true. My cousin was diagnosed with endometriosis at 14 and underwent a hysterectomy at 27~ never having had a child. She signed up to foster a special needs child. When she walked into (her future daughter) Rachael's room, she found a 16 month old on a vent, on 24 hr. oxygen, with a stomach tube. All because she was born at 24 weeks weighing just over one pound. Dad was in jail, Mom overwhelmed and possibly involved in drugs herself~ Rachael had basically been abandoned in a Houston hospital. Jennifer said, "I knew she was MY daughter." Doctors tried to discourage her by listing all of Rachael's issues and told Jen Rachael would likely never walk, talk, eat or breathe on her own~ basically live in a vegetative state. Jennifer went with what she believed God was telling her~ what she felt in her heart. With no medical background, she took Rachael home as a foster child with the intent to adopt. Months later, Rachael was rolling over, scooting around, "talking" to us, and other milestones of a child that a few months old would reach. Eventually, she was off oxygen completely and had her trach reversed. She walked alone at 4 yrs. old, not long after she started eating real food, got her tube out, potty trained, and started school at 7. Today, she is an air guitar expert, an ACDC fan, a Wii gamer, dancing queen, loving beautiful example of God's grace and mercy. She is 13 or 14 now. She is Jennifer's daughter~ and most importantly~ she is LOVED. Rachael is our angel and hero. I can't imagine not having.
    Who would want a child like that? Who wouldn't???!!! :)