(My favorite picture of sweet Benjamin)
A few days ago I was sitting at my older son's (Kaleb) baskteball game holding Ben in my lap. He was needing some assistance so I reached over and turned on his suction machine to help him out. As I did this, one of the parents of a child on Kaleb's basketball team leaned over and asked me, "what happened to him?" It kind of threw me off guard a little bit because I wasn't sure if he was wondering why I was suctioning him or if he wanted to know why Ben was handicapped. I had to clarify with him and found he was asking about the latter. I have been asked this question many times in Ben's life. Most of the time I am completely fine with it. That day I was a little reserved in how much I shared because right away I am usually able to discern whether the person is genuinely concerned or just being nosey. This man was NOT genuinely concerned. I was polite and gave him the quick answer "his brain did not develop when I was pregnant with him". Of course that led to more curious questions like "did you know when you were pregnant with him?" I will always answer honestly so that people know where I stand on the value of life, whether they agree with me or not. During our brief conversation he flippantly remarked that he and his wife knew their first baby had spina bifida and so they aborted because "they didn't want to deal with what I was dealing with". It made me sick to my stomach. I couldn't believe that he could throw that out there so casually as if we were talking about the weather. It made me ill knowing that he was sitting there next to me and devaluing Benjamin as a person, like he was something that should have been thrown away. I understand that this person does not have the knowledge that I do and so mostly I just feel sorry for him. I feel sorry that he lost out on the chance to raise a child with special needs. I feel sorry that he doesn't realize just how valuable these children are. On the other side, how blessed am I to realize the full potential of these children? To be blessed to be a parent to such a child.