We are the Stow Family and this is our story. Our lives are blessed by Love, Joy and Hope. Follow our sometimes interesting stories on loving our two boys, exploring parenthood, and celebrating a little extra - two parents, two boys and an extra chromosome!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Million $ Question

Here’s the million dollar question… If I could, would I change Malakai’s diagnosis? Would I make him ‘all better’? Would I take away this extra chromosome that makes my child different from his peers?
My instinctual answer is ‘yes, of course I would!’. If your child had something that would affect his life & make things more difficult – like being deaf for example - you would go right out and see if you could get him a hearing aid to help him, or start teaching him sign language – all in an effort to make his life as easy and happy as possible. Of course you would. But to say that I would wish to ‘fix’ Malakai is to say that there is something ‘wrong’ with him. And that, my friends, is where the waters become murky.
About 17 months ago something happened. In the darkest, safest place inside of me I grew Life. One cell became two, and two became four… and four became eight… and Life flourished. Before I was even aware that there was something happening, my body naturally protected, nurtured and fed this little Life. I gave of myself (and let’s not forget that my husband had a part to play too!!) and from me this little Life sprouted proudly and defiantly against all odds. I say against all odds, because the ‘error’ that occurred when Malakai’s 21st chromosome triplicated should have been a reason for a spontaneous and natural miscarriage, but it was not. His Life continued, and it was spared judgment by the “Laws of Nature”. When the first cell became two there was a ‘glitch’ and instead of two 21st chromosomes, my son had three. This would be replicated in all the cells that followed. But let’s not forget, my son is of me. My cells made him, and he flourished. I am aware of the statistic that states that 91 percent of the time, it is the woman’s egg that causes the glitch. So I could say that Malakai is 50% my husband and 51% me!!
So where am I going with this?
What I am trying to say is that I don’t believe my son is a mistake. I don’t believe that anything about him, from the tips of his fingers to the bottom of the soles of his little yummy feet is a mistake. He is whole, he is Malakai, he is of my flesh. My body did not make a mistake, harbouring this little life, keeping him safe and sound well before I even realized he was there!
To want Malakai to be ‘cured’ of this, would be say that there is something wrong with him. Yes, I don’t deny he is different from most of his peers, but is difference such a wicked thing? Is difference a thing to be stamped out, hidden away and feared? Yes, life will be a bit more challenging for Malakai, but who’s to say it won’t be for Johnny Smith down the road one day? If we found out that Johnny ran the risk of a challenging life, would we want to ‘cure’ him of his challenge? Isn’t his challenge perhaps the thing that will make him that much stronger, that much happier, that much wiser?
If my child could be cured, fixed, changed would I do it? I don’t think so. It would be like taking the gift and returning it for something else, or eating the cake and leaving the icing – Malakai, in his whole entirety, is my child. He has come to this earth to learn and love, he is in my life for reasons I cannot possibly even start to imagine. Oh the lessons! The Joys! The Journeys we have yet to embark on! Give this back?


Ann said...

Absolutely love it. Well said.

Cathy said...

My husband and I had this discussion not too long ago. The only possible reason I would want to "change" Lily is because of the world and the perception of Ds. If I could protect my daughter from the ignorance out there by making her "all better", I think I might. However, since there really is no way to protect a child from everything...nope, I would choose to leave my daughter the perfect way she was sent into the world!!! How could I change what makes Lily Lily?!?!?!

Deqlan said...

Ag Loren, you continue to inpsire me every day. I can tell you that the journey you have been chosen to go and and help Malakai travel on is so so so special and we cant wait to travel it with you. You know what, we are so blessed my dear friend that we have boys that are different - that is such a special thing God has entrusted us with! Heres to our boys and loving them and enjoying them just as they are! God Bless lots of love Mark Samm Deqlan Logan
p.s - dont forget its World Autism day tommorow

sheree said...


Kelly said...

Again, you have eloquently put into writing what exists in my mind. I've linked my blog to this post to share with my friends. Finally, someone has articulated what I have felt all along.

Tim and Kelli said...

Well written!

Lisa said...

Loren, you are such a beautiful writer and obviously a wonderful mother. I admire you so much.

. . . and I feel like a much smaller person, because I would change Finn's Dx if I could. I blogged about this not all that long ago. It's not that I want him to be different than he is, I just don't want him to have to face the struggles and difficulties he will have to face because of his Dx.

Lacey said...

Thats fantastic. I have two friends from South Africa, how funny.

Elriza Paul said...

I totally agree!

Ferreira Family said...

Well put Loren!

Sonia said...

This is the most beautiful piece ever written! I am so glad you wrote it and not me because your words are so clear and precise.

Thank YOU!