Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Our son "Andrushka"
I am certain the day you found out you were expecting was quite a day. Whether is was planned, unplanned, exciting, frightening, sad..... I don't know. But I know you likely remember it clearly. Whatever emotions you were feeling at some point you wondered just what this child was like? Boy? Girl? Will it look like me or him? Will he have blue eyes? Red hair or blonde? How exciting for Andrushka's older sibling. I know that you were married and had another child, 7 years old. I do not know if that child were a boy or girl but certainly they watched your belly grow..... They wondered about this little life growing inside you. They rubbed your belly and felt the kicks, the hiccups? I am certain as married people you prepared your home for this new little one. Were you hoping for a daughter since you already had a son? Or vice versa? Did you care as long as the baby was "healthy"?
When your contractions started and your healthy baby boy was born full term at 3.5 kilos did you have his name picked out? Did you refuse to give it to him because he was not worthy? Were your mother, sister, husband there? When they told you of his diagnosis, his extra little chromosome did you cry? Did you refuse to hold him? Did you think he was cursed? Refuse to feed him? Did you beg your husband to let you keep him or silently grieve and agree to give him up. What did you tell your family and friends? Did you tell them the child died? Were you ashamed that you would make an "imperfect" child? What did you tell your 7 year old? You knew what the future held for him by sending him away to an orphanage.
I am torn between compassion, pity, anger, forgiveness, gratitude.... I have lived in your country, your region, ....your neighborhood?....for nearly two months. Have I walked past you? Have I sat next to Andrushka's babushka at the cafeteria? I understand this is a hard life for common people. Decaying post soviet apartment buildings, corrupt politicians, nightmarish transportation, and poverty. I know that this is a hard life. I know it would have been a lot of work. I know that your family, friends, may not have understood or have whispered behind your back....I know because I am living that journey. Gods journey. "All things are possible through Christ who strengthens me". I have fought for your son for seven months. Spent $30k. Flown on 18 airplanes. Hundreds of people have donated, prayed and fought for your son. I have been away from my children and have gone weeks without holding my own infant son.
I want you to know that he was worth fighting for. Only God knows why you couldn't, wouldn't......... I want you to know that he is loved beyond measure. That he WILL do great things and that his story will inspire many other families to adopt. He will bring wisdom to those who see Down Syndrome as a curse. He will love and be loved and he will do all of this just by being himself, our beloved son...
Andriy Dunham Quinn.