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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Choosing Love Over Judgment

This time last year, I read a news story about a mother who chose not to parent her baby with Down Syndrome. Making such a choice isn't something new, but with the advent of social media, the publicity of her decision and the public outrage that ensued was.  It seems that when hiding behind a computer screen, everyone is an expert. Some enjoy vicious attacks. Others don't blink twice when judging the decisions of a person they have never met. The assumptions and gross overgenralizations run rampant.

I am left questioning "where is the love?" or at the least a hint of humanity?

Being a parent is no simple task.  Being the parent of a child with special needs is not easy either.  I feel exhausted in parts of me that I never knew existed, and my child's needs are not as demanding as some others are.  I cannot judge.

I was told my unborn child may have T18. We discussed her quality of life.  We pondered how her limited life span could possibly affect her older sister.  And we said words like "amnio" and "termination" -- words I never thought I would say in my lifetime.  But, in the end, we didn' terminate.  Because, I couldn't.   And I am thankful it was my choice.  I cannot judge.

For two months of her life, doctors told me my baby had Down Syndrome. My husband and I had to reenvision the life we had been planning and had always imagined.  We had uncomfortable conversations about what would happen to her when we died. We reflected on our spendings and current financial situation. There were many late nights and many tears.  And yet, I couldn't have lived without her.  She was mine.   And it was my choice. I cannot judge. Because I know the heartbreak, the exhaustion and the pain.

Every child deserves the best life has to offer.  I sincerely respect parents who are selfless enough to ensure their child is able to grow healthy, happy, self assured, and kind in a loving and supportive environment -- whether it be under their roof or the roof of a different caring and encouraging family.  There is nothing to judge about a child being placed in a home where his needs are being met. I cannot judge.

It's easy to judge when we have never been in a similar situation, and it is easy to judge when we have been in a similar situation and made a different choice for our lives. But, often, judgment is the last thing a person -- especially one in a vulnerable situation -- needs.

Each day, we are all faced with numerous choices.  One of the most powerful of those choices is whether to cast judgment or love upon others.  I choose love. Love empowers. Love heals. Love brings people together. Love does more good than judgment ever could. Yes, you can judge me for that, but I guarantee you will be happier if you choose love too.

The many people and things Ceci loves


  1. I've never met you but you seem to have a good heart. It shows through your writing.