A couple was forced to make a tough decision when they were told that their unborn child would have serious medical and development complications.
An unplanned pregnancy, unsettled finances, uncertain health...For Laura and Jair Reyes, this was a reality they were forced to face all at once.
As soon as Laura found out she was expecting another child, doctors classified her pregnancy as “high risk”, meaning the child or mother is at an increased risk for health problems. After a few months, a blood test determined their baby had the markers for Down’s Syndrome. Suspecting other abnormalities as well, the Reyes and their doctors knew this child would face serious challenges throughout its lifetime. The Reyes were given two choices: have the child and know he or she would have a difficult life, or abort the baby.
Laura and Jair were forced to consider the difficulties involved with both options available to them. How could they afford the medical costs of a child with special needs? Could they raise this special needs child on their limited income? How could they add to the responsibilities of already being parents to a kindergartener and a sixth grader? Even family and friends warned them to consider the challenges involved with keeping this child and to make their decision carefully.
Being overwhelmed with this life-changing decision, the family sought counsel from God’s Word and their pastor. After hearing about The Lutheran Home Association’s Jesus Cares Ministries (JCM), Laura and Jair were strengthened in their conviction that God is the giver of life, and although He may be testing their strength and faith right now, He would also take care of them along the way. Through utilizing the resources from JCM and their pastor, they recognized that this child was a gift. Since God was giving this special child to them, they trusted that He would also give them the ability, strength and resources to take care of him or her. They decided to keep the baby, while preparing themselves for the worst and praying for the best.
That spring, their child was born: a beautiful baby girl named Eliana Nevaeh. Miraculously, Eliana didn’t have any of the life-threatening complications the doctors had originally predicted, and even with Down’s Syndrome, she was still a happy and healthy baby girl.
Laura and Jair recognize that they still have a long road ahead of them with raising their daughter, but they also realize they are not alone. Their family supports their choice of life and their church embraces them with love. Most of all, God promises to provide for His children, for we are all special to Him, no matter what disability we may have.