We’ve been in the news a few times. And I’ve read articles of other families dealing with hard decisions related to birth defects. What’s fascinating is reading comments. It’s a dangerous activity if you’re the one being featured in the story, but I’m typically able to chalk up the ignorant ones as just that – – ignorant.

I remember in the comments of one article we were featured in online, a commenter said a picture of Ryan and Ainsley was obviously photoshopped because his head was so much bigger than hers.  Hydrocephalus will do that to a person, but the commenter hadn’t taken the time to think of that or even know about it. It was easy to laugh out loud at the comment.

There’s one comment though that I’ve never understood. Perhaps it is ignorance, but I have a hard time relating. It’s the one where commenters say, “What a selfish thing for the parents to do”… and of course, they are referencing not terminating a pregnancy where the baby has a birth defect…. or deciding on treating the baby after it’s born.

I’ve never understood this because I always wonder to myself if they think it’s selfish to get treatment for someone diagnosed with cancer. Or if they would think it would be selfish to get treatment for themselves if they were to be in a car accident and had to learn how to walk again.

Or if they understand the personal heartache, commitment, and sacrifice it takes for a parent of a sick child.

The only thing I can think – – and sometimes they even say – – is they don’t understand how a person who has such a crazy birth defect as having their heart form outside their body would ever have a chance at having a “good” life. (Because apparently never, ever having pain or hardship is something one is able to attain…)

Well for all the naysayers, here’s one reason why:

(Ryan is the little boy angel, second from the end on the right)

Comments (8)

  • Johanna / December 26, 2014 / Reply

    Love how he gets into it. So cute! Who cares what people say. Ryan is a blessing!!

  • Heidi / December 26, 2014 / Reply

    I remember reading that same comment you are referring to and was absolutely stunned that anyone could say that. After being angry at the insensitivity, I felt sorry for someone with this mindset. Ryan has already lived his life with more joy, love and compassion than many of the ignorant commenters. What a blessing he is to all those who have the privilege to know him.

  • Kelly / December 27, 2014 / Reply

    I’m sooo refraining from searching for those comments so I can clearly inform them!!! 😉 For some, it’s hard to believe the unbelievable unless they can touch the scars themselves…Amen? I think what is awesome is that you continue to be an advocate for Ryan. You never give up. You have experienced set backs but never defeat. You continue to share life with us: your struggles, your faith , and your ups downs as a mother. As Ann says God uses the ugly beautiful life situations to refine us all.. ((HUGS)) Kelly K

  • Melody / December 27, 2014 / Reply

    Well said, Leighann, Well Said!

  • Kristen / December 28, 2014 / Reply

    Ryan as an Angel? Well that couldn’t have been more perfectly cast! I love the video and this post.

    I think people who say things like that have never had the experience of seeing how early struggles (and Ryan had many!) can lead to such perfect, amazing little people. And/or, they are someone who made the opposite choice you and Henry made and they can’t fathom the “unknowns” of what life could have been for their baby. Either way, no one should say such hurtful things. Ever.

  • Becky / December 29, 2014 / Reply

    I am always amazed that people think they can put negative comments especially when it is most likely something they know nothing about – Oh well – hit the recycle bin on the negative ones! Love the video.
    God has a plan for your amazing boy and he is showing the world just what it is!

  • Lizz / January 4, 2015 / Reply

    I for one, of a billion, am sooooo happy you chose not to terminate your pregnancy with Ryan. You knew it would be hard and that he would come with many many issues and cost lots and lots of money and that he would have “issues” his whole life but you gave him a chance anyway! You took the HARD way instead of the EASY way and you have given that boy so much love and joy. You have given his sisters a brother they can dote on. And you have given all of us the pleasure of watching him grow up and prove every doctor wrong. He is a blessing to the world. You did the RIGHT thing having that precious miracle boy. I know you don’t doubt that at all but I just felt the need to express it anyway.

  • Martha / January 7, 2015 / Reply

    I am really glad you chose to have him, and treat him – and I am grateful to you for sharing your experience.

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