Friday, January 18, 2008

Karen McCarron

As I write this blog today, my five year old daughter is quietly sitting on the floor sewing pretend dresses onto a wooden bear. Her work is occasionally interrupted by some whispered singing and pretend conversation between the bear and his "little pet lizard" sitting next to her. Her missing fingers and arm bones never even cross her mind, or mine for that matter. It's all peaceful, and I just can't understand how it can be any different. Yet, for many parents it is.

Several days ago a friend forwarded me an email that was disquieting to me in a way that probably no one else noticed. The family was begging for help from anyone who could advise them. Their daughter had been born with the same leg condition as our oldest daughter (although not as severe as what we deal with), and their insurance had denied their claim for a surgical fix. The insurance problem aside, what stood out to me as a problem was the perspective of the parents. For some reason, they were sure that their daughter's life was over if she didn't have this problem "fixed". Her only hope in life was to be made "normal", as though having something physically different or out-of-whack would mean that life had no value. Where did this idea come from? Who told them this lie in such a believable way?

And yet, today, I saw the same idea again. Karen McCarron "fixed" her autistic 3-year-old daughter, Katie, by suffocating her to death in a plastic bag. By taking her life, McCarron stated that she was sending her daughter to heaven in order for her to finally be complete and whole. Obviously she didn't understand that none of us here on earth are complete and whole, but all of us have a purpose here. The defense argued that she was depressed and insane at the time of the murder. I would argue that this former doctor had become so caught up in what could be done to 'remedy' her daughter that she never took the time to find the eternal qualities there that reflected the glory of God. That's enough to depress anybody (although few would take it to the extreme she has).

Then, not much later, I received a letter from a friend of mine overseas. Our family had been praying for a boy in an orphanage there, and she wrote about him in the letter. We had prayed for a family to adopt him, and the story turned out to be that his birth family came for him. What was sad, though, was that he was ever separated from them in the first place.

This little boy was born missing his fingers, and fairly severely near sighted. For some reason, his birth parents thought he was dead. I can only assume that the doctors at his birth predicted such a grim future that they never believed he would live, and they turned him over to the state, believing they were unable to handle his medical issues.

However, as the lawyer for his orphanage began to work on his paperwork to free him for adoption, they made one last contact with his birth family. They were shocked to learn that he was alive and well, and came to see him. Now he is a happy healthy kindergartner whose disabilities are but a little bump in the road.

Then I think about my beautiful daughter who's quietly playing next to me. She was tagged with so many problems: heart problems, hand problems, developmental problems, depression (even though she was an infant!). Now she's a happy, healthy and silly 5 year old girl.

So, I ask myself again, how does this happen? How does a being that was made in the image of God, a being that reflects his eternal goodness , come to be seen as something so bleak? The only answer I can come up with is that too many people have listened to the Father of Lies. Satan can whisper the negative and we believe it so readily, and so quickly.

To quote Helen Keller, "It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision."

I've begun to believe that humanity no longer has a vision.


DeEtte said...

Hi. I found your blog through the adopting children with limb differences group. I just wanted to say I love your honesty and refreshing perspective. I love your acceptance of your children for who they are - all parts of them (physical, emotional, spiritual..). And I enjoy your humor on some of the posts as well..though this one wasn't one of them. I have a daughter with a repaired cleft palate that still struggles with speech and language. I also am adopting a daughter (hopefully this spring!) with hand differences. And I am a preschool special education teacher. Because of what I do every day, I have to really watch that "therapy can fix everything" mentality. I don't buy into it and never have, but it's so ingrained in my field that I do have to watch myself there. I believe therapy, surgery, special education, etc. etc. has it's place and can be SO beneficial to some children at times (if I didn't, I wouldn't do it). But only when it's seen in the right perspective..not when it's used to "fix" anyone. Thanks for all the reminders of what beautiful children of God we each are...

MarlaQuack said...

Did you see the article in the RD that came out this week about the family with 3 blind/deaf kids?