My daughter Alisa is ten years old this week. She is a joy - an intelligent, happy, talented little girl who loves to snuggle in tight and read bedtime stories. Alisa likes to play the piano, take care of young children and animals and has a sprinkle of freckles across her nose.
Let me tell you her story. When I was 46 years old my OBGYN told me I was too old and it would be too risky to have another child. I was already the mother of a large family and his advice seemed logical enough. I’d just been through a painful and difficult miscarriage and all medical facts seemed to agree with his conclusion. Yet something deep inside told me that my Father in Heaven had a precious gift for me.
When I found out I was pregnant, I was elated. The pregnancy proved to be difficult with bleeding issues and bed rest. Each month I maintained the pregnancy was a deeply appreciated triumph. Then my doctor told me my unborn child would have serious genetic abnormalities and asked me to consider an abortion. All life is sacred to me so his suggestion was never an option. I had been a volunteer at a school for children with Downs Syndrome when I was in college and fell in love with my students. So a having a child with special needs was not something to dread or fear for me.
When an emergency C-section was needed a nurse read the chart next to my bed and said, “It says here your baby probably has Downs Syndrome. I have a Downs boy at home and know what to look for. When your baby is born I’ll be able to tell you.”
When Alisa was born, the nurse leaned down and whispered into my ear, “Oh she’s fine. She is beautiful.”
The first time I held Alisa I sang her a song that just flowed from my heart . . . “My mommy loves me. My mommy loves me. My mommy loves me because I’m me. She’ll always love me. She’ll always love me. She’ll always love me because I’m me.”
Even today I sing that song to her before I tuck her in bed at night.
Alisa’s life is a miracle. Every child is a miracle. Being allowed to be a mother is a sacred privilege I never take for granted. My husband, children and now grandchildren are the joy of life and my most deeply prized treasures.
Happy birthday, Alisa. I love you so very much.