CHASK- Before You
Were Born- I Knew You
By Tom and Sherry Bushnell
If you knew that your baby was going to die right after
birth, what sort of decisions would you make?
Every day in the US, birth parents are confronted with this
very devastating situation. In addition, if you were not sure if your baby might
live a few days or even few months and that having a natural birth as you
planned would be very stressful for your baby, would you opt for a c-section,
knowing that your baby may not live for more than a few hours anyway?
If you knew that your baby’s diagnosis was not “compatible with life” would you
offer your baby feeding to prolong life… if he or she seemed to be hanging onto
life would you choose IV therapy or assisted breathing?
Would you attempt to breastfeed your baby? Would you pump and
have your baby tube fed?
What kind of items would you like to have as keepsakes, after your baby passes
These are just a small smattering of the questions birth
parents must decide when their unborn baby is diagnosed with a severe anomaly.
How can we at CHASK minister effectively to encourage birth
parents to let God choose the “going home date” versus “premature birth
induction”, or termination? An “early birth” may seem like an easy solution to
The answer is in your heart. We are thankful that you are
there and are willing to share.
Please, if you are able to write or counsel about your child’s passing let us
know who you are so you can also minister Jesus’ love. We have to know who you
are in order to match you with a birth parent facing tragedy.
Here is the story of Effie, a sweet little angel that right at this moment is
being used by God. Her little life and her parents sharing their story will
touch you, to prepare you to pray and minister to others.
The web site with the story in its entirety can be found at
The Story of Effie
By Joanna O’Brien
wanted to tell you the story of our precious second daughter who was born with a
severe disability, so that you can be assured that your child with a disability
is a great gift from God and is worth all the effort and love you or anyone else
can expend on him or her.
We learned at 21 weeks gestation that our baby girl had Trisomy 13. We did some
research on the computer and discovered that babies with Trisomy 13 usually die
in the first week of life. This was very sad news for us. But, we decided to
love our baby and enjoy her for as long as we should have her in our lives. And,
we decided to begin thinking about the best plan of care for her. We wanted to
make it our business that she would have the best possible life, under the
circumstances. We had no idea, though, how easy she would be to love and
She was born on October 2, 2007 and lived for four wonderful weeks. Her
abnormalities (like her severe cleft palate and lip) looked completely normal
after we quickly got used to them. She behaved just like any other baby (she did
have some seizures, which are a part of Trisomy 13.) Our families also loved her
and we were all drawn closer to each other through our love and care for little
Effie. Everyone was encouraging and supportive of us at this difficult time in
our lives, but it was something that we were going to do even if we had to do it
alone. Effie was worth it! She was a dear baby who loved to be held close, who
hardly ever cried or complained, who was easy to love.
This whole experience also brought me closer to God. I learned in a very real
way that I can really trust God and that I can believe His word and trust that
He does all things well and for His own purpose. He helped me to be completely
at peace through the whole time that Effie was here with us and through her
death and afterwards. I have never complained against God. I can’t. I see so
many good things that have come out of Effie’s life that I can’t think that God
made a mistake in creating her just the way He did.
My gratefulness to God overshadows my grief.
God has told us in the scriptures that He is the one who gives (and takes) life.
He is even more specific than that - He tells us, “Who hath made man’s mouth? Or
who maketh the dumb, or the deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have not I the
Lord? Exodus 4:11 We can be sure, then, that the Lord is the one who has made
our children different from “normal”. He has done so for His own purposes, and
we may never fully understand His reason until we get to heaven. But we can know
from scripture that God is good and compassionate and just. He is watching you
to see if you will trust in Him and in His plan for your life and for your
Are you thinking about giving your baby up for adoption to a loving family?
Please be comforted that there are plenty of families that will fall in love
with your baby and treat him or her as their own. Don’t let anyone rush you into
the decision, though. There is plenty of time, and plenty of resources to help
you decide if this is something that you can do.
Whenever I meet disabled people, I am reminded that life is simpler than I make
it out to be with all of my hurrying and stressing and wrong priorities. If you
have other children, I want you to know that having a disabled brother or sister
teaches siblings compassion, patience, and an appreciation of all people, no
matter how different. How much better people would be if we all had a disabled
person in our lives!
Many people have been in your situation before and have made the right choices.
You will never regret giving life to your child - God has already given a
special life to your child, and He has chosen you as parent for this child. So
be encouraged and know that you have the strength to bring this baby into the
world. You may never know how much this child will be a blessing to you and to
only decision you need to make today is to keep carrying this precious baby in
your womb as God intends for you to do. He will give you the strength, and He
will give you love for this little baby too!
Love, Joanna O’Brien firstname.lastname@example.org