I’ve been emotionally preoccupied the last couple of weeks with trying to get help for a newborn baby girl with Trisomy 21 who has been left in an institution while the parents decide if they should keep her or not.
I was asked to get involved by someone aware of the situation. Initially I was told the parents definitely didn’t want her and she would stay in the institution until a home was found for her. As I got more involved I learned the situation was much more complicated. Through the staff members I’ve repeatedly told them the parents can be in touch with me to get accurate information about T21 to help them with the decision.
Eventually the grandmother reached out to me and I spoke to her at length. My goal has been to communicate the importance of placing the baby with someone who will care for her while the parents make up their minds since Baby M is in a physically and emotionally sterile environment and every day that goes by is causing her emotional and cognitive harm.
Has any of this effort been helpful? To my mind, not nearly helpful enough. But after two weeks of no change in the situation, my two daughters and I were officially given permission to visit Baby M (the day we visited she was exactly a month old). The next day, volunteers were organized to come for four hours a day. Two of my daughters will also be visiting for 6.5 hours a day and this means that now she will have substantially more stimulation and social connection. Clearly a newborn needs more than this but this is where it stands now.
There are a lot of details I’m not including and this has been a situation that has raised a lot of emotion for me. Dealing with this been a hard balance. On one hand, I don’t want to judge the parents. Everyone does the best he can with the resources he has.
On the other hand, I’m deeply, deeply upset to see an infant not getting the care she needs, especially since the financial and social resources are available to support it – and it’s appropriate to feel anger when you see injustice perpetrated.
On Tuesday the parents will be making a decision as to if they will keep Baby M or not. I am hoping and praying that that very soon she will be in a good home and ask you to whisper a prayer for her sake as well.
**Update: I was notified by the grandmother that the parents were told to find a family for the baby. Continued prayers, please.**