The Up Kids! Story
Over 20 years ago, my then wife and I received a letter from another County that we were living in to discuss a very important issue that was facing our baby, who was still in my ex’s womb.
The meeting was with the County’s Doctor and the issue was that my baby had been diagnosed with Down syndrome.
In synopsis, the Doctor recommended that we abort our baby because the financial pressure, stress and issues that we would face as a family with a down child would be traumatic, especially, if we had other children, which we did, a beautiful and very healthy little girl named Carissa.
The Doctor then added that we only had a short period of time to make our decision; specifically, because the County would pay for the abortion if we moved forward with it; and only if the abortion was performed prior to the end of the second trimester. The Doctor then left the room to allow us some time to think about his recommendation.
Prior to entering the Doctor’s office, the Doctor’s nurse had previously handed me a brochure with medical information about Down syndrome. As we carefully read the literature, my ex and I were irritated with the Doctor’s recommendation specifically, because I had noticed the words, ‘that there is a 90% chance that the child may be born with Down syndrome’.
Being an expert in marketing, I immediately focused on that one very significant word...‘may’.
When the Doctor returned, I boldly asked him if he had a child and he replied that he did have a daughter. I then asked him if I could ask him a hypothetical question, which was, “If you and your daughter were driving in your car and you were both involved in a car accident causing your daughter to be paralyzed and unable to walk or talk, would you kill her?
The Doctor gave me a very disturbing look and quickly said, “No.”
I immediately responded back with, “Then, what’s the difference?”
Because my ex and I wanted this baby, I abruptly told him that we were not going to abort our baby.
The Doctor didn’t say another word and stepped out of the room.
With the Doctor out of the office, the Doctor’s nurse, who was still in the room said, “I’m really proud of you because 90% of the people that we have to share this information with, actually abort their child.”
We were heartbroken to hear this.
Had it not been for our carefully reading the brochure to learn that there was a slight chance that our baby’s diagnosis was wrong, another child in America would have been aborted and added to this horrifying statistic.
One Sunday morning, my ex and I were driving home when we saw this Church that we had never seen before and we decided to make a visit…for one special reason: To personally meet with the Pastor to share what had happened at the Doctor’s office and to ask him if he would allow me to bring my pregnant wife and my daughter, Carissa up to the altar for prayer.
The Church Pastor, without any hesitation, smiled at me and graciously said, "Yes.”
At the beginning of the service, I told the same story to the congregation and asked them if they would please stretch out their hands to my ex’s womb and pray for a miracle for our baby.
A packed congregation stretched out their hands and after a great service, we left the Church believing for our miracle to come true.
About three months later, my ex and I were in the hospital’s delivery room with our baby’s Doctor. As you can probably guess, we were both excited and nervous at the same time.
And it was on that day in ...are you ready for this...'May' that my baby, a beautiful little girl that we named Gabriela, was born.
The Doctor, who delivered our baby, immediately checked Gabriela’s ears, her hands and even checked the souls of her feet; and after a full examination, the Doctor happily said, “Your daughter does not have Down syndrome plus all of her capabilities are perfect!”
Even though Gabriela was not born with Down syndrome, she did have a special message on her that we would later be so very thankful.
What was that special message?
Gabriela’s eyes have a very slight touch of Down. And, it was at that very moment that I absolutely knew it in my Spirit that God had given Gabriela this very slight touch of Down as a Blessed reminder or 'message' that our tears, our faith, our prayers and the prayers of many were the reasons why this miracle came true.
In fact, that's precisely why we gave Gabriela her name, which means, “Messenger of God.”
Today, my daughter, Gabriela, is not only strong and healthy, she also has the biggest heart and love for children; an infinity that she has with children that’s priceless.
More important is that she is a constant reminder that we must put our trust and faith in God because miracles do still happen today as they were recorded to have happened in the Bible over 2,000 years ago.
When my daughter tells her story, she loves to add that she is a ‘double’ miracle baby. the first of the two miracles is the fact that having a baby is already a miracle in itself; and the second miracle is because of her miraculous healing that we had all prayed for.
Had my daughter been born with Down syndrome, our love for her would not have changed because she was already loved even before her eyes were opened to the world.
Like my other children, Carissa my oldest daughter and my youngest, my son, Christian, Gabriela is a light and a miracle of joy that can brighten up any room that she steps into; and like children with Down syndrome or children with autism, she, too, is always ‘Up!’
Hence, the name, ‘Up Kids!’
Founder, Up Kids