This weekend, we had a really cool opportunity.
Make a Wish had contacted us a couple of weeks ago, to ask if we could speak about our wish experience at a convention near LAX. We readily agreed and then they sent us the information about the convention - which turned out to be a Hot Wheels convention! What a perfect fit for the kid obsessed with all things cars related!
We spoke last night during their auction, and I briefly touched on Bodie's medical condition and what his wish trip meant to him and our family. And then we received Make a Wish collectors edition cars, and passes for the entire weekend event.
We spent the better part of today at the event, wandering through the different rooms selling and trading cars. They even had a magic show and raffle for the kids, and Bodie won the big prize - a new bike!
Both of the kids pretty much thought today was the best.day.ever! We really had such a lovely time. We love speaking at Make a Wish events, because it give us a chance to reminisce about our wish trip and how much fun we had. And it's such a wonderful organization!
This afternoon, we were moving from hotel room to hotel room, looking at all the Hot Wheels cars for sale (there were SO MANY!!!!). In one room, a father came in after us with his young children. He recognized us from speaking last night and came over to say hi. He asked Sierra what her favorite color car was - when she said pink, he pulled a pink car out of his backpack for her and gave it to her. She was over the moon and he was so kind about it. He then gave Bodie a few cars as well.
He then busied his children and came back over to talk to me. What he said next stopped me in my tracks. He told me that he and his wife, 13 years ago, had lost a baby. That baby had an underdeveloped left ventricle and they had opted to terminate the pregnancy due to the high costs of medical care the child would require for her whole life.
He was so sad. His pain and regret were palpable. The unanswered question of what might have been had they continued the pregnancy. Might she have been a success story? Might she have been like Bodie, running around and active, living a full life?
I didn't know what to say.
My heart broke for him.
What do you say?
What do you say to someone who chose to terminate for the same condition that you chose to give your son life in spite of?
All I knew was that this poor, sweet man was already full of so much regret, I didn't want him to hold onto it any longer.
I told him it WAS expensive, that we are very lucky that Dusk has a job with amazing health benefits.
I told him medicine was different 13 years ago, that just because Bodie is doing so well, born 6 years ago, does not necessarily mean his daughter would have done as well.
But, even so.
She could have been.
She might have been.
She could have been an honor student or an athlete.
She might have been one of the teens I saw this past summer, speaking at Camp Taylor.
There were so many things she could have been.
And the sadness of that filled the air.
I can't get that sweet man out of my mind.
My heart is so heavy tonight, thinking of him.
I hope something I said gave him some peace.
As we ate dinner tonight, I couldn't stop hugging Bodie, thinking of what might not have been. This amazing, smart, talented and funny soul I get to witness on a daily basis.
God's perfection shown through my son's imperfection.
And to think of the many parents who still choose to terminate for HLHS.
If you're an expectant parent facing an HLHS diagnosis, please don't.
Please don't terminate.
Please give your child a chance.
I promise you, it is worth it.
Today, I came face to face with the other side, with someone who made the other choice.