Quite Possibly The Most Disgusting Parents On Earth…

Stumbled across this article.  Only in the Pacific Northwest could parents get away with doing something like this.  What horrendous people.

Couple Receives $2.9 Million For Wrongful Birth; Say They Would Have Aborted Baby Had They Known


09hp0245 Couple Receives $2.9 Million For Wrongful Birth; Say They Would Have Aborted Baby Had They Known

Many babies born with Down Syndrome go on to lead very full and productive lives, like this handsome lil guy.

We take a lot of tests during pregnancy to ensure that our babies are healthy. Sometimes, a positive outcome on certain tests, like the one for Down Syndrome, might cause some couples to abort the baby rather than face a life of disability. An Oregon couple said they would have done just that had they’d known that their daughter would be born with Down Syndrome. But after being assured by their doctor that the baby was free of the genetic disease, they went on with the pregnancy, and their daughter was born with Down Syndrome 4 years ago. After suing Legacy Health System, Ariel and Deborah Levy were recently awarded $2.9 million in a “wrongful birth” suit.

The couple says they clearly would never have had this child if they knew, and now they will use the money to help care for their daughter’s special needs. This type of case going to trial is rare, partly because of the repercussions of parents testifying that they would have aborted their child if they had known (and you can just imagine the long-term mental damage that testimony might do to a child as he/she grows up). Here is how The Oregonian sums it up:

Experts say so few parents choose to file wrongful birth suits because it forces them to take an awkward position: They must be willing to say on the record that they would have aborted the pregnancy, and that they feel a burden – albeit financial – of raising the child.

But where does that leave the countless other parents who are (many happily) raising their special needs child? Should every parent who has a child with Down Syndrome be entitled to a few million because doctors should have caught the disease during pregnancy?

There is still speculation on both sides as to why this error occurred. The couple says that maternal tissue was sampled instead of fetal tissue producing a false negative result in the chorionic villus sampling (CVS). Legacy’s attorney, Robert Keating, maintains that the CVS was properly done, and that “the results showed the girl has a normal genetic profile because she has mosiac Down syndrome, meaning a significant number of her cells don’t contain an extra 21st chromosome.”

I’m a big believer in giving people the benefit of the doubt because you can’t know for sure what anyone is thinking or know exactly what you’d do if you were in their circumstance. I also know how quickly stories get spun to generate media ratings, so I don’t think any of us can say for sure what actually happened. And we shouldn’t judge.

However, I honestly do feel that by instantly equating a diagnosis of Down Syndrome with a need to abort a pregnancy is a terrible thing. There are countless babies, children and adults living full and productive lives with Down Syndrome. Of course, we wouldn’t wish a disease on anyone, especially our own children. I can’t say that it’s right to abort a baby just because he/she has a birth defect with a clear conscience. Statistics show that it has become common practice to abort Downs babies based on prenatal testing.

The decision to keep a pregnancy in the case of Down syndrome is a personal one.When it was offered to me, I declined it because I knew that no matter what, my baby was with me for the long haul. I told my midwife that the results wouldn’t matter because I was having my baby anyway. Had he been born with Down syndrome, I wouldn’t have regretted having him. I know kids and adults, beautiful human beings, who are living with Down syndrome and have very full, engaged lives. Strollerderby’s Julie Miner summed up what I was thinking when she wrote: “If Stephen Hawking’s mother lived in Fairfax County, Virginia, in 2012 and had a bunch of prenatal testing – perhaps there would have been no Stephen Hawking. People’s abilities are so subjective but the contributions they make to humanity, their community, their family? Limitless. As if ANY prenatal test could possibly measure that.” Well said.

While Hawking’s health issues were not a result of a birth defect, who is really to say what someone can accomplish despite differing health circumstances? Actor Chris Burke, who played Corky on the series Life Goes On is perhaps the most well known face of Down Syndrome; yet for every Chris Burke, there are countless others with Downs who also lead very engaging lives, hold a job and get married.

There are many myths regarding the disease that perpetuate the dilemma, like people with downs have a short life expectancy, are unemployable, will never marry, etc… These myths, and more are all disputed by the National Down Syndrome Society.

I don’t begrudge the couple receiving the money to help care for their daughter; I just wish every family that had a special needs child could receive the same. Or better yet design a healthcare system in which every child (including special needs children) is entitled to every therapy and service he/she needs. Of course, that won’t happen any time soon, and there are countless families struggling just to hold on to their jobs needed to support their families and care for their special child at the same time.

What do you think? Should this couple have received the money? Should babies with Down Syndrome be aborted as a common practice? Are we playing judge, jury and executioner by deciding who has the right to live or not?


Good Gravey, I’ve Gotta 10 YEAR OLD!!

I’m a firm believer in the philosophy that there’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with FREAKING OUT every time you’re reminded that you’re children are growing up.  Especially during birthdays.

Well, TODAY our oldest turns TEN!  That’s a big deal.  I’m having to TOTALLY re-write the parenting manual now.  No longer is my purpose solely to “keep him inbounds” – by teaching him to obey Mom & Dad so that when he grows up he’ll know how to obey God.

But, added to that, is the daily battle to instill (for lack of a better word) “manly traits”.  Characteristics like: bravery, courage, trustworthyness, truthfulness, faithfulness, forgiveness, leadership, discipline & hard work… all those kinds of things are not just ideas we talk about now, but they’re muscles to be developed now.  It’s just crazy.

Some know our story, but most of “you” don’t.  Prior to having four little cherubs, we were told by doctors that we probably wouldn’t be able to have kids of our own.  We’d tried for two years, had miscarriages, took medicines, “practiced”, all to no avail.   24 LONG months went by of constant disappointment.

One day, COMPLETELY out of the blue, my lovely wife appears at the place that I was working, which was weird because she NEVER did that.  I had a new job & didn’t want to be a bad employee having my wife hanging around, so she NEVER stopped by.  But, one day she did.  I came out to meet her at the car & she stepped out with a gift bag in hand and a smile.  She just handed me the bag to open, which I did.  I looked inside & pulled out the smallest newborn outfit I’d ever seen.

I smiled & looked back into her teary & excited eyes, and said, “Are you serious?”  She nodded & we hugged & cried.  We walked into the office & told EVERYONE and let them know that I was going to have to take the rest of the day off because I had some news to share.

We first went to my Mom’s work, which wasn’t far away & pulled the same surprise on her that my wife had pulled on me, which received the same reaction.  We went down the list of family members & the few friends that we had at the time.  We were ecstatic.

It wasn’t more than a year-and-a-half later that we had number two.  Fifteen months later came number three.  And ANOTHER 18 months and there were four.  Each time was amazing and brings tears to my eyes even today.  God has been too good to us.

We’re over halfway done with our responsibilities as parents with Austin & it’s terrifying.  Terrifying to think we’re almost done.  Terrifying to remember all the mistakes & hurt & disappointment I’ve given with him.  But, it’s AMAZING to catch short glimpses of the young man that it seems that he’s becoming.

Granted, he’s NOT perfect.  But there are days when he’ll attentively care for his brothers & take care of his Mom – WITHOUT being asked.  There are days when he works so hard at school & with SUCH a great “hard-worker attitude”.  There are times that he’s SO compassionate.  There are a lot of times that he’s really funny.  He’s just a good kid.  I’m so proud of him.  I’m so excited for him & for what God has in store for him in the years to come.

I’m so thankful for his salvation & I pray that by God’s Grace, Austin will continue to give his WHOLE LIFE to The One who deserves it & experience what it means to TRULEY live.

Happy Birthday, my son – with whom I am WELL pleased.  Daddy loves you VERY much.


A Very Missionary Christmas.

We’re all familiar with Linus’ monologue on the true meaning of Christmas – which was the ONLY thing that he was able to drop his blanky over!


But, at least I’d never been aware of the huge missional context of these verses until it was revealed to me in a Perspectives class.

“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people.” (Luke 2:10 ESV)

The phrase “… for all the people” never really struck a chord with me – from the beginning, this news was for a specific audience – “all the people”!  The original intent for the gospel from the outset was for missions.  And, this isn’t some job that’s been handed down from a hard ruler or master – it’s “good news of a great joy”!

Which makes Romans 10 all the greater reason to go!

“But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed?  And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?  And how are they to hear without someone preaching?  And how are they to preach unless they are sent?  As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!'”  (Romans 10:14-15 ESV)


What Do Four Little Boys Think About Moving To Africa?

Right now, they’re excited!  In fact, our five-year-old tells his Sunday School teacher almost every week, “Tomowoh I go to Chad.”  But it hasn’t always been like that.

When we first started down this path about three years ago, we were taking a class on missions called, “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement” (if you ever have the opportunity to take it, we can’t recommend it HIGHLY enough!)  We’d lined up childcare with friends & family, & during one of these nights at a friends’ house our boys were shown the movie “The End of the Spear“.   If you’ve never seen it, it’s about some missionaries that are killed by the people they went to evangelize.

Our oldest (maybe six at the time) became convinced that every missionary gets killed & he thought it was a bad idea for us to be a part of that.  For one homeschool assignment, he was asked to write about why he didn’t want to be a missionary, to which he wrote, “I don’t want to be a missionary because it’s hard & you will die.”

We were smart enough to know that bringing our kids into some crazy missionary life would be hard enough, we didn’t want to have to drag them along with us!  So, we set about praying for God to soften our boys’ hearts & to do the work necessary for them to be ready to go some day.  We also started reading missionary biographies to them at bedtime of missionaries that weren’t killed off in the beginning and had more “happy parts”.

As their understanding of missions grew along with their understanding of who God is – that He’s in control of EVERYTHING and He loves us & He can be trusted, their hearts did begin to soften to the idea.  Our oldest especially moved from, “I don’t want to be a missionary because it’s hard & you die” to more of a “Well, I guess if God wants us to go we should, but I don’t want to!” to “God is good & He can be trusted, so if He wants us to go I can trust Him.”  This change happened over time, it wasn’t overnight.  But we’re so grateful that it did happen.  God is so cool.

Now, each of our boys are really excited for the day to come when we’ll be living in Chad. They honestly can’t wait.  Our oldest is aware that it’s going to be TERRIBLY difficult to actually say, “Good-bye” to grandmas & grandpas, aunts & uncles, their cousins and all their close friends.  And we talk about that day a lot.  It’s a day that none of us are looking forward to, but we know that even though it will be REALLY hard, we know that we’ll be leaving for an incredible adventure that God has called us to & we can’t wait for that part to start.

One of THOSE Rants: What Kind of Spouse Are You Raising?

I’ve heard enough people say of their kids, “I feel sorry for their husband/wife”.  And, honestly, I’ve got a real problem with that.

1. Why would you do that to some poor guy/gal?  Marriage, as an institution, is hard enough on it’s own, but to throw in some serious personality flaws “just because” is pure evil!  If we, as parents, see something hideous in our cherubs, it is our God-given responsibility to CORRECT that BEFORE they get married so that they’ll STAY MARRIED!

“… he who loves him (his son) disciplines him early.”     – Proverbs 13:24

2. What do you think your job as a parent is?  Are you just hoping to survive & keep them out of jail long enough to get them out of the house?  I seriously think that’s what most parents feel is their sole responsibility.  What if your job was a bit more involved than that?  What if you were charged to actually train your child & teach them how to treat people with respect & how to consider other people as more important than themselves?  Well, you are.

“Train up a child in the way he should go…” Proverbs 22:6

3.  How smart do you think your kid is?  The answer:  NOT VERY.  At least, that’s what your answer SHOULD be.  Too many of us think too highly of our child’s intellect & we assume they’ll either figure it out or that they already have it figured out.  They do not have the answers!  Actually, they don’t know ANYTHING that’s why they’re THE CHILD and we are THE ADULTS!  It is not only our job to train them but to remove their stupidity from them like a surgeon removes a cancerous tumor.

“Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but… discipline drives it far from him.”  Proverbs 22:15

So, do your future in-laws a favor & teach your son how to act like a husband.  Train your daughter how to act like a wife.  Teach them how to lay down their “rights” & consider someone else as more important than themselves.  I know this is easier to write than to actually accomplish – but if we keep doing what we’re doing, we’ll get what we don’t want.


Skools en Seshen.

The “Wiebe Academy” is getting underway this week & I’m teaching Bible & English this year – I’ve always helped out wherever I can in the past, but this year the “principal” & I have decided to divy up the sections.

In my prep for Bible, I was looking through Desiring God‘s site (I’m sure this comes as a shock) & came across this awesome article the Piper wrote that would be helpful to anyone who has kids – whether you’re sending them off to school this week or not.


Teaching Doctrine to a Six-Year-Old

March 13, 2002 | by John Piper | Topic: Children

I’ve just finished writing a short book on justification. Lord willing, it will be published later this year by Crossway under the title Counted Righteous in Christ . In one section of it I ask, “Why would a pressured pastor with a family to care for . . . devote so much time and energy to the controversy over the imputation of Christ’s righteousness? Well, it is precisely because I have a family to care for, and so do hundreds of my people.” Here is part of the answer I wrote in Chapter One of the new book:

Yes, I have a family to care for. Four sons are grown and out of the house. But they are not out of our lives. In person and on the phone every week there are major personal, relational, vocational, theological issues to deal with. In every case the root issue comes back to: What are the great truths revealed in Scripture that can give stability and guidance here? Listening and affection are crucial. But if they lack Biblical substance, my counsel is hollow. Touchy-feely affirmation won’t cut it. Too much is at stake. These young men want rock under their feet.

My daughter, Talitha, is six years old. Recently she and my wife and I were reading through Romans together. This was her choice after we finished Acts. She is just learning to read, and I was putting my finger on each word. She stopped me in mid-sentence at the beginning of chapter five and asked, “What does ‘justified’ mean?” What do you say to a six-year-old? Do you say, There are more important things to think about, so just trust Jesus and be a good girl? Or do you say that it is very complex and even adults are not able to understand it fully, so you can wait and deal with it when you are older? Or do we say that it simply means that Jesus died in our place so that all our sins might be forgiven?

Or do we tell a story (which is what I did), made up on the spot, about two accused criminals, one guilty and one not guilty (one did the bad thing, and one did not do it)? The one who did not do the bad thing is shown, by all those who saw the crime, to be innocent. So the judge “justifies” him, that is, he tells him he is a law-abiding person and did not do the crime and can go free. But the other accused criminal, who really did the bad thing, is shown to be guilty, because all the people who saw the crime saw him do it. But then, guess what! The judge “justifies” him too and says, “I regard you as a law-abiding citizen with full rights in our country (not just a forgiven criminal who may not be trusted or fully free in the country).” At this point Talitha looks at me puzzled.

She does not know how to put her finger on the problem but senses that something is wrong here. So I say, That’s a problem isn’t it? How can a person who really did break the law and do the bad thing, be told by the judge that he is a law-keeper, a righteous person, with full rights to the freedoms of the country, and doesn’t have to go to jail or be punished? She shakes her head. Then I go back to Romans 4:5 and show her that God “justifies the ungodly.” Her brow is furrowed. I show her that she has sinned and I have sinned and we are all like this second criminal. And when God “justifies” us he knows we are sinners and “ungodly” and “law-breakers.” And I ask her. “What did God do so that it’s right for him say to us sinners: you are not guilty; you are law-keepers in my eyes; you are righteous; and you are free to enjoy all that this country has to offer?”

She knows it has something to do with Jesus and his coming and dying in our place. That much she has learned. But what more do I tell her now? The answer to this question will depend on whether mom and dad have faithfully taught about the imputation of Christ’s righteousness. Will they tell her that Jesus was the perfect law-keeper and never sinned, but did everything the judge and his country expected of him? And will they tell her that when he lived and died, he not only took her place as a punishment-bearer but also stood in her place as a law-keeper? Will they say that he was punished for her and he obeyed the law for her? And if she will trust him, the Judge, God, will let Jesus’ punishment and Jesus’ righteousness count for hers. So when God “justifies” her – says that she is a forgiven and righteous (even though she was not punished and did not keep the law) – he does it because of Jesus. Jesus is her righteousness, and Jesus is her punishment. Trusting Jesus makes Jesus so much her Lord and Savior that he is her perfect goodness and her perfect punishment.

There are thousands of Christian families in the world who never have conversations like this. Not at six or sixteen. I don’t think we have to look far then for the weakness of the church and the fun-oriented superficiality of many youth ministries and the stunning fall-out rate after high school. But how shall parents teach their children if the message they get week in and week out from the pulpit is that doctrine is unimportant? So, yes, I have a family to care for. And therefore I must understand the central doctrines of my faith – understand them so well that they can be translated for all the different ages of my children.




Thank you, Desiring God.  This is EXACTLY what I’ve been looking for – been feeling like a bit of a slacker as a Dad lately & want to ramp up the intentionality of my parenting.

How to Help Your Boys Become Christian Men

July 21, 2011 | by: Josh Etter | Category: Recommendations

Vern Poythress shares about how he and his wife thought about training their boys to become Christian men:

When does a boy become a man in [American culture]? When he gets a driver’s license? When he graduates from high school? When he moves away from his parents? When he can vote? When he gets his first full-time job? When he is 21? When he gets married? When he owns his own home?

No one can say. There is no clear point of transition. There is no one “rite of passage.” One of the unfortunate effects can be that boys are insecure. They don’t know when they are men. . .

What do we do to give proper guidance? I know and you know that there is no magic formula. God must be at work in teaching us and our boys, and he must be the one who causes them to grow (1 Corinthians 3:7). But you and I can plant and water.

Here are six components of the training:

  1. Knowledge of the contents of the Bible.
  2. Memorization of selected verses and passages of the Bible.
  3. Knowledge of the major teachings of the Bible (doctrine).
  4. Personal piety.
  5. Projects of service and mercy. Serving the church; serving the needy.
  6. Wisdom in dealing with various spheres of life.

Read the entire article for his explanation and recommended resources.