Thursday, April 27, 2006
Professional Mothers: Renee
Today, I'd like you to meet one of Linda Hirschmann's most dangerous "threats to civilization", my friend Renee. She is a real "team drop-out", leaving a ten-year teaching career to become a wife and mother. Instead, she's just slouching around raising three lovely daughters,
administering & teaching in a metropolitan educational cooperative,
spending her vacations working in Mexican orphanages,
training young lobbyists and reproductive responsibility advocates,
helping to run a national-level debate tournament for 200+ high school students,
directing a summer stock theater company for homeschoolers,
while keeping a gracious house and entertaining weekly.
But perish the thought that Renee is just a collection of jobs and accomplishments! She will be the one in the group to whom everyone will tell their troubles. Her determined cheerfulness has bouyed many a sinking heart. Her faith and courage has been an inspiration to those who know her personally, for one of her daughters has hydro-encephalitis.
When Renee was pregnant, her doctors assured her that this child would probably only live a few hours, if "it" could survive to birth at all. They showed her the ultrasounds revealing a sac protruding from the base of the baby's skull, where they speculated the baby's brain tissue would be - if there were any at all. They told her that death would be a mercy for this child, who should be a vegetable if "it" lived. They told her to abort.
But Renee and her husband refused to be the instrument of their own child's death, whatever the cost. They reasoned that as God had given, it was His prerogative to determine when and how their baby would be taken back to Him.
When Hope was born, God's miraculous Providence became evident. The sac at the base of her skull had filled with the extra brain fluid, so that her brain had developed normally inside her skull. Stunned doctors were able to drain the fluid and install a permanent shunt to protect Hope's brain from future damamge. They remained pessimistic about Hope's development. "She'll never sit up. She'll never walk. She'll never talk. She'll never read," they said. Renee never gave up.
Today, Hope is twelve. Not only does she sit up and walk, she dances the Nutcracker with a local ballet company. Not only does she talk, she just smoked the competition at this weekend's NCFCA National Open tournament, taking first place overall in her age category (Jr. Sweepstakes), and qualifying to the National Finals in three events. Not only does she read, she writes movingly, and she makes Shakespeare come to life in Renee's summer stock theater productions - which benefit the local crisis pregnancy center.
Not bad for a vegetable. Next time, Renee's interview.