Miracles: Possible with Hope and Faith

Olivia - Soldotna, Alaska
Entered on April 1, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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Final Draft: This I Believe Essay

Language Arts 9 Honors

Olivia A. B

Miracles: Possible with Hope and Faith

Fifteen years and seven months ago, a doctor said I had enlarged ventricles and a hole in my heart. He also said my left kidney was greatly deformed. Another doctor said I had an eighty-five percent chance of being born with Down Syndrome, if I even made it to birth. Additional sonograms were taken and they said it would be a miracle if I was born normal, without any problems or deadly complications.

A month or so passed since my parents received the troubling news. Due to my mom’s age; she being older than most childbearing women; there were even added risk factors that come from having a child over the age of forty. In fact, after conceiving me, doctors cautioned her about having another baby because the risks were so numerous.

Every two weeks my mom had to get a sonogram to check for progress or increased abnormalities. My problems seemed to be staying the same, neither getting better nor worse. The results continually came back identical. Most of my mom’s doctors started to become discouraged and were making a few chancy suggestions. First, one of them suggested abortion because he thought that I was going to be born with a weak heart, only one functioning kidney, and Down Syndrome. Another suggested a less morbid solution: amniocentesis, a process that examines and searches the baby for any diseases that can’t be perceived by sonograms. However, since it requires a needle to be submerged deep enough to almost touch the baby, any wrong movement could be fatal. My mom decided not to embark on either of these options; she had faith that everything would turn out all right. Her faith was tested until about two months before I was born, when she received good news of my heart condition improving and signs of Down Syndrome lessening.

On Friday, November 13th, 1992 I made my long awaited appearance without any congenital abnormalities present. My only shortcoming was a less-than-perfect kidney, which was successfully fixed with surgery two years after birth. Because of my normal birth without any illness or disabilities, I am inclined to believe in miracles. This I believe: miracles happen when you really need them, when you least expect them, and if you have faith.

I am very grateful for my mom’s decision not to abort me or risk my life by amniocentesis. Everyday I appreciate being alive because I know that my life is a gift and could’ve easily been taken away from me before I was even born. I am also thankful for my mom’s faith and hope that I would be all right, because if she had not had any, she may have chosen differently. To me, it is a miracle to be alive. Although life is sometimes less than enjoyable, I’m grateful for the opportunity to live. I believe anything can happen if you have faith in it. Miracles happen.