Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Evangeline (Part Six)

Evangeline had just turned 16 when Pastor and Mrs. Goodman discovered they were going to have a baby. The couple was in their mid-forties by then, so I believe it was something of a shock, to say the least.

By this time, Evangeline was getting requests from churches as far away as Texas to come and sing. Everywhere she went, her incredible voice continued to fill hearts with joy and bring people to the Lord.

Once she heard the happy news that her parents were expecting a baby, Evangeline decided to stay close to home. She doted, worried, and fussed over her mother. She began to cook the meals herself and do all of the housework. Being 45 years old, Evangeline knew her mother needed to be especially cautious.

Pastor and Mrs. Goodman, and Evangeline, went to the doctor’s office to see the baby on the sonogram for the first time. Everything appeared normal, but there were lots of blood tests that needed to be done due to Mrs. Goodman’s “advanced” age.

One week later, they were back at the doctor’s office to find out about the tests. As soon as Evangeline saw Dr. Pratt’s face, she knew something was wrong.

“I’m very sorry to have to tell you that…. your baby has Down Syndrome” he said quietly. Then, he went on. “Down syndrome is a chromosomal disorder caused by an additional third chromosome 21,” he paused to take a breath. “Researchers have established that the likelihood that a reproductive cell will contain an extra copy of chromosome 21 increases dramatically as a woman ages. Therefore, an older mother is more likely than a younger mother to have a baby with Down syndrome.”

Pastor and Mrs. Goodman sat motionless and for the first time in her entire life, Evangeline’s eyes filled up and spilled over with tears.

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