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Andrew Michael Hart
On May 30th, 2007, we were asked to share in the passion of Christ.
It was on this day, we were given the disturbing and unthinkable news. Our little unborn child of 20 weeks had just been diagnosed with a chromosomal anomaly, the likelihood of which would render this little gift either mentally and physically disabled or having a brief lifespan – which could play out in a variety of scenarios. The news was devastating, and all we could feel in those moments were deep pain and sadness. Our hearts and minds were seeking answers as to why God was allowing this to happen.
We immediately turned to prayer for both comfort and a miracle. We didn’t know how God’s plan would play out; all we knew was we had to trust in Him and His Divine Will. This was very difficult, as it took every ounce of energy, at times, to carry out the normal duties of parenting our other two sons Luke (5), and William (3). Our thoughts were endlessly consumed trying to play out the many possible outcomes for this new child.
The time leading up to the final diagnosis was work in progress – namely, our acceptance of why this was permitted to happen; why God hand picked us to share in His bitter passion. All the prayers which were offered by family and friends (and those we did not know), brought much comfort and grace. These prayers allowed us to embrace His cross in sorrow, yet rejoice in the thought of finally meeting this little person.
This emotional rollercoaster continued with subsequent doctor visits until our biggest fear was confirmed. At 38 weeks, the final diagnosis
was Trisomy 13, a lethal chromosome disorder with a very high mortality rate. Our sweet baby would most likely not be with us for longer than a few minutes after birth.
Andrew Michael Hart was born on October, 3rd 2008. He weighed 6lbs, 4oz and was remarkably striking for a Trisomy 13 baby. He hung on for just a few minutes – long enough to be baptized; hear our voices; feel our touches; and, of course, experience “true” unconditional love which only a parent (and God) can give.
We were asked to accept the fact that Andrew’s mission here on earth would be brief. We were asked to give back to the creator, very quickly, the child He created for us. Suffering can be viewed as a “gift” or a “curse” – we choose “gift.” We consider ourselves privileged to have been hand picked by Christ, to have experienced a bit of the passion He experienced for us as hung on the cross.
As the Blessed Mother said “yes” to the angel Gabriel, we too said “yes” to God and a “hello” to Andrew.
Our job as parents is to get our kids to heaven. We’re happy to say, “We’ve got one in heaven.” As we approach the Christmas season, we reflect on the birth of Christ as our Savior. We also reflect on that birth day of our son – St. Andrew. St. Andrew, pray for us!
With Love and Thanksgiving to Alexandra’s House,
The Harts (Susan, Johnny, Luke and William)