Facing Loss

Elegy For Everything

I was a twenty-five-year-old doctoral candidate at Harvard when my second child, whom I had already named Adam, was prenatally diagnosed with Down’s syndrome. My doctors and advisors strongly urged a very late-term therapeutic abortion. I had a few hours to make a decision that shook me to my bones: Would I bear and raise a mentally retarded child, or abort the baby I’d already come to love? …

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