Tag Archives: Ruzan Badalyan

To The Mom Who Left Her Newborn with Down Syndrome

Dear Ruzan,

I’ve read the stories about you and I wonder what it is like to be a headline. I’ve read the comments after the stories and they are very harsh.

I know nothing about you. Neither do the people who are writing the stories or making the comments. I don’t know what the state of your marriage was before your baby was born, your personal struggles, your finances, religious beliefs or your mental health. I know the state I was in after I gave birth, and I would not want anyone judging me on that period of my life. Ever. I do hope, for your own sake, that you have people that care deeply for you around you right now.

I find many facets of your story incredibly intriguing. One is that everyday in the media we hear horrible stories of mothers who have beaten and neglected their children, drowned them, thrown them from bridges or set them on fire. As gross as this is, it is true and many people make the flippant comment – ‘if she only left the baby somewhere safe’.

You’ve done that. Congratulations. I mean that. You left your child in the loving and capable arms of his father who seems to be confident in his ability to love and raise Leo and I pray they will receive all the support they need in their endeavor.

Let me tell you something about myself. I gave birth to my first child who was diagnosed with Down syndrome shortly after birth. It is probably one of the most challenging and devastating periods of time for a mother of a child with a profound disability. It can be hard. Really hard.

I knew from the moment I received the diagnosis, that I would fight harder, love him more, become a better version of myself and put him ahead of anything else on the planet. He is one of the great joys of my life.

I also know the struggles I deal with on a daily basis. They are deep and sometimes dark. My son is hard and has many medical and behavioral complications that I never anticipated. I have looked back a certain periods of our family life and wondered how on earth we came out on the other side. I believe any mother of a child with significant special needs will tell you – the highs are gloriously high and the lows are sometimes so low they are scary. This is my life.

Coincidentally, I am also raising a child whose biological mother was incapable of raising him. She told me herself. I can’t imagine admitting that and yet I can tell you that surrendering him and walking away was the best decision she ever made. I look at him and believe in destiny. He belongs with me and his father and his brothers. I wish good things for her and say a prayer ever time I think of her because she gave me one of the greatest gifts I will ever receive.

I even hope for him (and her) that someday it might be possible for them  to forge some type of healthy and productive relationship. I hope that he can accept her for who she is and all she could and could not do. She is no villain. What if she is, in fact, a hero?

I don’t think you are a horrible person, or even a terrible mother. The grief you must be dealing with is probably immense. You have lost the child you thought you were having and you were unable to embrace your new reality. You have determined that you are not able to raise your little boy. You have received lots of negative publicity and many people are very quick to rake you over the proverbial coals – although most of them have never and will never face your situation.

If you are unsure of your decision and need help – please, reach out and get it from whomever you think can help. Now you know where I am.

If you are certain, I wish that all of you the joy and love that is meant for you in this crazy life.

I wish the same for your gorgeous, baby boy.