Friday, October 29, 2010

Grace, Truth, and Love

I have debated long and hard about posting something like this. My desire is not to fuel the fire, rile people up, or cause drama. But in an attempt to continue to be real and blog about my journey through life, I feel like I need to discuss the bullying and nasty comments directed towards our family over the past 3 weeks.

I am still receiving nasty comments. Ultimately, I decided to start moderating comments on my blog because I didn't want to give the nasty anonymous comments a voice here. More importantly, I didn't want to allow the ones leaving nasty comments to be attacked or harassed. I don't want to give my supporters and friends the opportunity to take matters into their own hands to try to "fix" the situation. The comments have still been rolling in quite consistently and they have even started coming to my real life friends through emails and comments on their blogs. Unfortunately, these types of comments have become a part of my life now.

Over the past 3 weeks, I have been compared to child rapists and murderers. I have been told that I didn't love my child because I was thinking of his foreskin before his heart. I have been told that I deserved for my child to die because of the choices I made and should be charged with manslaughter. These are awful, awful statements that are the furthest thing from the truth.

They are also just words. Words on a computer screen. Words from anonymous people who hide behind their computer and never take credit for what they say. They are words that are no where close to the truth.

I have thought long and hard about how to handle these words. I have been put in a position that ultimately gives me no power. I can choose to ignore them and hope they go away. I can choose to post the comments and ignore them and beg others to ignore them as well- taking the chance that others will take matters into their own hands and cause more drama. I can choose to address them and add fuel to the fire. I can shut off comments all together. I can shut down my blog completely. Or, I can continue moderating my comments and only post the comments that are written kindly. Any of these options give me absolutely no control over the situation, and that is OK.

If you have come here and written nasty things to me, this is the part I want you to read.

I am sorry.

I am sorry that you have been hurt so badly at some point in your life that you feel the need to spend your time trying to degrade me. I am sorry that you are so angry or hurt that you need to take that anger out on me. I am truly and deeply sorry. My heart hurts for you. I weep for your pain, and I pray for you.

I also want to offer this to you. There can be healing in your life. There can be forgiveness and love. There can be Light.

No matter what you have been through, the decisions you have made, the things that have been done to you that were out of your control, there is Hope and there is Love.

I want to tell you that I truly and honestly love you. I pray for you and I want to tell you what I know to be true. I want to live my life like Jesus did, and Jesus loved people who were broken, outcasted, and wounded. He casted no judgement and truly desired for others to believe in Him. He loved them. He befriended them. He prayed for them.

There is a God who created you. There is a God who sacrificed His Son for you. Nothing that has been done to you, or that you have done can separate you from Him- if only you choose Him. He is calling your name, asking you to choose Him. He loves you. He LOVES YOU!

There is no judgement here. There is no need to apologize. There is no need to even admit to ME that you have done wrong. That is what God is there for. He is the one that knows....He is the one that FORGIVES! He is the One who loves us despite our brokenness and ugliness. What a great and powerful gift He has given us through His son's death on the cross for our sins!

I am going to stop moderating comments. I probably may not even delete any future nasty ones. And I am publicly asking anyone who reads nasty comments about me to simply offer words of love (or to just be silent). I am publicly asking for my readers and friends to NOT take matters into their own hands by fighting back. Please do not judge them, or call them names.  I have nothing to defend, and no regrets. It is that simple. Please don't fuel the fire by arguing or drawing attention to it. Please simply love these people like Jesus loves them and continue to pray for them.

(by the way, it is OK to feel anger about the comments, I will openly admit that I have at times, felt extremely angry and hurt about what has been said- it's what I do with that anger that will make a difference)

We live in a dark, broken, and ugly world full of sin. Bad things are always going to happen. Despite the ugliness, I choose to live my life in The Light. I choose to love like Jesus loves, and offer the message of Hope and Forgiveness that I know to be true. I pray that someday you will be able to accept that love and forgiveness. I hope that someday you can come out of the darkness into the Light and know what it is like to be free from the chains of sin. I pray that you will know the love of a God who sacrificed His Son so you can be with Him forever.

God is offering you Grace, Truth, and Love. Please. Accept it and allow it to transform you.


The Last Girl Standing said...

You, my friend, are an inspiration. You are strong, courageous and brave. You are forgiving and selfless. Loving, poetic and awe-inspiring. And you are all this while heartbroken. Attacked. Mourning. You make me want to be a better person.

Thank you for that.

ashley marie said...


you amaze me and inspire me, jill! when i grow up...i want to be like you! lol...even though we're the same age

seriously. i feel like i keep repeating myself but i am so privileged to know you. and blessed by you. and encouraged to serve Christ in all i do like you do.

gosh! i wish you lived closer!

Arika Bowles said...

Jill, I would never have wished for you, Shane, Joshua, Caleb and Hannah to have experienced the pain of the past year, but I have been so blessed by the honest and gracious spirit you continue to demonstrate through the grace of God. You have reminded me to love and pray for those who persecute us.

unzen said...

Bad comments I really can not turn off as they hurt me so I have put down that will not except any comment with out a name. You do not need this. You are going through so much pain of the lost of a child. Just turn off and do not deal with these stupid people. please you need peace and love at this time,

The Real Life of a Red Head said...

unzen- I do have peace and love at this time. I have a God who has promised to never foresake me and to never leave me. I have a God who has remained constant through all of this. That, my friend, is all I need! :o)

Krystal said...

Jill, I can not even formulate the words that I would like to say to you. Thank you. You are strong and graceful, full of Light and Love and patient beyond anything I could ever imagine to be. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, as well as with the horrible people who want nothing more than to bring you down. xo

Auntie M said...

Wow! What more can one say? Except that I will continue to pray for you & yours as well as asking God to give me even just a bit of your strength, character, love, and forgiveness.

SMHoitsma said...

You have been an inspiration to many but most of all, an inspiration to me. I have been praying for you and your family and I don't intend to stop.

Love and hugs to you all.


Christine the ArizonaIntactivist said...

Wow...I am shocked to hear that there are those that are still trying to hurt you with their words.

You are a very insightful woman to understand that they must be broken, in some way, to be so ugly.

I am sorry you are still receiving comments like you apparently are.

I am just sorry...

BUT I am SO hopeful in your words of God and Christ!!! What a wonderful example of their love you are!!!

Bless you, my dear!!!

RainbowW said...

i'm not so altruistic and loving as jill. i am old, mean, sour, spiteful and hateful, from a lifetime of being bullied and harassed (see the most recent post on my blog for that story). so for those moments when such feelings are called for, i offer this:

remember the Rainbow Warrior's Three Laws:

- what goes around comes around (or, Ka is a wheel)
- karma's a bitch
- there is no third law

trolls will get theirs, in time, and when they do ... we will get to watch, and enjoy.

Michelle said...

hear, hear.

steve, bess & dizzy said...

Wow Jill! I am so proud to be your sister in Christ. Praying that your good witness will be fruitful in redeeming souls to our sweet Lord!

CHD Fighter said...

Spoken like a true Christian and follower of our Lord Jesus Christ ... I myself have been bullied and harrassed online and I did choose to use my anger and lash out and I regret that but I know God knows that dealing with living with CHD which is sometimes a terminal illness, dealing with bullies, and feeling like I'm not truly loved and supported when that is all I wanted to offer is the reason and I have come to terms with what I have done and decided to take the high road ...

You even said that you haven't posted these people's comments for their protection ... wow ... Jill you amaze me ... you truly are a wonderful person ...

I don't think anything you have done for Josh was done to hurt him ... in fact when I this happened my own mother told me there were tons of procedures her and my father choose that did in some form or another change the course of my life, for years I was on aspirin as a child which caused my appendix to rot and I had two bleeding ulcers but they did it because my heart needed to not have blood clots ... they knew the risks and when I started vomitting blood at 6 years old one of their "friends" told them they did that to me and if I should die it would be their fault ... I couldn't imagine how horrible they felt to know they tried to do something to help me that didn't work the way they had intended it to work ...

My mom and dad have told me that they trusted me in the Lord's arms from the moment they found out about CHD, I was loaned and they would do whatever they thought they could to take care of me ... my mom cried for days while I was having emergency appendix surgery, and two bleeding ulcers, "did she make a wrong choice," "could she have prevented it?" "Was this the way I would leave the world after fighting for years to stay in it?" She told me that tore her up inside and the comments from "friends" just made her feel worse and as she still says was totally un-neccesary at the time ... I have siblings who have passed on ... and I know my parents still wonder if they could have saved them ... I know they were loaned and God needed them back ... sometimes I think they protect me so I can be here ... and fulfill my goals in life that God destined for me ...

You are a beautifully amazingly strong woman ... I don't think you deserved anything that has happened to you, you did everything for your son ... I have followed your blogs, twitter since before he was born and you reached out to all of us who have survived, parents who were in your position, and even connected with other parents who had found out their child has CHD while you were going through finding out about your own child ... that speaks volumes to your character and caring heart and no one can take that from you ... yes they are words but as Christians we realize we are responsible not only for our actions, but our thoughts, and how we express them ... some people don't find comfort in the Lord or any God for that matter, and some people have been hurt so bad all they can do is lash out ... I was one of those people for a while ... I have choosen to not be ... I have choosen to literally do what my parents did and give it to God ... I have choosen to keep going ... and trying to become the person the Lord intended me to be ... I am glad you posted this ... whether I know you in person or not ... I feel your heart warming spirit and the beauty you emit ... God Bless you!!

Laanykidsmom said...

You are amazing. I could not be so gracious, even though our Lord requires it of us. You are fighting the good fight, and when you cross the finish line our Savior will be waiting for you with Joshua. Thank you for your testimony.

DianaPrince said...

Jill, everyone is are living the word of God. That is what the world needs..your light to shine so brightly for others, so that you are an example of his everlsting gracious love.

Paula B said...

I am so very proud of you. I am not certain that at your season of life (your young age)that I would have been able to handle this as well as you. And I know you get your strength from our Almighty Father. Your Faith continues to grow.

Anonymous said...

You are so amazing. What a beautiful Christian heart you have. Thank you for sharing so openly, so deeply, so personally, and inspiring me to be a better person.


The McCammons said...

You are such an inspiration, not only as a mother who has suffered a major loss and as a Christian. May God watch you and guide you and your family. (which obviously he already is). I am reading a Christian book called "Unwilling ot Concede" and you basically justwrote everything he said. We have to show those with hate love bc the hate comes from somewhere. God bless.

Hope's Blog said...

You are inspiring and a wonderful mother. I am so proud of how you are handling this situation...I am not as strong or as understanding as you. I am very angry at the comments that were made and mad that anyone would write them...especially when you are obviously such a great mom and person.

Anonymous said...

You are such an inspiration! I also feel that those who sit in judgement or spew such hate really need prayers. Anyone who writes such hate really is miserable in their own life.

You are an amazing person and I feel honored to 'know' you. Take care - I am praying for you.

Beth W. said...

Continuing to pray for you and your family. You are right. Continue to walk in the light of Christ. Don't forget what he said: "In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have OVERCOME the world." John 16:33b
God is in control. You know this. We just have to remind ourselves daily that it is out of our hands, out of their hands, and in the hands of the one who loves us and has our best interests in mind. Blessings sister.

bcate said...

You're amazing- you reflect pure love, grace and forgiveness. I am completely just in awe of your strength. I hope that I can be like you someday!

shelbysgrandma said...

Jill, When I was reading this, this scripture came to mind.

Matthew 7:1-2
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

But I also have a comment, I'm assuming that all the men that are posting rude comments - have not been circumcised, do not shave, cut hair
and the woman-don't shave their legs, armpits, pluck eyebrows, cut or color hair, have breast implants
because all of that God gave us too

Steph said...

You are an amazing disciple of our Lord. I truly believe you were put here on this Earth to send a message to all of us and I hope all the people reading this blog take everything you said to heart and think about it. You are such an inspiration and living your life in the Light of our Lord is a wonderful and beautiful thing. I will continue to pray for you, your family, your angel Joshua, & for those cowardly people who say such ugley and hateful things. Cowards, that is all those people are, but I pray for them too...pray they find something better to focus their time and energy on. Take care!!!

Wayne and Sue Rasmussen said...

Jill, you are doing exactly what a dear sister in Christ advised me to do about 10 years ago in a completely different, but extremely hurtful situation at work. I was accused of things that weren't true and almost fired because of it. The boss chose to listen to a bunch of gossips instead of relying on what he knew of me. Anyway, my dear friend told me to pray God's blessing on these people and just continue to show Christ's love to them, rather than being upset. I stopped crying at work (moved that to my home!) and just began to pray for them. The change took time, but in the long run, every single person who had it out for me ended up leaving the company ... I retired on December 31 last year with a great send off.
As difficult as it is, God will bless as we choose to follow Him and do what He requires of us. Thank you for your continuing determination to follow Jesus. I will continue to pray for you dear sister.

Anonymous said...

Jill if everyone in the world was as understanding and forgiving as you, the world would be such a wonderful place. Thank you so much for such amazing words ~ you are truly someone I aspire to be. sending you all love and hugs xo

Dora said...

This is a beautiful post. What an open, generous heart you have.

Avery Tales said...

Jill, you are simply amazing. What I LOVE is that I haven't read one nasty comment. I have and will continue to pray for those who have lashed out against you. Your undying faith is inspirational to so many. I know His hand is working through you during your time of loss.

Nikki said...

What a wonderful post! If it were me, I KNOW I'd be hateful, and would probably shut myself off from the world if those things were said to/about me. Your strength is incredible.

I find it so sad, and disturbing that there are people out there who are still harassing you. I have to wonder what is going on in their lives, what is MISSING in their lives that makes them prey on a grieving family. The adversary must be hard at work on these people, and that is very heartbreaking.

Sure, we can all say whatever we want online. We are just a name behind the screen. What's cowardly is to not only attack you, but to do it anonymously is truly disturbing.

I wish these people who are intentionally coming to your blog, reading your posts, and commenting on your page are knowingly coming here to hurt you read your words and really take them to heart. How does a healthy, functioning human being feel ok with hurting someone so deep?

How does ANYONE take your pain and grief over the loss of your beautiful child and turn it into something so vile and disgusting? I can't fathom how they feel that his death is their business.

I feel that we are all privileged readers. We are not here to judge, or stake some sort of claim on Joshua's life. We are here because YOU let us in. You are helping people in ways you can't even imagine. You are helping make people aware of CHD and how common it really is. You are helping to save lives. Your cause is so much greater than the "cause" all your mean-hearted readers are trying to push.

Your perseverance is incredible and I absolutely adore you for allowing us to grieve with you, and to pray with you.

TOF MOM said...

I am amazed by your graciousness to those who persecute you. As a CHD mom, I cannot imagine anyone blaming me for what has happened to my daughter. I know that God will never give either of us more than we can handle. Bless your forgiving heart!

Chrissy Funk said...

You are wonderful Jill!


TLC Tugger said...

I think it's great that you are able to take comfort in the thought of Jesus's love.

Since I know God and Jesus are imaginery, I take great comfort in knowing there is no omnipotent entity maliciously causing me to suffer or calously allowing me to suffer. Rather, I am subject to the same natural laws and probabilities as everyone else, and my own strength of character will determine whether I greet whatever befalls me with good humor.

I take comfort in the fact that we are neither victimized by a bully who thinks we deserve sorrow, nor neglected by an overlord who couldn't be bothered to intercede. I am free of the regret one might feel having wasted even a moment of this one precious life doting on a powerless or evil deity.

We can only ride the crests and troughs of the rapids we find ourselves on and steer
ourselves to the best of our ability to make our one great ride the best it can be.

I don't know why we're here, but I know we wouldn't be here if evolution hadn't imbued our ancestors with the strong urge to leave this world a better more inhabitable place than they found it. It just feels good and right to tap into the urge and work for peace and security for future generations.

Anonymous said...

You, my dear are truly amazing and a true follower of God.

You have shown such inspiring composure throughout this entire ordeal. Something you never should've had to go through in the first place.

And let me tell you that your actions, your love, and your words here are speaking louder than any hatred or accusations coming from anywhere else. Good for you for letting God's love and forgiveness and your own, be a stronger voice.

Meli said...

Jill, you are an amazing person. I'm glad I found your blog. Praying for peace for you and your family.

Melinda said...

Wow Jill...I can only hope that someday I may have the heart you have! You are strong, brave, and one of the truest Christians I have ever met (in the blogosphere!). And, here I am, still moderating my comments because I don't want ads for penis enhancement products to show up, while you are showing true love and strength with people who just don't have a clue. You are amazing!

Melissa said...

This is possibly the most beautiful post I've ever read.

CHolloway said...

Jill, i do not know you, just have been reading your post everyday since Joshua was born. I believe you are trully a woman of God! hate that you have to be bothered by other peoples ignorance! Bless you and your sweet family. I will continue to pray for you. Im so sorry for the loss of your sweet baby! Continue to be strong, God is Good and it shows through you. Love and Prayers.

Grace @ Arms Wide Open said...

i am in awe of this post. keep on keepin' on!

lovingmysoldier said...

God Bless You!! You are an amazing woman!! You have more patience and understanding than I do and I am going to try my best to learn from you! You are an inspiration to all!! In awe of you!!!

Keep strong!!

missliany said...

You are nothing short of amazing.

Peach said...

What an amazingly awesome post. Good for you. We continue to pray for your hurt. Also, it seems like you've begun to heal.

Shin Ae said...

Thank you.

Still thinking of you and praying for you.

mrso79_2000 said...

I am so proud of the woman of God that you've become. God is surely using you as you reach out to those who persecute you and as you express your faith to those who read your words.

Anonymous said...

Awesome woman of God. That through your trial you still show what God can do. That HE is bigger than anything we may go through. You are an inspiration. Today I have been having a down kind of day. After reading your post and knowing that I HAVE nothing to be down about. I am rejoicing. I am choosing to be happy. Just like you are choosing to love the people who try and hurt you. Some battles are not ours to fight. Great word.

Kim H

Jennifer said...

I second what everyone below me has said.. you really are something special

Jennifer said...

Errr. above.. wherever my post appears lol :P

eggandcheesesandwich said...

You're incredible.

devilneedle said...

Hi, I'm a new reader to your blog and found you via a FF on Twitter. Let me begin by saying that as a mother myself, my heart goes out to you and your family. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain your soul must feel over the loss of your precious baby boy!

I'm rather confused over the comments that some people have left. If you wouldn't mind clarifying for this newcomer, why would people harass you about circumcising your son? If the baby had a preexisting heart condition diagnosed before birth then what in the world does circumcision have to do with it and why are you being attacked for this choice?

I wish that EVERYONE could learn to listen to others and respect even that which they don't necessarily agree with. The world would be a much more peaceful place if we did. I don't know why people feel compelled to harass you and your family but from what I've already read you seem like such a strong woman that I know you'll rise above them.

Robin said...

I can learn so much from you. Thank you for the beautiful insight. I hope I can apply even an ounce of your Christian living to my own life, and make Jesus proud.

Wendy said...

You are a very strong, wonderful woman and mother. I have a lot of respect for you. Thinking of you and your family.

Amber said...

You are amazing Jill!

Anonymous said...

Many, many years ago my brother died of SIDS. It was before people understood what SIDS was, how it was caused (let's face it they are still working on that one)and why. The night my brother died my mother was handcuffed and walked out to the waiting police car for murdering her child. The neighbors saw,the town heard and within weeks, my father had lost his job and my parents were forced to move.
What the rest of the world didn't know was that the death was ruled medical and my parents were left alone to suffer in a perceived guilt in a place far away from their son - their lives.

Why I am sharing this story is to reiterate that people make comments and pass judgment on what they know nothing about. What they fail to understand is the trauma they leave in their wake. How gracious of you to leave them in their mire and silence the reaction they seek in lashing out!!

I have only One to answer my actions to, and He is totally knowledgeable of all my acts; pure in intent and selfish. Judge not, lest thou be judged. I will leave the judgment of others up to Him and ask that people show me the same respect.

Light and Hope to you Jill!

Douglas' Mom

Anonymous said...

More people need to set what you've done as an example. Bravo!

Jenn said...

You are an amazing woman. I am so sorry for your loss. Please don't let the hateful, terrible actions of others cause you more pain. They are stuck in their own world and reality. You are so brave and Joshua is lucky to have you as his mom.

I just can't imagine what you're going through -- there are no words.

*hugs* and prayers to you and your family :)

rainy said...

Amazing post!


Anonymous said...

Beautifully said<3

Kari said...

I am cheering for you!!!! GO GIRL!!!! You are a woman of God. SO proud of you.

Kari, Chehalis, WA

Van Lewis said...

"devilneedle said... If you wouldn't mind clarifying for this newcomer, why would people harass you about circumcising your son? If the baby had a preexisting heart condition diagnosed before birth then what in the world does circumcision have to do with it...?"

My own view, speaking as a fellow Christian, is that Joshua's doctors failed him and the rest of us by not knowing or not sharing that unnecessarily circumcising sick children is contraindicated medical malpractice. Unnecessarily adding the stresses of unnecessary surgery to already stressed, sick children who are struggling to survive is a medical error, a tragic one in this and every case, and one that the U.S. medical profession needs to correct and that we in the public need to help them correct so that sick children can struggle for their lives without having to endure unnecessary stresses imposed in error by doctors. Sick children are stressed enough already without adults adding more unnecessary stresses. This really isn't complicated or hard to understand. Forgiveness for past mistakes and sins is called for all around, as always. God does. Who are we not to? What is at issue now is the future. What can we learn from the past? Can we learn to see it clearly, even when it contains so much pain? Can we learn to keep unnecessary stresses away from sick children, and sick adults? And maybe even from healthy children and healthy adults? Can we learn to care for each other kindly and gently? Can we learn to respect the bodies God gave us, just as God gave them to us, especially when they are normal? Can we learn such respect from Saint Paul, who wrote in 1 Corinthians 12: 13-28,

"For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--Jews or Greeks, slaves or free--and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, 'Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,' that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, 'Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,' that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the organs in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single organ, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, 'I have no need of you,' nor again the head to the feet, 'I have no need of you.' On the contrary, the parts of the body which seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those parts of the body which we think less honorable we invest with the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior part, that there may be no discord in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it."

Van Lewis said...

Let us learn to treasure every member God has given, every member of our own bodies and of the body of Christ, for

"God arranged the organs in the body, each one of them, as he chose."

Are we going to correct God by changing who and what he gave? By eliminating one member or another - of our bodies or Christ's - as WE choose?

Would trying to correct God be blasphemy? Heresy? Sin?

Is this a cruel post? It isn't intended to be. It is intended to be a gentle and loving post, that shows concern, forgiveness, and compassion for all of us, and for the good future of all members everywhere. Christ loves every member. So should we, as He does. That's what our presents and futures are for. Would we have it any other way?

What are we here for?

I think we are here for each other.

The Real Life of a Red Head said...

Van Lewis-

You are right. We are called to be here for each other.

I apprecaite your (differing) opinion and I apprecaite that you were kind and gentle about it.

Van Lewis said...

Thank you, Jill, for your kind response and for being so open to the world with your life, including the very painful parts. I think you, like the rest of us, God's children all, have much to give and much to receive. That's the way He made us. It must be what He wants. Let's keep giving and receiving.

Anonymous said...

I think that what is so disturbing to people like Van Lewis and many others is that the doctor who circumcised Joshua was not following the guidelines set down by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). In addition, this Catholic hospital is operating in violation of Catholic Catechism teaching on "Respect for bodily integrity" and New Testament Scriptures by allowing non-therapeutic circumcisions on their premises.

By not the following AAP Guidelines, Joshua's doctor put him at increased risk from this unnecessary surgery. No medical association in the world today recommends infant circumcision, and it would be hard for any doctor to argue that this surgery was necessary.

Other parents whose children have suffered from botched circumcisions and serious complications have brought lawsuits and won millions of dollars for medical malpractice. You also have strong grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit, should you ever decide to bring one. A lawsuit won't bring Joshua back, but it might help prevent tragedies from happening to other children and parents in the future.

Here is what the AAP has said, and why what happened was medical malpractice.


“There are no valid medical indications for circumcision in the neonatal period.”

Pediatrics, Vol. 56 No. 4: Pages 610-611, October 1975.
Committee on Fetus and Newborn
Report of the Ad Hoc Task Force on Circumcision

“The Committee on Fetus and Newborn of the American Academy of Pediatrics stated in 1971 that there are no valid medical indications for circumcision in the neonatal period. The present committee has undertaken a review of data to support arguments "pro" and "con" circumcision of the newborn, and finds no basis for changing this statement."

“Prematurity, neonatal illness, any congenital anomaly (especially hypospadias), or bleeding problems are absolute contraindications to neonatal circumcision.”

“There are no medical indications for routine circumcisions, and the procedure cannot be considered an essential component of health care. If an infant is circumcised, the procedure must be delayed until the infant is at least 24 hours old and stable, without bleeding tendency or any other illness.”

“Circumcision is contraindicated in an unstable or sick infant.”

1999 STATEMENT of the AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS Task Force on Circumcision
PEDIATRICS, Volume 103, Number 3, Pages 686-693, March 1, 1999.

“If circumcision is performed in the newborn period, it should only be done on infants who are stable and healthy.”


The Real Life of a Red Head said...

Petrina- while I apprecaite you giving me information, I would also like to tell you that my husband and I have absolutely no desire to file any sort of lawsuit against the doctors.

I sat by Joshua's side for 51 days. I knew his doctors, I knew Joshua. We find no fault in Joshua's death.

The coroner signed off of Joshua's death. He did not feel the need to investigate. That tells me that cardiac arrest due to Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome is in fact the cause of death. I can appreciate that you think otherwise, but it's done.

Please do not come to this site again to try to convince me to file a lawsuit. It's not going to happen.

Van Lewis said...

Dear Jill,

I don't think anyone should try to convince you and Shane to file a lawsuit for medical malpractice, and I don't know anyone who has, against the doctors who violated crystal clear AAP guidelines by circumcising your very sick child. That decision is obviously up to you and Shane. Only you and Shane have the moral and legal right to decide such a very important matter.

While opinions differ and everyone is entitled to our own opinions, facts are different. We are not entitled to our own facts. The question of whether Joshua's circumcision was contraindicated medical malpractice is a matter of fact. Even the AAP policy statement most accepting of circumcising healthy infants and children, the 1989 statement, clearly states that circumcising sick children is contraindicated:

“Circumcision is contraindicated in an unstable or sick infant.”

The doctors who circumcised Joshua erred. That is the irreducible fact that we are all left with. Joshua suffered as a result, at a time when he didn't need any more suffering. I do not blame you or Shane at all. Far from it. You are the parents. It is the doctors who failed Joshua, failed you and Shane, Joshua's brother and sister, his broader families and the rest of us. The US medical profession has not taken responsibility in over 150 years of erroneously medicalized circumcising to see to it that the obvious medical error of subjecting sick babies and other sick children to circumcising gets corrected in US medical practice.

So if the doctors won't or can't correct themselves in over a century and a half, and if parents of dead children won't or can't, understandably, severely traumatized as you are when your new baby or well-loved older child dies - Ryleigh Roman Bryan McWillis' parents in British Columbia came to the same conclusion you and Shane did; I know of NO parents of healthy or sick children who died after circumcision that have sued for medical malpractice - and if as claimed by some it's no one else's business, then who CAN correct this grievous medical error? Who WILL? The babies obviously can't defend themselves from it. Is this then a medical error that can NEVER BE CORRECTED?

I find such a thought totally unacceptable. Children and their proper medical care are too important to leave this common error in US medical practice uncorrected.

So what should be done about it? Where do we go from here? How is this tragic error ever to be corrected? By whom? When?

Please understand when I say again, I have no criticism to make of you or Shane or any other parents in similar stressful circumstances. This is a long-term, ongoing failure of the medical profession and of the broader society, both of which I believe DO have the responsibility to hold medical doctors accountable for their medical errors. We DO have the responsibility to prevent those errors from continuing forever. We ARE our brother's keeper. Passing by on the other side of the road and pretending we have no obligation to them in this and other dangerous situations is not an option for Christians. I think Jesus made that clear to us two millennia ago.

It is the facts about this that hurt so much and so many, but if we are ever to reduce the pain and damage we must stick with the facts, painful as they are, be guided by them and the Holy Spirit, and do our Christian duty to our brothers as the Lord guides us to, painful though it may be sometimes to do so. It took a lot of pain to get us into this situation. I don't think we're going to get out of it painlessly.

God bless you and your family.

Little Miss "E" said...

You truly are amazing!

I found your site through twitter via an Intactivist saying terrible things. I have followed your story since then and I have got to say that I am amazed at your strength. Your strength and faith dealing with the death of sweet Joshua itself is amazing, but to add on this incredible ridicule by strangers is nothing less than astounding!

I have been wavering in my faith and commitment these last few years, and I find you a true inspiration!

Thank you for this post.

areyoukiddingme said...

You are an amazingly forgiving person. I'm sorry for the loss of your son.

Christina said...


WOW what an amazing post!!!! many others have already said you are truely an inspiration and you are.

Anonymous said...

You truly show the love of God in this post. <3

dushamoya said...

Good for you!

I've been following you a little bit - I found you through Team Ewan. I only hope I could respond to attacks as gracefully as you have.

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