And through faith, Teddy still speaks…
“Hi, we’re Tim and Sara Whiteway and we’re from Sydney, Australia.
I was 13 weeks pregnant when we discovered that our baby had Trisomy 18, which is a life-limiting condition. On the day of our diagnosis, we were counseled by a number of geneticists and obstetric doctors who all recommended that we terminate the pregnancy. What followed was a period where we were in a lot of grief, unsure how to react to this news over the next 24 hours hours. However, after another day, we had clarity over the decision that we both wanted to make—that we would continue the pregnancy. We knew it wasn’t our role to decide whether our son would live or die. Our role as his parents was to support our son and love him as much as we could. All we wanted to do was ensure that he felt the love of his parents, and that we would be his guardians both in and out of the womb.
In the next phase of our journey, we began looking for information, and Sara really led the charge. She did a lot of research, and was drawn to one of her more native platforms called Instagram haha. She was soon able to connect with other families who had walked a similar road, and finally came to discover Abel Speaks. At the most challenging times in our journey, we found it incredibly powerful, reassuring, and comforting to know other parents who had been where we found ourselves. It was so nice to know that others had been there before us, and chosen to give their children a name and an identity. We named our son Theodore and started creating things to establish that identity around him, which allowed people to really relate to who Teddy was to us. He was a part of our family and our friend group. And it all started with us seeing the way different Abel Speaks families had done that with their babies.
In times where we couldn’t even think straight, our mentor couple consistently provided guidance and encouraged us with other meaningful considerations along the way to help make memories with Teddy — things we would’ve been left wishing we would have thought more about throughout our pregnancy. In addition to those practical personal matters, it was so helpful to have insight into what we should consider asking our doctors and our hospital. We were able to go into those medical meetings fully prepared, knowing that we may be told one thing but that we had the ability to ask clarifying questions and ‘push back’ when necessary as we advocated for Teddy’s care. It truly helped us become the best possible guardians and champions for our son at some of the most difficult times possible.
We finally met Teddy Whiteway on April 6, 2020 @ 4:18pm and he lived for 15 precious minutes. Seeing and holding Teddy, we learned so much about love and about loving our children in a whole new way. Those moments were priceless and so reassuring—all of the work we had put in and decisions we had made to get to that with him felt like they had paid off. Though it seems so short, it was a beautiful time with our little boy. Our journey with Teddy brought us closer to God than we ever thought possible, and closer to that vision of being with Teddy again in His presence.
Teddy still speaks, and he has given us a new perspective in our ongoing role to protect our children—to be their guardians and advocates when they can’t do so for themselves. We see that as a part of his ministry that we have been empowered to continue with, and we wouldn’t have been able to do that without the support of Abel Speaks.”
Tim & Sara Whiteway, in memory of Theodore Stephen Whiteway ???