Early this week, Alumnus Fr. Tom Vander Woude (’88) sent a plea through an email to Christendom alumni and his parish’s Facebook page seeking parents willing to adopt a baby with Down syndrome that was slated for abortion. Thanks to Fr. Vander Woude’s efforts the baby may yet live.
Fr. Vander Woude, pastor at Holy Trinity Church in Gainesville, Va., was informed of a couple from another state who had contacted an adoption agency looking for a family to adopt their Down Syndrome unborn baby. The couple said that if a family has not been found by the end of the day, they would abort the baby.
“If you are interested in adopting this baby, please contact Fr. VW IMMEDIATELY,” read the email message from Fr. Vander Woude to his fellow alumni.
According to LifeSiteNews.com, Fr. Vander Woude received over 900 emails and his parish phone rang continuously with families willing to adopt the baby.
“I spoke with the adoption agency last night,” Fr. Vander Woude said in an email update sent to alumni. “They have three families that they will submit to the birth parents. I asked if they wanted more. The woman said the three they have is good for now. So, I will just be in contact with them this week.”
“Thank you for your generosity for this little baby,” he said. “It is beautiful to see how many couples have contacted me about him – and I haven’t done a lot of advertising!”
Fr. Vander Woude’s youngest brother, Joseph, was born with Down syndrome, so this current situation with the young couple wishing to abort their baby is very close to his heart. In fact, in 2008, Fr. Vander Woude’s father, Thomas S. Vander Woude, gave his life trying to save his youngest son from drowning. His efforts were not in vain, although they did cost him his life. Joseph Vander Woude is alive today in thanks to the heroic efforts of his father. Now, maybe another Down syndrome child will live thanks to the efforts of Fr. Vander Woude.