That is the question, people. I think about it every day. I brood over it. I pray over it. I am torn. That deep-down, mother hen instinct in me tells me, no, we're not going to do it. I've read the autism statistics and research, I've listened to tapes from doctors, I've re-read, re-researched.
Then I take my kids to the doctor and I feel the pressure, see the raised eyebrows. I fill out registration papers for potentially sending Elijah to Christian school, and there it looms: are your vaccines updated? Check beside all vaccines your child has received. And being that we started Elijah off getting his vaccinations, I wonder, should we finish them out? Grace is about a year behind, and Emma hasn't had any at all.
The reason I am torn is this: we are in a battle in this country, whether you realize it or not, for our parental rights. Our right to decide what we feel is best in the raising of our children, regarding their health, their education, and their spirituality. My brother is an advocate and spokesman of sorts for parentalrights.org. If you're not familiar with this situation, pay them a visit and read up. It's frightening.
How long will we be able to hold on to this basic, natural right of deciding what is best for our children without governmental intrusion and mandation? (if that's a word). The homeschooling movement is not well thought-of by our government, and they will seek any reason to tear it down. And it's going to get worse. My point is, when they come knocking on my door looking for a reason to take my kids away from me, do I want to give them a good one? And they could rightly use my choice not to pump my kids full of foreign substances as a reason to say I am not taking care of them (by their standards).
So, would it be better to go ahead with something I do not believe in, for the better sake of my children in the long run? Wouldn't vaccinated children safe at home be better than un-vaccinated children in foster care? Which they would then be appropriately updated on, most likely.
I'll give you a real-life scenario: a close friend of mine is the oldest of 10 siblings. They are a conservative, Christian, home-schooling family. The kind that makes liberals cringe. When my friend was still living at home (she is now married with children of her own), her 14 month old brother fell in a pond and drowned. He was gone by the time they pulled him out, completely lifeless. Someone immediately called 911. This family is a praying family and they gathered around the baby and began to pray. Within minutes, he started breathing again and vomiting water. By the time the ambulance arrived, about 45 minutes later, he was up playing normally as if nothing had happened. The paramedics took his vitals, and all was normal. The Dad did not want them to take him into the ER, because he felt like God had healed the child, while the ambulance had failed them. If they had waited on the ambulance to assist them, they would have been planning a funeral. The ambulance service called the authorities and the family was forced to take the child to the ER. While at the ER, the parents and older siblings were questioned extensively by child services. For three days their home was searched and they were questioned with threats of removing all 8 children from the home. They were terrified. Thankfully, at the end of this long ordeal, it was decided in their favor and they were allowed to keep their family together.
Up to this point, none of the children had been vaccinated, but after going through what they did, they decided to start . Having already been put under the magnifying glass, they did not want to give any reason for speculation, should anything ever come up.
I'm still not decided, I'm still torn, still praying. Our parenting methods are counter-culture, to say the least. We follow a more natural, old-fashioned approach that does not follow the societal norm of just following along, without question, with what is recommended by the medical world. I would like to hear the opinion of other like-minded Moms on this issue. Please share.