Judice will be promoting life during his visit. His book deals with issues and decisions faced by him and his wife after they learned their child would be born with a severe handicap.
Among those who will be in the audience will be family members of deceased infant London Dre Carmello. The book about Eli greatly influenced London’s young mother, Camryn Hayes, when she was told the baby she was carrying could not live past the pregnancy. Camryn decided to continue the pregnancy, choosing “faith” over “fear.”
She wrote a letter about the experience. The editors of the Church Point News felt her words were so powerful, the letter should be printed just as she wrote it.
Valentine’s Day will never be the same...
One phone call informing me of “questionable” test results was the beginning of the unimaginable for me, and without knowing why, I was referred to a high-risk specialist. Many of my friends and family tried to reassure me; after all, most positive results eventually came back as “false positives,” right? As much as I wanted to believe it, deep down I knew something was wrong. I just had “that” feeling. My mom always tells me “that’s the Holy Spirit.”
Valentine’s Day was the next available appointment with the new doctor. During the appointment, I received an ultrasound, and when it was over, the doctor looked up at me and said, “I will not beat around the bush. I will tell you just what I see, and what’s going to happen. Unfortunately, I have some terrible news for you. Your baby has Anencephaly (a disorder that prevents the forebrain from developing) and is not going to live.”
Those words will haunt me for the rest of my life. My entire body went numb, and all I could do was cry and ask, “What do I do?” At 18 years old, I never could have dreamed of being faced with a decision like this; I was so afraid. The doctor answered my question with a simple solution: have an abortion. He said it would be better than going through the emotional trauma of carrying a baby that would not live and so that I would not have to see my baby in that way. He even referred me to a “great” doctor out of state who would abort my baby for me. I was told to think about it and have an answer by my next appointment.
The following day, my boyfriend and I met with a priest whom I have known for many years. He confirmed what I have always believed, that under no circumstance should I ever have an abortion. He also told us that this was a test from God, that He gave us something so beautiful and that He would take it away whenever He was ready. Before I left, the priest told us these words, which carried me through the next 5 months of my pregnancy: “don’t ever forget, God always makes miracles.”
About two days later, one of my teachers loaned me the book “Waiting for Eli,” and like so many who have read it before, I couldn’t put it down. Eli’s story gave me hope and belief that a miracle could happen to my angel, and from that point on I decided to choose “faith” over “fear.” My family and friends began gathering every Thursday evening at Charlene Richard’s grave to pray the Rosary.
I met with Fr. Manny twice, who prayed over me and my baby within, and I began blessing my stomach with the oil of St. Joseph and holy water blessed by Fr. Seelos every day. I prayed to these saints daily for their intercession to heal my baby.
Most of all, I prayed to St. Therese, who continuously showered me with her gifts and signs that my prayers were being heard. The most significant sign she sent me was when I completed a novena to her asking her to help me feel my baby move, and before going to bed that night, I felt him move for the very first time. From that moment on, I was able to feel him move, and to this day, I would sacrifice all the sleepless nights, aches and pains just to feel him move all day long and know that he was always safe with me.
The prayers and support from our family and friends followed us to the hospital when it was time for London to arrive. As I was giving birth, I could hear rosaries being said outside of our door by those who had gathered in the hall to pray. He was baptized and we were able to hold him, take pictures with him and most importantly, kiss him goodbye.
What began as a horrifying journey on February 14, 2011, came to a peaceful end on July 10, 2011. London Dre Carmello became an angel in heaven that day, and though he took my entire heart, I know that my love went with him.
London’s story does not end here. His life continues through all who have come to a new or better understanding of our loving God and His plans for us. It is my hope that others will recognize this beautiful miracle and make the choice to always give life. “Not my will, but God’s be done.”