Book Review: Waiting for Eli

waiting-eliThis book is a must read. It is the beautiful story of what could be considered a miracle birth, and as such it can help couples who may find the going very difficult when confronted with a very challenging pregnancy. Waiting for Eli chronicles this spiritual journey from fear of one’s personal limitations to self-abandonment to the Divine Mercy of God’s Providence.

Waiting for Eli chronicles Chad Judice’s spiritual progress as he prepares for the birth of his son Eli. In a sense, it incarnates for the reader the gospel of life and the underlying truth that faith is perfected through trial and suffering.

The author takes the universal pro-life message of the sanctity of human life and uses it to illustrate how the life of one child can sanctify the community of believers—witnessing the power of prayer—to be courageous and hopeful through the lives and sacrifices of others who persevere.

The reader might ask: What would I do if I knew my unborn child would be born with this serious birth defect? That’s the question that was facing Chad and Ashley Judice in Lafayette, Louisiana, when their unborn son was diagnosed with spina bifida in an ultrasound taken at sixteen weeks of pregnancy.

The expectant parents were told that, if brought to term, the child could be paralyzed from the waist down. He would probably have little or no control of his bowels and bladder, and he could have any number of learning disabilities.

When the doctor gave the family the diagnosis, she expressed her sincere sympathy, and then proceeded to ask Ashley if she wanted to terminate the pregnancy. An estimated 80 percent of parents who are given this diagnosis choose abortion!

eliAshley and Chad did not want to be in that number; instead, they decided to continue the pregnancy while praying for a miracle. With the help of literally thousands of friends and many other people who learned about their situation, and with the prayer support of Catholics and non-Catholics alike, Eli survived and is thriving today at home and in school in Lafayette, Louisiana, with his brother.

The beauty of this book—which is great—is that we see the power of prayer not only in what could be considered a miracle, but also in the effect of the Judices’ request for prayers upon the lives of thousands who heard and responded to their appeal.

If you find this book inspiring, you can also read the follow-up book entitled Eli’s Reach: On the Value of Human Life and the Power of Prayer, from the same publisher.

To invite the author to speak at conference, mission, or obtain a copy of his books visit www.chadjudice.com or see a documentary film of this story online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Gc0uy4oMnQ

Fr. CJ. McCloskey III is a Research fellow of the Faith and Reason Institute in Washington, DC.  His website is: frmccloskey.com.