Diego

Meet Diego, a boy who likes Legos, loves his pesky little brother and is grateful that his biological mother spared his life.

*Diego Alvarez is all boy. He loves pizza, Nerf guns and his mama’s home cooking. He even has “a little squirt brother who’s always right by me,” he says, “and if he’s not, I’m kinda sad.” He stops with a grin in his voice and then adds, “I’m just going to say kinda.”

“Awww,” his little brother pipes up just as dryly. “That’s cute.”

Diego and his family are speaking up. By sharing his story through the #eyesoflife campaign, he is giving voice to what millions of others believe as well: that all life, from conception to natural death, is sacred, valued and a gift from God.

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Portrait of Diego on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, in St. Louis.

LCMS Communications/Erik M. Lunsford

He also realizes, even at a young age, that he is blessed to be alive. “It was an option to kill me, but she [his biological mother] didn’t choose that option.”

Born to struggling parents, Diego and his siblings were put in foster care. But “God settles the solitary in a home” (Ps. 68:6), placing Diego and his younger brother in the care of Ross and Mireya, their legal guardians. “The boys have been one of the biggest blessings of our lives,” Mireya believes.

Diego, however, hasn’t always seen it that way. Confused by his biological parents’ actions, he used to tell her he wished he wasn’t alive. That’s when Ross and Mireya took their boys to a pro-life march in Missouri, and everything changed.

Seeing the crowd, Diego quickly realized “that I was really lucky to not have been killed. Because that’s why we were marching. We were marching and protesting so that moms don’t kill the babies in their stomachs.” He pauses. “I’m so glad that I didn’t get killed.”

The realization was as moving to his parents as it was to Diego. “This is what we’ve been talking about when we’re tucking them into bed at night,” recalls Ross. “We talk about life as a gift and that we should be thankful their biological mother gave them that gift even if she couldn’t raise them.”

Diego’s recognition has emboldened him to speak up for life among his friends and with his family. “I will speak up for life because my mom didn’t kill me,” he explains. “I want people to have life: handicapped, the disabled, innocent babies.”

“God made you,” he adds simply, exemplifying the trusting faith of a child, “and He wants you to have life.”

The march caused a tremendous change of mindset for Diego, but Ross isn’t surprised by his son’s discovery. “This is who we are as Christians,” he says. “From the time the boys were very young, I tried to explain, even in the simplest terms, that they have an identity in Christ, that they are a special gift of God.”

And there’s no denying Diego now agrees with it. “I believe God does value life because He gave His one and only Son to die for us and take away our sin,” he says with a wisdom suddenly beyond his years. “I have eyes of life because my mom didn’t have the power to raise me, but she still gave me life.”

Then, just like that, he is all at once a little boy again. “Plus,” he says plainly, “I would never have heard about Legos. Legos are so awesome.”

* While this story is true, the name of this person has been changed to protect his privacy. Thank you for understanding.

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