“Mom, you can read this if you won’t cry.”
I spun around from my lunch preparations in the kitchen to find Josiah handing me a paper he wrote for an English assignment.
He had been asked to write a “description” and he chose to write about little Judah.
Here’s what he had to say:
“The baby this description is about is my baby brother, Judah. Judah is more of a toddler. He’s almost two.
Judah had a brain injury when he was five weeks old. He was rushed to the hospital and the doctors didn’t give much hope to his survival. But he lived!! It would probably be easier to call him a toddler if it wasn’t for his brain injury.
Many people have helped our family over the last year (like the therapists) and sometimes people we don’t even know! We got a hyperbaric chamber through a fundraiser that we got more than enough help with and we have vision therapy every two weeks.
Judah has been getting better every day thanks to God and everyone that helped.”
There are moments like these that I get a little glimpse into how my children are processing this journey. For instance, while reading Josiah’s paper I realized for the first time that he was aware of the fact that had Judah not had a brain injury he’d be a toddler by now. I kept my composure and held back tears, but inside my heart was breaking. I don’t like that my children have had to walk through this. It’s one thing to experience pain as an adult. But my goodness! They’re so young; yet they’re walking through a season that requires such strength, faith, perseverance, selflessness, and a lot of patience.
I cannot express fully how proud I am of my children and the strength they’ve shown these past 20 months. I’ve watched them treat Judah with such love and acceptance, as if nothing ever happened. I’ve proudly observed them around the home as they’ve stepped up to the plate and helped Mommy and Daddy out more than ever before. I’ve snuggled when they have needed a little extra one-on-one time and an opportunity to share their hearts. I’ve listened as they’ve asked questions…and I’ve paused at times at a loss for words, admitting I was seeking answers to those very same questions. I’ve cried with them as they’ve revisited the memories and admit they miss the way our lives used to be. And I’ve smiled…as I’ve observed compassion in their hearts grow for other children that have special needs.
There’s a desire burning strong in our hearts to reach out and minister to other “special needs families.” More and more we are realizing that the need is so much greater than merely reaching the child with special needs. And it’s more than encouraging their parents. It’s about reaching the entire family! Where there is a child with special needs, there is most likely some very special siblings as well.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” – Matthew 25:40