There are painful moments in a mother's life tat will never be forgotten. Jamie has had far too many of these moments. The day her daughter Dakota was diagnosed with autism. The day the sonogram said her baby boy had Down Syndrome. And a day, not so long ago, when doctors said the word "cancer".
Anger, fear, sadness, shame are just some of the feelings Jamie experiences in a singe day. But mostly the feeling is loneliness. Loneliness because the autism spectrum is so vast, studies are so recent, and good resources are so limited. Loneliness in the fight to find children help with autism is so common.
But these moms don't have time to process their own pain. They are just trying to get through a Target trip without a screaming fit in the bathroom with people staring. They are on the phone with insurance, doctors, and teachers. They are celebrating even the smallest signs of growth with cheers. They are always figuring out what educations, what therapy, what aide, what would be best for their child. They are desperate to connect and understand the mystery that is their child.
"The ultrasound room was silent as the tech, once very chatty, was now focused on the heart of our baby. She left the room to get the doctor. After two miscarriages, the "Step out to get the doctor" speech, was never followed with good news. While waiting I hear it, the voice of the Lord, clear as day, "There will be problems, but everything will be ok." Blood work later confirmed the doctor's speculation that our son would have Down Syndrome. The sadness and anger I felt was overwhelming, and directed straight toward God. I already had a child with special needs and in no way felt emotionally or physically capable to handle another. The drug free birth I was excited to endure quickly turned into a hysterical plea to just put me under, sedate me, and I;ll deal with him when he gets out. My frame of mind was deep, dark and I didn't see a light at the end of the tunnel.
"There will be problems" After the diagnosis, I spent numerous days and nights crying, especially after a rough day with Dakota. The multitude of prayer and support from family and friends, eventually pulled me from the put and soon, the anger subsided, the sadness decreased, and I was left with the feeling of humble submission, surrendering to my sovereign God and his perfect plan for my family's life.
"Everything will be ok"
The instant I held his squishy feeble body, I felt the connection. This beautiful boy was mine forever.
Thus began the domino effect of the Lord's hand in raising Joey. Even after weeks in the NICU, months on oxygen, countless appointments, multiple hospital stays, surgeries and therapies, His words remain true, "There will be problems, but everything will be ok." He is my soul mate. I am honored to call you mine.
Then the dreaded words came - leukemia. The nightmare was true. Jamie's sweet boy, with Down Syndrome was sick.
For Jamie, HARD has always held hands with HOPE. The hope of a secure daughter alongside a diagnosis of autism. The hope of babies alongside miscarriages. The hope of a son with the news of Down Syndrome. The hope of health alongside the blow of cancer. The hope of dozens of children and now so many dreams dying.
And yet, Jamie rises.
From the ashes she rises. She stands for kids with special needs. She stands beside Jesus - who leads her into every single battle.
It's time to stand beside Jamie as she raises her family, as she deals with ASD, Down Syndrome and Leukemia. As she remembers that everything will be OK in the midst of the hard. We stand with her and hope with her.