Today I heard a baby cry in Target. I was standing in line waiting get a drink at the Starbucks and heard the tiny cry of an infant…possibly new born. I’m not sure the age because the baby was covered by a blanket as it sat in it’s car seat. The cry was unusual. It didn’t sound like a normal baby cry. It sounded somewhat like a cat, and it made me wonder if this baby had “cri du chat“. It’s a genetic condition, and one of things it can cause is the cry of the baby to sound like a cat. The only reason I’m even aware of it is because of all the genetic disorders that were thrown at me when Jac was born.

This was the first picture I saw of my baby girl hooked up to everything. By the time I got to the hospital, I believe they had taken her off oxygen.

It really made me stop and think. I’ve shared Jac’s troubled beginning. When she was born, and for the first few months of life, we weren’t sure what had happened to her. We discovered, around five months old, that she had acquired mirocephaly. So I started to think: I wonder how this mother is feeling?


Now, there may have been absolutely NOTHING wrong with this child at all, but all I could think about is how I felt during that first year, and years, after Jac’s birth. It’s been a learning curve. No one ever expects to have a child with special needs. And the thing about diagnoses…It’s just a diagnosis. It doesn’t mean your child will have all the symptoms of the disorder.

Before we even had a name for Jac’s condition, we knew there was brain damage, and the doctors told us based on the MRI scan that she might not walk, talk, see, or hear. She does ALL those things! And considering her start? She does them pretty well. It hasn’t been without countless hours of work with amazing therapists or incredible doctors who care…and lots and lots of prayer. But she does them.


It’s doesn’t matter the level of disability, people with different needs, special needs…whatever you want to call it…want what we all want. They want love and acceptance and for you to talk to them. They have ideas and visions for their lives just like anyone else and want to express that.

Why do I share this? Because I’ve been so into in the last 11 years that “special needs” just seems so normal to me. I have so many friends who have children who need therapy, have IEPs, and even have medical issues…this is their life. If that mama I saw does have a child with special needs, I hope she finds an amazing tribe of women to support her and friends who will encourage her and lift her up.


Blessings come in many forms, but one of the greatest blessings of my life has been having a child with special needs. I think God made me naturally more sensitive to others, but having a child with special needs has magnified that sensitivity to an exponential level.

Love your friends who have been given this blessing…pray for them and their sweet, little blessings. And if you’re lucky enough to have one of these amazing people to care for and love in your life, know you’re not alone.

Holidays 2008 with Jacqueline.


Life of a special needs family is tough, and it’s not something I’d wish for someone, but I can’t imagine my child being any other way. It doesn’t mean I don’t wish things were more “normal” for her. It just means that looking back, I’ve seen God work more in our lives since her birth than at any other time in my life, and it changed my heart. For that, I am grateful!

Until next time friends…


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