This Jubilee-girl of ours is full of surprises!! And last night she gave me the greatest surprise of all!
After Jubilee came home we met with a geneticist from Denver Children’s (we were senior pastoring in Colorado at the time). At the initial meeting the geneticist actually wondered if she had Down syndrome (she doesn’t), then he wondered if it was possibly something else (although I can’t remember what the name of that was called).
Later after doing the testing he was surprised to find that she actually has an extremely, extremely, extremely rare chromosomal anomaly – so rare that she’s actually only one in 37 million in the world!! He called me at home to talk with me about what all of it meant and to tell me that it was so rare that there actually is no name for it. This kindhearted man shared that little is known about the outcome of individuals with this disorder but that there were some things to be concerned about (which he specifically shared). Then he spoke something so profound I will never forget how gently he said it, “There is little known about what the future holds for individuals with this rare genetic disorder (pause) which means Jubilee will write her own story.”
My Birthday Card She Made A Few Weeks Ago Photo Cred: Elizabeth haha.
No doubt, over the last almost eight years home, by God’s overwhelming grace, Jubilee has been writing her own most beautiful story. Of course her story has been complicated by painful abuse and trauma before coming home. Some abuse was the result of caregivers not knowing that she was hear-impaired but rather assuming that she was just being ornery, obstinate and disobedient!! Oh the painful truth – our sweet girl just couldn’t even hear them! Such an injustice that the orphan suffers! Though we will never know for sure, there is also reason to believe that she has FAS.
Truly Jubilee’s healing has been slow but encouragingly steady. Our tenderhearted, helpful, joyful girl continues to emerge – it’s remarkable! She has quite the sense of humor too! Although it is rare for her to speak, when she does have a spunky remark, we have all laughed hysterically!!
I’ve mentioned many times how Jubilee is my shadow. Truly no matter where I go in the house or garage or outside, she is usually about three steps behind me. I always smile as she even hangs around the bathroom when I am using it! I love this girl of mine. Such a privilege to be her mommy.
As you can maybe guess, we are a “huggy family”…my “love language” is probably tied between “Quality Time” and “Physical Touch” so I hug and snuggle these treasures of mine all day long. I can’t help myself! Group hugs are a time of especially great laughter too! And of course we tell each other “I love you” throughout the day. In my humble opinion one can not ever hear “I love you” too many times or have too many hugs. Not ever! Of course I often initiate the “I love you” as I always want my kids to know their mama loves them immensely.
Anyway, Jubilee smiles when I tell her “I love you” and most often responds, “I love you” back, but yesterday the most beautiful thing happened…I was putting dinner on the table, getting Ruby’s food chopped up, getting Ruby to the table, getting Ruby’s bib on, making sure Birdie’s plate was on the table…a flurry of last minute things before we sit down to eat and in the midst of it all Jubilee, who was sitting right beside me (*smile* of course she was!) at the table, looked up at me in the busyness and tenderly, thoughtfully and very purposefully spoke, “I love you Mom.”
I literally almost fell over! My precious shadow has never, ever, in almost eight years told me on her own that she loves me. She’s never told anyone on her own!! My heart leapt as my eyes welled with tears. Words often taken for granted in life but of tremendous value when spoken from the heart.
There are some things in life that are so well worth the wait. Jubilee-girl, your mama loves you with all her heart and you have brought me such joy with four little words that I honestly never thought I would hear initiated by you! I knew you loved me, but oh to hear you say it all on your own was the best-ever! I love you Jubilee Promise!!