- to yield (something) to the possession or power of another.
- to give up, abandon, or relinquish (comfort, hope, etc...)
- to yield or resign (an office, privilege, etc.) in favor of another.
- (without an object) to give oneself up, as into the power of another; submit or yield.
By today's standards, my husband and I were married young--he being almost 22yrs old and myself 3 weeks shy of 21. We didn't need to get married. He was building a house and wanted it to be our house. Well, coming from a strict Catholic family...'Nuff said. Shortly after that discussion, he asked me to marry him.
Fast-forward almost nine years. There we were, knee-deep in financial and household responsibilities plus three kiddos: a 9 year old, an almost 6 year old, and a 4 year old. We get pregnant again - The ins and outs of how our fourth little one came to be and how that pregnancy almost took both our lives can be found HERE. But he did finally arrive.
In our human ignorance and already raising three children we figured we'd seen and experienced it all. We were wrong.
Our youngest Caleb-Jared (CJ for short) was born with a True Knot in his umbilical cord. The most powerful way I can describe what that means is sharing with you what the doctor said to me in that moment: This baby should be stillborn. And at birth, CJ was lifeless. Nothing.
But yes, he started breathing, and obviously we were relieved, only it wasn't over. He also was born with a birth-defect; a hypospadias. (Long story short, it has something to do with his urethra not growing long enough. Feel free to look it up.) This meant he needed major reconstructive surgery at 12 months old--the most successful time to preform this kind of surgery. Just so happened, the pioneer in this field of medicine lived only an hour and a half from us.
Top that, the poor kid was colic for about 4 months and never slept through the night until he was 20 months old. Yes, you read that correctly. 20 months. It was hell. But there was more to come.
Just after his surgery, I began to notice he had difficulty making the normal sounds my other children had at his age. I kept watch, took notes, and talked to his pediatrician. Eventually CJ was tested. For what, you ask? The first obvious diagnosis--some sort of mental retardation. Seriously? was all my husband and I could think. We didn't have to have a fourth child. As a matter of fact, I had to have major surgery in order to be able to get pregnant again so we could possibly have him. (Again, it's explained more HERE.)
CJ passed every test with flying colors. Then he had x-rays taken of his neck, throat, and head. Doctors were looking for a blockage or something else to operate on. Finally, a speech therapist was called in. BINGO. At 22 months old, CJ was diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia of Speech--a neurological disorder where the pathways from the brain to the mouth muscles are non-existent.
|CJ with Josh, his oldest |
brother, at his
For the next three years, my little guy went through therapy three times a week. And he never wavered. He went on to elementary school, where he continued to receive therapy. Today, he's an amazing 8-yr-old boy, who was discharged from his speech services last Fall and was recently asked to become a student of our elementary school's STRETCH program. He's one of the top academic students in his class. He was so proud to be considered one of the smart kids, I couldn't help but smile.
CJ never surrendered to anything that came his way, so neither could I. And I never will.
Thank you, Elana, for asking us to do this. Sure, I cried the entire time I wrote this but who cares.
For more of Elana Johnson's brain child Never SURRENDER Blogfest, click the highlighted text.