Jack-Jack has made some pretty big impressions on people, especially for a guy who is barely on the Down syndrome growth charts and doesn’t hit the typical kid one at all.
First, there was the lady at our church about a year ago. Jack-Jack was two and wasn’t making much progress in the gross motor skills department. If he needed to get somewhere, he rolled or army crawled. After service we were waiting in the sanctuary for Mr. Incredible to finish up his conversations. Truly, that man does not consider it a day well spent if the ushers aren’t turning lights off on us and taking coffee cups out of our hands so they can go home to lunch.
So, on this morning, the church building is rapidly emptying, and I put Jack-Jack down on the floor in the center isle and he happily rolled away until he bumped into a pair of shoes. A nice lady looked down and gushed all over him. Isn’t he sweet, how adorable and so on. She asked how old he was and when I said, “two” her eyes widened and I knew she wanted to say something, but couldn’t quite figure out how to put it. So, I helped her out. “He’s really small for his age, because he has Down syndrome. That’s why he isn’t walking yet either.”
“But…but” she was flustered and sputtering. “But, he’s so cute.” Said in a tone of voice that implied that cuteness and Down syndrome simply don’t go together. As a new mom, that would have crushed me, but by that point, I was ready to take a deep breath and do a little educating and advocating. We had a nice talk and having met a cute little guy, who happened to have Down syndrome, became another cheerleader for Jack-Jack.
And then, yesterday, I received one of the best presents I have ever been given. A dear friend, and her husband who both had a heart for adoption from early on in their marriage met Jack-Jack, fell in love with him, and suddenly found themselves wondering if adopting a child with special needs was something to pursue. My friend wrote this blog post yesterday and, with tears in my eyes, I want to share some of it with you:
Jack-Jack’s mom and I kept in touch as we both have a strong desire to live in Central Asia. At some point after her family’s visit in November, she mentioned something about Reece’s Rainbow. Since that time, I have been looking at this webpage off and on, reading, learning, and praying.
In June, while Jeff was still deployed, he asked me what I wanted for my birthday. My typical responses are things like a vacuum, hiking shoes, or a pressure cooker. This time? I sent him an email that said, “One of two of these.” Included was a link to Reece’s Rainbow…and a specific group of kids.
There was a little girl that I had noticed since I started looking at Reece’s Rainbow. When Jeff & I inquired about her, a surprising reply came right back to us. “Find this girl a permanent family. NOW.” This specific little treasure was one of the children listed on the original link I sent Jeff in the birthday email.
We prayed about this for a week and a half. We are absolutely certain God is in control and knows exactly what He’s doing. So, on Saturday, we wrote an email to the agency here in the States and said, “We would love to pursue this little girl. Please tell us what we need to do!”
We don’t know a lot about her. But we do know that God willing, we will be found to be the family for her.
God is using Jack-Jack, not only to grow us as a family, but to help save a little girl half way around the world who desperately needs a family. Not bad for a little guy who doesn’t measure up according to most people’s standards.