Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy B'Day to the B-Boy

Technically, this post should've gone up yesterday. But I'm a bad Mom, lol!

Recently, I turned 30. No trauma, no big deal. Yesterday (March 16), my big boy turned 10! I cannot believe how he's growing up...and I really can't believe how old that makes me - I have a child in the double-digits!

I remember the day he was born. Pat and I were just barely adults. We had a crazy love/hate relationship going on - high drama every day. But we were committed to making our family 'stick' for our baby.

Braeden Thomas arrived at 6:21pm, squishy and purple and totally beautiful. They whisked him away for x-rays of his left arm, as it hung limp and flaccid at his side. Determining that nothing was broken or dislocated, the doctors brought him back to me for some bonding.

Specialists galore took a look at Braeden's shoulder, arm, wrist, and hand, offering a variety of diagnoses. An MRI revealed a number of brain abnormalities. The doctors offered a bleak picture - a boy who would likely never walk, never be 'normal.' At age 2 we noticed a distinctive in-turn of his left eye and visited an opthamalogist - you've never seen such thick bi-focals (but they do the trick). At 2 1/2 Braeden had his first complex partial seizure - thankfully, they are well under control now with medication. On Christmas Eve, nearly 3 months before his 3rd birthday, our big boy took his first independent steps! Woohoo!

At age 5, after extensive research, Pat and I suggested that all of Braeden's symptoms stacked together formed a pretty clear picture of cerebral palsy...doctors agreed and we finally had a diagnosis - left hemipareisis cerebral palsy with epilepsy.

There have been many occasions for grieving the differences I see in my boy compared to typical children his age - school, sports, aborted attempts at vacation Bible school, the day they told me he would have more success in a special education classroom, when other children ask him why he drools/drips/slobbers (or whatever descriptive word they choose), hearing the question 'what's wrong with your arm?' and so on.

But the joys are so much greater. The sweet success of toilet training. Hearing a stranger in the store talk to him and realizing that stranger was able to understand Braeden's words. Listening to Braeden answer questions with, "I have palsy. I was born with it. God made me this way," with pride and self-confidence. Seeing typical children include him in their play out of love. Listening to his contagious giggle as he makes a joke - Braeden is the FUNNIEST kid ever! Listening to him read an entire 'Franklin' book without help. Seeing him play with his long-awaited baby brother. Watching him ride his adapted bike around, listening to other kids telling him how cool his 4-wheel drive is. Seeing how his tender heart breaks when someone is sad. Hearing him tell me, "you're pretty, Mom."

This child of mine is a gift from Almighty God. He brings me both joy and pain, love and heartache. He is mine...for a time. He is beautiful, precious, and perfect just the way he is. I love him and he loves me. And it is his special day. Thank-you, Lord, for the gift of my boy...

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. ~Jeremiah 1:5


  1. Wow. This was incredibly powerful. It made me cry. Happy birthday to your PERFECT boy.

  2. happy happy to your boy!!

    i have a friend who has cp, he's an adult now, quite a talented guy. but i hate seeing him w/ his parents. i know they love him, but they get clearly irritated w/ him and are impatient. breaks my heart and makes me angry at them. so glad to hear see how obviously proud of him you are:)

  3. btw-i will go look at your birth story, i can't get enough of them!

  4. And we were blessed to be there and share his special day...the excitement over his racing coveralls! Very special.

  5. On a different topic, I just read your are famous! I loved it, and again, I say, you should be writing devotionals or something like said it yourself..."writing is in your soul"!

  6. Oh my gosh - you gave me goosebumps. I just want to hug him - "God made me this way." The Lord gives us all exactly what we need (even if it may seem hard) because He knows us so well. What a beautiful picture you paint of your amazing boy!
    Blessings to the birthday boy!


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