Jesus: Special Needs Parenting 101 -- His Story. (Part One)

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Family adopts little boy who has global physical and mental delays; this is their story.

Submitted: May 25, 2017

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Submitted: May 25, 2017



Hello.  My name is Belinda Harper.  I live in Johnson City, Tennessee, with my husband, Curtis, and our five children, who range in age from 14 down to two.  All but one of our children (the oldest, Olivia) are adopted, and two have special needs.  I am a nurse and stay-at-home parent as well as a home school instructor; Curtis, meanwhile, is a private investigator for the city of Johnson City.  We have a very good life.

Our children are named Olivia Hope (14), Kaylynn Denise (12), Tygen LaShan (10), Jesus Messiah (5), and Emersyn Danielle (2).  The children who were adopted were in foster care, and the two youngest (Emersyn and Jesus) were deemed as being "unadoptable" because both have special needs.  Sad, but true.  But we saw past their disabilities and saw two beautiful children who were in need of a family, so we took them in and haven't looked back.

Emersyn has Down syndrome and heart issues (she had her last heart surgery last year and is doing GREAT!! We pray this continues!); as for Jesus, he was born with severe brain damage that affected his physical and cognitive development.  He is unable to walk or talk and is fed by a tube that has been surgically inserted into his belly, since he is unable to chew or swallow without running the risk of choking.  He has been in and out of the hospital for one thing or another; his last hospital stay was just three months ago and he is just about over all that.  He was so sick we thought we were going to lose him, but God saw to it that Jesus lived, and we are very glad of that!

Emersyn is very good with her big brother.  Even though she is the younger of the pair, she understands that Jesus needs a lot of help and in her own special way, she will help me with taking care of him; she is good at getting diapers or watching me feed him by way of his special tube or clap his back and sides to help clear his lungs (he is also susceptible to lung issues and is often on oxygen to help him breathe better).  We have nurses come and help me and give both of us a break so we can spend more time with Olivia, Emersyn, Tygen, and Kaylynn.

We know life is hard for any family, but it's especially hard for us because of the health issues our kids with special needs face, especially Jesus. One minute, Jesus can be humming along, doing wonderfully, and the next, he can be in the hospital, fighting for his very life.  He's cheated death more times than we are willing to admit, but each time he's come through a crisis, it shows us just how strong this seemingly fragile child is.  His will to live and his courageous, can beat this spirit surprises even the most experienced of doctors; plus have a strong team of prayer warriors to help him (and us) through whatever life may bring to Jesus.  And to us.  We owe God a world of thanks, and we do the same for our church family and friends; they have been incredibly supportive of us during the hard times.

But as I said, God has plans for Jesus; that is why he is still with us.  Same with Emersyn, but Jesus is the one who can really suprise a lot of people.  He's been through far too much in his five years on earth, and he's taught us so much about the will to live and how strong our faith really is.  It's a miracle that he's even lived this long; doctors didn't think he'd make it to the age of three.  Now he's five and is still plugging away in his own way.

Well, I hate to go, but Jesus' feeding pump is sounding off again; must mean he's finally done eating.  I will write in here again soon; until then, take care and God bless; this is your new friend Belinda Harper signing off!  So long for now!


End of part one!

© Copyright 2018 Karen Lynn. All rights reserved.

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