Tuesday, April 19, 2011

You are not forsaken

My daughter Veronica was born in December 2000. Before she was born, the doctor told me, “There is something wrong with your baby and it probably won’t live. We can send you to a clinic in Seattle to have the pregnancy terminated if you wish.”

Abortion was not an option for me at the time, so I just lay in bed for weeks wondering, “Is today the day my baby will die?” I didn’t think I could go on living if something happened to my baby—I had wanted to be a mommy for so long and I just couldn’t believe that God would do this to me.

Feb. 2001, Veronica's first foot surgery

I am blessed because my baby did not die. The doctor’s initial prognosis was incorrect and I gave birth to a healthy and beautiful little girl with a rare joint disease called Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC) —which means hooked or crooked joints.

We lived just outside of Seattle at the time and the children’s hospital there has one of the only clinics in the world dedicated to AMC. So I was able to get Veronica the help she needed from day one. I started to think that maybe God didn’t hate me so much after all.

When Veronica was born, she couldn’t move her left arm, both hands were flat against her arms, her hips were dislocated, and she had very severe club feet. I was told she would never walk.

She now walks around quite well and she has full use of both arms and her hips were successfully reconstructed when she was about 2 years old. But her feet have been a constant source of pain for her.

She's wasn't fast but she had fun

Most kids with club feet are able to have special shoes, casts, or surgery to correct their feet--but not Veronica. Her feet are what they call reoccurring club feet and what I like to call the most heartbreakingly painful thing a child should have to endure.

So, now that she is 10 years old, it is time for her to have yet another foot surgery.
And so, here I sit in the recovery room at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas, TX typing this blog and thinking about how far Veronica has come since the day I was told that she would probably die before her birth.

I still haven’t figured out what good Veronica has gained from her disability—she is such a happy and outgoing child but her legs and feet are a constant source of pain for her.

Veronica's feet before surgery

So, as I sit here in this hospital surrounded by sick and crippled children, I have to ask myself “why does God let this happen?”

For me, the answer is easy. Through Veronica, I have learned how precious life is. Every minute of the day has meaning and purpose to me.
I never took her two-armed hugs or messes for granted. I can clearly remember her first steps and the way her face lit up as she headed toward me with outstretched arms.

I didn’t see God until I saw Veronica. I believe God puts these amazing people in our lives—even if they are only here for a minute—to soften our hearts and force us to look beyond ourselves.

I know that God will be watching over Veronica tonight as she sleeps in her sterile hospital bed hooked up to tubes and machines. I know this because I know God has a plan for her life—otherwise, what is the point to all this pain and suffering?


  1. Thinking of you all and wishing you traveling mercies.

  2. A friend of mine's brother had the same growing up, but he can walk as well, even though the doctor told his parents he wouldn't. I hope everything turns out ok for your daughter.