Preparing for what lies ahead

FlowersLast evening I learned about a precious little boy, now five years old, who has spent his life in a crib simply because he was born missing one foot.  As I read about little ‘Jackson‘, my heart broke in half. You see, John and I also have a son who was born missing a foot. Our son, however, came to us before he turned two.  By the time he was five he could walk and talk and feed himself.  He could even ride a bike.  Most importantly, he loved us and he knew we love him.

Oh, I pray that soon this little Jackson will have the blessing of a family. (Please, dear Father in heaven?)  And I pray that the folks whose hearts are moved will also be equipped to parent him in the way that he will need.  Sure, his needs include a prosthetic leg.  But because of all the life he’s lived in a crib, it’s even more important that he be parented in a way that heals his heart, that builds attachment.  He will likely retain scars from his beginnings for his entire life. He needs parents with an unbreakable commitment to him, and the resilience to reach out to him in love, over and over and over.

My friend Lisa Qualls writes often about the incredible task of parenting kids from hard places.  (I’m hoping to meet her in person some day– we have so much in common!)  Here’ s a bit of a post that she wrote about this amazing assignment we take on when we choose to adopt:

When we adopt children from “hard places,” we are willingly devoting our lives to a challenge.  We must prepare ourselves for battle, not with our child, but for our child.  We may find ourselves fighting for her physical health, emotional health, and mental health. Without a doubt we will be fighting a spiritual battle like none other.

I have found her words to be so true as I’ve parented my precious ones.  Click through to her blog to read the full post.  And please join me in praying that the right parents will come forward for little Jackson, ones ready and willing to do battle on his behalf.


  1. First – Jackson’s grant is growing but please donate to this boy. Second- he so reminds me of our son – who is a double amputee from a similar situation. The only difference is we didn’t know. Home over a year our Cav has come such a long way. His malnourished body is finally showing signs of health. That determination that kept him alive also has been applied to the new found freedom with his prosthetics – walking independently just 48 hours after getting his first legs! Jackson is someone’s son and he will do great things

  2. Yes! Please, folks, if you can’t adopt him, donate to his fund so that doors may be opened for another family to adopt him. Even $10 will be a blessing. I also think he has great potential, and he desperately needs a family to call his own.

  3. Julie Simmons says:

    We are inquiring about Jackson! He has stolen my heart!! Thanks to One Thankful Mom for the link to this blog, and thank you for the link to Jackson.

  4. Julie, Thanks for writing– keep me posted.

    • Julie Simmons says:

      We learned today that our family doesn’t meet the financial requirement for China adoptions, so we will have to pray that another family is able to bring Jackson home. 🙁

  5. What a horrible situation. How can someone do this to a child? I don’t condone it, but I could *maybe* understand if he had been born with a mental deficiency. Simply missing a foot but otherwise being a normal child and he gets stuck in a crib for 5 years, not even taught how to feed himself, never mind toilet training? I simply cannot imagine how cold you have to be to ignore a child like that. It breaks my heart.

  6. Mary, thank you so much for posting about Jackson!! I so long to see him in a family.

  7. Wow…I come back to this post often…I’m still in awe at how God brought us to our son, but tonight, for the first time, I clicked through to Lisa’s original blog post, which I had never read. Wow! I know I will keep this tucked away for the days ahead! 🙂