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The Words that Called to This Mother's Heart
Michael's magical smile
Michael's magical smile
The Words that Called to This Mother's Heart

Since Michael was born with Down syndrome three years ago, we have planted lots of tiny seeds and waited patiently for his language to sprout. As his mommy I have had the joy of watching it all unfold, talking and singing to him throughout the day, driving him to speech therapy, introducing new words and signs, and hearing him say “bye-bye” to all the new friends he passed at the grocery store. It has been slow and tedious, with many dry spells. Like the magical day he said "Mama" and then the months and months that passed when he wouldn’t say it again. It was as if he had never said it at all, didn’t know my name. And then, a couple of weeks ago, he looked me straight in the eyes and said “Ma, Ma, Mom, Mom, Mom!” Words can’t describe the joy I felt in my heart. There have also been frustrations, like the months and months when he would bite his one-year-old sister Mary and pull her hair, and it seemed he had no idea what "no" meant. The days when I would drive five young kids to yet another doctor’s appointment or medical facility and wonder if I had the strength or patience to keep going. And, then it happened, just when I least expected it, a beautiful flower blossomed. Yesterday, Michael had fallen asleep in his high chair after eating lunch. I didn’t have the heart to move him, so I let him sleep. I went into the next room to read a book and must have dozed off. I awoke to this: “Mommy, Mommy, I want my Mommy!” It was Michael shouting from his high chair that he wanted his mommy to come take him down. I was full of joy; my little boy was calling for me, for me! It was the first time he had ever said more than a two-word sentence to me, such as “Give me!” I ran to him, gave him a gigantic hug, and freed him from the high chair. All day long I smiled and smiled, thanking God for making me Michael’s Mommy, and giving me such a beautiful child to love.

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Comments (1,000 character limit)

Peter Lucadano, United States, FL
3/7/2013 4:58:47 PM
Heartwarming.... A truly motivating story!

Debbie Cea, United States, VA
3/6/2013 1:00:13 PM
I love your touching story! As a pre-school special ed TA, I get the joy of experiencing small breakthroughs in our littlest learners. Happy to hear your joy.

Jami Finnerty, United States, FL
3/5/2013 11:17:08 PM
Such sweet words to hear!

Gretchen Orr, United States, CO
3/5/2013 10:40:49 PM
This was a very sweet and endearing story. I have a dear friend with a special needs daughter and this reminds me of their situation too. These children are gifts from God.

Diane Cobb, United States, NY
3/5/2013 5:38:46 PM
Love, Love, Love this story! So heartwarming and joyful, and what a wonderful Mom. You rock Julie!

Bethany Morris, United States, TN
3/5/2013 3:09:06 PM
I nominate Julie Raeburn has "Saint of the Year"

Carrol Heinsma, Canada,
3/5/2013 2:26:17 PM
Beautiful story Julie! As you are blessed to have Michael as your son, he is equally blessed to have you as his 'mommy'. Thank you for sharing this heartwarming moment with us.

Barb Hoskins, Canada,
3/5/2013 1:51:53 PM
Very touching and inspiring. To persevere, to love unconditionally, to hope. Well written. I could feel the joy, the tears.

Karen Hinton Lyons, United States, UT
3/5/2013 12:16:34 PM
What a wonderful, beautiful, amazing experience for you! I am so glad you shared it with us! You are a patient and loving mother -- a real Rock Star of a mom! ;-)

Marizetta Kenney, United States, IN
3/5/2013 12:03:04 PM
This is a beautiful, heart-warming story. I'd like to thank the author for writing it.

sherry roy, United States, NV
3/5/2013 10:49:41 AM
Yeh Micheal. So such Love, great story <3

Rhonda Sauer, United States, FL
3/5/2013 9:59:45 AM
Michael is so very blessed to have such a devoted mother. Julie, may your love grow deeper as Micheal grows older. Thank you for sharing your magical story:)

Cheryl, Australia,
3/4/2013 6:49:28 PM
Julie, a beautiful story, beautifully told. I got goosebumps just thinking about the joyfulness of hearing and realising that something is getting through ... and sticking! All the best for you, Michael & your family! Love, Cheryl (a Yammer ghost....)

Sally Law, United States, FL
3/4/2013 6:16:36 PM
I'm excited that Michael is starting to communicate with his Mommy.

Janice H, United States, IA
3/4/2013 2:22:13 PM
Beautiful, Julie!

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