When two people think about starting a family, they don’t imagine the difficulty they may have. Doctors appointments, labs, little cups and outpatient procedures were not something we anticipated having to endure. It seemed like we may never be able to have children, and that was soul crushing.
Finally, after trying to get pregnant for 2 years and riding the fertility treadmill, we decided it was time to put our efforts into adopting. We had always hoped we could adopt and after many frustrating attempts to get pregnant on our own, we decided to put all our efforts into this new opportunity. We couldn’t wait to meet our little bundle of joy and after a short vetting process, we were on the list of people eager to move forward with meeting our little angel. It was official; we would have a baby sometime in the future, even if it meant waiting for a few more years.
After a few months and a couple of “close calls,” we were contacted by a coworker of Amandas with the possibility of adopting TWINS. We couldn’t believe our luck, and had actually joked about how great that would be when we were completing adoption form. But, the joke was on us and just 13 months after we began the process, our little boys Jackson and Baden were born. We had the great privilege of seeing them come into the world thanks to their very brave and selfless birth-parents. We are forever grateful to them for the gifts we had received, and it was time for us to step up and be mommy and daddy.
As months went by, we noticed some differences in the two boys. It seemed that all they had in common was their birthday and their shoe size. Although not uncommon, the twins were developing at a different rate. Baden was meeting all the typical milestones and in some cases surpassing them. Jackson seemed fine with lagging behind and developing at his own pace. “No big deal mom and dad” he seemed to be telling us. But on a very cold January morning we knew something was wrong; Jackson was going in and out of consciousness for just a split second at a time, but he was falling while crawling or going limp when we were holding him. Off to Riley we went to see what was wrong with our little man. After countless additional seizures and a second overnight EEG within 12 months, we were told that Jackson most likely had something called Angelman Syndrome. And after waiting two weeks, it was confirmed by a blood test.
Shocked doesn’t begin to describe how we felt. We were worried about how Jackson would progress and what he would need to continue to grow and develop. Fortunately, we had physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy and even equine therapy in place. We had discovered he would need a brace for his right foot to help his leg grow correctly providing him with a more regular gait. Unfortunately, we were no longer eligible to receive these services without incurring large expenses. The costs continued to add up and after seeing Jackson hit several milestones we had been praying for, the services that had gotten him where he was were now in jeopardy thanks to a lack of funding from us, his parents.
We are surrounded by generous people always willing to give more than the shirt off of their backs to support us and our boys. In fact, without their love and participation we would not even have the boys as the cost of adoption would have taken us far longer to cover if we were doing it on our own. Jackson and Baden would likely be elsewhere and our hearts would not be as full as they are today. Once again, these friends and family have returned to ask how they can help and what is needed, and we could not be more thankful.
It is without shame that we ask you for help covering the costs that are required to keep Jackson developing at the rate he is. He seems to be just weeks away from walking and talking. Without ongoing therapy, this could turn into months or even years. We have learned through this process that one skill leads to another skill and they build off each other creating a whole person. We cannot deny Jackson these services and the opportunity to develop and grow into a strong, healthy and capable young man. Therefore, in order to keep these services coming, we are asking for your help with donations, joining Team Jackson in the support walk or other random acts of kindness. No prayer, gift or even thought is too small. We require resources of all kinds to see this through and no good deed will be turned away.
We thank you for your time and support, however you choose to demonstrate it. Without the kindness of our friends and family, we would be without two members of our family. These little boys mean the world to us, and we thank you for helping us give the world to them.