Jesus is a cheerful, loving, sweet two-year-old from Houston, Texas, where he lives with his parents, Jen and Aaron, and six siblings. Jesus loves being outdoors, going on car rides, and getting snuggles from his loved ones.
This month’s “Joy is where you are” t-shirt design is inspired by Jesus’ story.
For six years, Jen and Aaron opened up their home to many children through fostering. One day, the couple was notified by a friend who’s church received a letter from a CASA worker inquiring about a forever home that would want to adopt a baby with medical needs. At the time, Jen and Aaron did not have an opening. Jen shares, “He was always in the back of my mind. We were fostering a little girl for three years at that time, who not soon after, ended up being reunited with her biological father.”
After some time had passed, Jen reached out to the CASA worker and asked if the child had been placed in the home–he had not.
Reflecting on that time, Jen openly shares, “We had reservations at first because taking on a child with medical needs is a big thing, and we were not just going to be fostering him, we were committed to adoption because he was already in a foster home. They were looking for a forever home for him. We had a minimal understanding of his needs. We knew he was born with schizencephaly, but to this day, nobody really knows what will happen in the future.”
Seven-month old Jesus eventually joined Jen and Aaron’s home and gained six siblings who love on him with open arms. For the next year, Jen and Aaron went through a lengthy legal adoption process which ended in November of 2021. He was now 2 years old.
Jen explains that there are different degrees of schizencephaly. In Jesus’ case, he is missing a majority of his frontal lobe. Having low vision is just one of the ways this impacts Jesus’ life.
During those first couple of months after his adoption, Jesus was also given the diagnosis of epilepsy, infantile spasms, and cerebral palsy to accompany the schizencephaly.
“It’s hard to know what he understands, sees and processes. He recognizes voices and smiles. A lot of the things he does are not expected. He is not a vegetable by any means and that was the prognosis that was given to him.”
Jesus gets physical therapy once a week and occupational therapy twice a week. They work on head control, stretching out his muscles, and tracking different toys when it comes to sound. They work with him on his stomach a lot. He has neuromuscular scoliosis that has progressed since his last 3-week hospital stay for respiratory failure in May 2021.
Jesus is lovingly described as a cheerful and sweet 2-year-old who loves to be snuggled and pampered.
Jen dotes on Jesus, “He 110% loves to be held all day long. It’s the sweetest thing. We will lay him down, and his eyes pop open and he starts to look around. Once we pick him up, he’ll start laughing, because he knows. He continues to change the longer he’s been in our home, and I can only pray that as he gets older, he continues to show his preferences about stuff because that was something that was never expected of him. His opinion matters, it matters to all of us. I make sure that it matters to anyone we come into contact with because he needs to be respected like all people should. Whether he can voice it or not, he has preferences.”
Time to get loud shouters!
Throughout the month of August we will be shouting loud for Jesus!
So click here to shop now where every purchase in August will go towards making modifications to the family’s van to make travel easier and more comfortable for Jesus.
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