At 6 months old I knew for sure something just wasn’t right with Reese’s development. Our pediatrician referred us to Associates in Pediatric Therapy for evaluations in February and that’s when my emotional roller coaster began! I begged the therapist to give me answers and they simply told me they were not an MD and we would need to see a neurologist but Reese did indeed have developmental delays. I cannot tell you the amount of time I spent on google trying to figure out what exactly was going on with Reese. Boy was that horrible…I would find something and just cry, cry and just be angry about the whole situation. We couldn’t get into see a neurologist until June and I thought I was going to drive myself crazy with the unknown. Long story short–Reese got sick February 27th and as soon as she was admitted into Kosair I begged to see a neurologist. I think they sent Dr. Puri to shut the crazy lady up–that’s ok though 🙂 Dr. Puri talked to Reese and checked her out… when he was done he had us sit down to talk to us and I almost passed out when he was telling me there were developmental delays… it just was too much coming from the doctor…. I was hoping it was something she could “grow” out of… They did all kinds of test on Reese to check for seizures, etc… at this time she doesn’t have seizures but we will be having an overnight stay in August to check again. They also did the genetic testing as Kyle explained previously….
I will never forget the night Dr. Puri called–March 23rd @ 6:30pm. I knew when I saw him calling it could not be good–what doctor calls you on a Friday evening… I remember him clearly saying “Reese’s genetic testing came back with a significant finding. She has XQ28 duplication–I’m sorry”. Have you ever had a moment where you felt like you couldn’t breathe and your body felt extremely weak–that was how I felt. I could only think of one question to ask–“Is it fatal”? Dr. Puri told us no and tried to explain it but continued to tell us it’s extremely rare in girls. That is when the breaking of my heart began…
For those that may not know me… I am what you would describe as a Type-A personality, OCD, obsessive compulsive or as one professor in graduate school said, “anal retentive”–it’s OK I know it–I’ve lived with myself for 29 years. Therefore, I had a plan and having a special needs child was not part of my plan. Have you ever felt like life has stopped and you could really careless what is going on around you… that is how I felt. I describe this part of my life very dark, sad but mostly angry with God. I would cry out to him “Why my Reesie girl, God, why?” in my car, in my bathroom, in the parking lot of Kroger, at work in my office, outside my condo… over and over I would shake my hand at God and cry out “Why my Reesie girl, God, why”? I would lay in bed some days thinking how could I possibly put my two feet on the ground and start walking–especially when my feet felt like bricks. I would let Kyle get up with Reese and take care of her while I laid in bed crying…. my heart was broken and my dreams for my family were crushed. I would go to the baby showers–run home and cry. I would go to work and come home to hold Reese and cry. I was one big crying mess! I can honestly say I know what the deepest sadness you could possible feel because I was grieving the loss of having a “normal” child. Yes, grieving.
It is when I finally ask God to put his hand on me, give me new mercy and grace everyday that my heart began to be “rebuilt”.
Now, it’s very important that you are aware that I did not get to this point on my own… O’ no… that would have NEVER happened. My husband, my mother, a best childhood friend and my two best shelbyville friends were instrumental in getting me to this point–not to mention just all the love and support I had from other family, friends and the shelbyville community. However, those 5 people saw me cry, saw my shout and just continued to pour their love and the word into me. My heart could not have been rebuilt without them.
I have people ask me, so why did this happen? I believe it happen for several reasons and some that are just not apparent yet. I believe that God had plans to mold me into the woman he wants me to become… by breaking my heart and rebuilding it according to his plans. I have learned that Reese is not my child–Reese is God’s child and a “gift” to me. God has allowed for me to have Reese and to care for her and that is such an amazing privilege. I have learned that life is not about “me” it is to glorify God. I have learned that God sees Reese McClain as perfect and whole. I truly believe the real beauty of why has yet to come… I think Reese has a story to tell and is already doing so thru smiling all the time. There are times when Reese is really sick and just smiling at the doctors–it blows their minds because you just can’t image that sweet smiley little girl is really sick.
I am not perfect–never will be but I’m starting to accept the new “normal” for Reese. As my heart is being rebuilt–amazing things are happening and the emotional roller coaster is coming to an end. I do have expectations for her but they have changed to meet Reese and not what I thought had to be met before… I now celebrate her accomplishments with her instead of being resentful to God. I speak the truth over her and pray for completely healing as God has planned. If she isn’t healed on earth–I know she will run to me when open arms in heaven and say “I love you mommy–you are my best friend” and that folks right there keeps me thanking God for the opportunity to serve him by loving my daughter just as she is…. Reese McClain is “Made in HIS image” Genesis 1:27.