Mission Impossible

Communicating without words.
by Lawrence McClure, LC | Source: ALBA, 26 September – 2 October

As the minutes tick by waiting to see the doctor, she flips through the pages of the same parenting magazine for the tenth time, then flops it back down on the table.  The mother next to her has been talking on her cell phone for the past hour and a half straight, telling all of her friends about how her son fell down the stairs and broke his leg.  Meanwhile, it seems as if thousands of other children have gone in and out of the double doors next to the reception desk – puffy eyes, bad coughs, stitches, shots, broken legs…

Then the young woman looks down at the tiny child in her arms and wonders what might be wrong with her baby - she doesn’t eat, she doesn’t cry, she barely even moves.  What could be wrong?  What else could happen?  They had overcome so many obstacles just to get on the adoption list, and then the past year had been full of anxiety as she waited for this beautiful young girl to be born.  

Her birth mother was only fifteen, but thanks be to God she did not give in to the pressure of friends and family to “abort and be done with the whole thing”.  Thanks be to God for Pepe and Celia Carredano, who took in the young girl into their home until she delivered Jimena.. 

Now that Jimena was born, and they had a new baby in the home life was supposed to be so perfect, and they were going to have a normal family.    However, Jimena wasn’t normal… she didn’t seem to react to anything.  After finally seeing the doctor, Jimena’s mother left very discouraged because she would never be able to afford the recommended tests.  

With her heart in her throat she knocked on Pepe and Celia’s door, “What will they think of me? Will they think that I am snobbish for not taking a baby with problems?” the mother thought to herself.    But Pepe and Celia generously accepted Jimena back into their home, completely unaware of the adventure that awaited them. 

When Pepe and Celia hear the doctor’s words for the first time, they can’t believe it. “Well it is very simple Mr. and Mrs. Carredano… Jimena has no brain.”  Jimena was born apparently normal on the outside, but she has only the brain stem and the part of the brain that operates the basic functions of life – breathing, digestion, etc. – but  - she can’t hear, doesn’t see, etc…  Despite their shock, their love for Jimena is still the same, or better said, it grows day-by-day. 

Although Jimena can’t see, hear, talk, or even move, six years later she is changing lives.  First of all, she has the changed the life of the entire Carredano family teaching them how to love.  She continues to shock the doctors, who only gave her months to live.  

She changes the minds the hearts of the people when Celia brings her to debates on life-issues.  She has saved the life of at least one Down syndrome baby whose mother decided not to abort when reading her story.  Jimena constantly communicates the message of God’s of love without words.

Reflecting on his beloved daughter, Pepe tells people, “In Jimena we have seen that when God allows a person to be born that has been created by Him it is because that person has a special mission to fulfill.”

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