Every Child Matters

Welcome back to the blog! Today, I want to share something special with you—deeply personal and close to my heart- the truth that every child matters, regardless of their abilities or disabilities. So, let’s get cozy and dive right into the nitty-gritty, shall we?

Imagine sitting in front of a medical doctor with your new baby, and he gives you the news that causes your breath to get caught up in your throat, and you forget to breathe for a moment. That’s where my story begins.

When I was five months pregnant with my fourth child, Nathan, our world was turned upside down with a daunting diagnosis: congenital diaphragmatic hernia. From that moment on, it felt like we were on a rollercoaster ride of uncertainty. Nathan’s arrival into the world was met with a flurry of medical interventions—he underwent major surgery at just three days old and battled severe jaundice soon after. Despite the odds stacked against him, Nathan fought with a resilience that left us in awe.

Yet, another hurdle emerged just when we thought the worst was behind us. At nine months old, the word ‘cerebral palsy’ echoed through the doctor’s office, landing with a weight we hadn’t anticipated. It shocked the system, a blow we never saw coming. Suddenly, our journey turned sharply into uncharted territory, filled with never-anticipated challenges.

When those words—cerebral palsy—first hit my ears, I didn’t know what to make of it. The neurologist’s grim prognosis felt like a one-way ticket to despair: “Don’t expect much. Your child won’t be ‘normal,’ won’t walk, won’t do well in school…” It was like being told our world had shattered into a million irreparable pieces. Suffice it to say hope felt like a distant dream.

What struck me the most during those early years after Nathan’s diagnosis was the way he was often treated as if he didn’t matter. Every specialist we met, from neurologists to radiologists, seemed to address me while overlooking him entirely. It was as if he was invisible, and that hurt more deeply than the diagnosis itself. I felt lost, unsure of how to support my son best when others failed to acknowledge his presence and worth.

I knew deep down that this approach wasn’t right. So, fueled by the strength of my faith and buoyed by my family’s unwavering support, I refused to accept the status quo. I embarked on a quest for answers, determined to carve out a better path for Nathan and our family. And you know what? Along the way, I stumbled upon a whole new world—a world brimming with untold possibilities. With a fire burning in our hearts, we launched into a fundraising journey, rallying support from friends and strangers alike. With every step forward, our hope grew stronger. And then, like a beacon in the darkness, we found ourselves at the doors of a pediatric rehabilitation hospital in the United States. In that pivotal moment, a flicker of hope ignited within us, setting ablaze the belief that a brighter future was within reach.

It all started with small acts of kindness that touched our hearts—strangers who became beacons of light in our darkest hours, like the pediatrician who knelt beside us, meeting Nathan at eye level with a level of empathy that brought tears to our eyes. And let’s not forget the physical therapist who instantly clicked with Nathan, going above and beyond by sacrificing her lunch breaks to ensure he got the care he needed. Then, there were the orthotists, who made sure everything was ready for Nathan’s return home to Jamaica, measuring him for support vests and orthotics. Their kindness? It was like a warm hug on a cold night.

Throughout this journey, I learned a powerful truth: every child matters—every. single one, no matter their abilities or disabilities. And you know what? That truth lit a fire within me—a burning desire to get this message out. So, when we returned home, I rallied my family, and together, we formed the Nathan Ebanks Foundation—a nonprofit dedicated to championing the rights of children with disabilities and their families.

Today, as I prepare to release my newest book, “Raising Nathan Against All Odds: Discovering the Blessings, Joy, and Purpose of Raising a Child with Disabilities,” I reflect on the journey that brought me to this moment. Looking back, I can’t help but marvel at the profound beauty that emerged from our deepest pain. Through the struggles, the setbacks, and the tears, I now see how my son, Nathan, has transformed my life in ways I never imagined.

Nathan’s presence in my life has been nothing short of transformative. He has taught me patience, resilience, and unconditional love in ways I never thought possible. In his eyes, I have found a reflection of strength and courage that inspires me every single day.

Moreover, Nathan’s journey has propelled me onto a path of deeper purpose and meaning. His challenges have become our family’s rallying cry, igniting a passion within us to make a difference in the lives of others facing similar struggles. And so, our grassroots movement, born out of love and necessity, didn’t just stop at our doorstep—it blossomed into something extraordinary.

In the journeys of every child we encounter, I see echoes of Nathan’s resilience and determination. I see the potential for growth, joy, and boundless possibilities. And as I release this book, I do so with a heart overflowing with gratitude—for the lessons learned, the lives touched, and the journey that still lies ahead. Because in the end, it’s not just about raising Nathan against all odds—it’s about embracing the blessings, finding joy in the journey, and discovering the profound purpose of truly living a life that is communicated to him and every child we meet that they matter. It’s about mastering the art of loving deeply and unconditionally.

So, when you hear those three little words—”every child matters”—what comes to mind for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Let’s come together and share stories that inspire kindness and compassion. Your voice? It’s powerful, important, and matters. So join me in celebrating the importance of every child and spreading some love and goodwill together. Because together, we can move mountains.

Until next time, my friend, keep shining bright.

Similar Posts