When I was in my early teens, my brother and his wife found out they were expecting a child with Anencephaly. I had the privilege to be at the hospital and meet my niece during the few minutes of time she spent with us here. I watched as they hugged and comforted those who came to the funeral for that sweet little child.
Following that experience, my brother was laid off from his job in Utah and he moved his family to Colorado to start anew. I entered the MTC in Provo and began training for my mission in Brazil. After only a short time there, I was called into the office of the MTC President to be informed that my brother’s sister-in-law who’d been living with them had died in a car accident. My heart ached for them to know they were laying another loved one to rest much too soon.
Another layoff followed in Colorado (by the same company that had bought out his former company!) and my brother spent some time working where he could, but found himself passed over for promotions because he was overqualified for the work he was doing. During that time, they found out they were expecting a child with Down syndrome. I don’t believe it was coincidence that I meet an amazing young man in Rio Claro, Brazil with Down syndrome about that same time. I felt the amazing spirit and power that followed that young man wherever he went. It comforted my soul and made me excited to have such a special child join my family.
Another job opportunity finally came and they were off to Michigan. Things were going well at work, but they soon found that the climate and air quality made things unlivable for their young daughter who was facing so many health challenges. Soon it became apparent that for their daughter’s health, they would have to move their family regardless of whether a new job was lined up or not.
My brother’s willingness to face unemployment again to take care of his daughter and family impressed me greatly. Thankfully, when he approached his employer and told them of his plans to leave, he was offered a job in Texas that would meet their needs.
They relocated to Texas and began again. This time it would be the declining economy that would take its toll. The company began downsizing and my brother again found himself looking for a new job.
They are currently living in Missouri and my brother is working in a new industry. Who knows if the major challenges are over, but things are calm for the moment and they are excitedly awaiting the arrival of their first grandchild. They have inspired me in the way they have faced these challenges and worked to care for their family no matter the circumstances. Please help me to show them some love and make life a bit easier by donating to my fundraising campaign.
- Maria Kempton
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