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Isaiah - Austin, Texas

Isaiah was born on February 7, 2008 . I had been planning to have a completely natural child birth, and for the whole labor I went with no pain-killers or meds what so ever. So I was very disappointed when the doctor recommended a c-section since I had pushed for 3.5 hours and not had much progress. Because of the slow labor the doctors insisted, much to my dismay. As Isaiah was being born, we heard him crying and my husband and I also both started crying at the same time - tears of joy! What a great feeling - my son is finally here!

One of the nurses told my husband that he could go watch the doctors wash him off and take a quick picture. When Brian approached the table where they were cleaning Isaiah, one of the doctors immediately asked him to stand back for a few minutes and an awkward silence filled the room. He immediately felt that something was wrong, but wasn't sure exactly what. I was looking at Brian asking him if everything was OK and his response was "Hold on just a few minutes babe, the doctors are checking him out right now"

A couple minutes went by, and what it seemed like hours passed, and the doctors called my husband over and explained that Isaiah's forearms and hands hadn't fully developed. Brian immediately began crying and was in disbelief. As soon as I heard him crying, I immediately knew something was terribly wrong. I started asking “What's wrong with my baby?” He came to my side and said, "I need to tell you something. Our son is beautiful, but his little arms and hands did not fully develop" I didn't know what to feel I was in a state of shock.

About that time, the doctor brought Isaiah over to us for our first look at him. He was a beautiful, healthy baby boy - 7 lbs, 1 oz. 19 3/4 inches in length. The nurses then took him to the nursery, and his father followed along closely. I had to be stitched up and sent to the recovery room before I could see my son. That was the toughest part for me and the longest two hours in my life without being able to hold and kiss my new son, nurse him and begin bonding with him. I was still heavily sedated and my emotions hadn't really kicked in yet. I felt as if this whole ordeal was just a bad dream. I couldn't let myself believe or understand that my son had been born with any kind of issues.

Finally after about almost two hours, my husband brought Isaiah from the nursery to be with me. Brian put him in my arms and all I could do was cry. I was crying for joy because my son was so perfect and beautiful, but I was also crying tears of sadness. How could this happen to me? What did I do to cause this defect? Is he going to be ok? These were all questions that I asked myself but couldn't find the answers. Immediately, I started recounting everything I came into contact while pregnant, any chemicals, paints, foods etc… and a feeling of guilt overwhelmed me.

My husband and I shared some precious moments with our son in the recovery room. We both cried and asked God to give us the strength to understand why this had happened and how to be strong enough to move forward. God immediately began to work on our hearts, and we discovered a passage in the bible: John 9:1-3. When Jesus' disciples asked "who did sin, this man or his parents that he was born blind?" I couldn't wait to hear in Jesus' answer in John 9:3 "neither hath this man sinned nor his parents, but that the works of God would be manifested in him." That really touched us, and told us that He made Isaiah this way for a special reason. That reason is still unknown to us, but we believe that God will use Isaiah to do great things with his life and touch many others. He has already touched so many lives and inspired us to live every day to the fullest and not take anything for granted.

After Isaiah was born, the doctors ran a myriad of tests, x-rays and other diagnostics. They were eager to try and diagnose exactly what had caused his birth defect. Many times, this type of defect is associated with other syndromes that can affect the heart or brain. These were times that my husband and I agonized and asked God to return favorable results. Well, the doctors could not give a specific diagnosis. They call his condition a "limb anomaly" meaning they don't know what caused the defect. The tests for related syndromes came back negative - what a relief! All his organs appear to be healthy and functioning perfectly. We couldn't have been happier to find out he is perfectly healthy except for having short arms and only two fingers on each hand.

The first few days at home were tough - we spent time crying and still asking God, Why? We still have moments of weakness, but every day that goes by we become stronger and focus only on what God has given us - a truly wonderful blessing. A month and a half has passed since then and our son is a very happy and smiley little boy. He is growing every day and reaching every milestone according to his age and getting ready to take his first swimming lessons at 6 months.

The question now isn't Why. The question is How? How will we as parents raise our son to be confident, secure in himself and a functional part of society. We cant wait until we take him to his first soccer practice and encourage him to play any sport he wants. It will be up to us to instill the values in him that he will need to be a success in this world. Brian and I have become even closer than ever before and we are finding this experience has strengthened our union more than we could have imagined.

We are so thankful for all the family and friends we have and who have been supportive in so many ways. I am originally from Chile and my family has not been able to be here, but my husbands family has been a huge support and a great blessing. We were so happy to have come across Super Hands and relate to so many stories like our own, We would be glad to hear from any of you. Once again thanks Super Hands for letting us share our story and God bless.

Brian ,Orieta and Isaiah Ender.

August 2009

Well Isaiah is 18 months old now and what a blessing he is in our lives. We have grown so much as parents just from watching him every day. He has a very determined little personality and won't give up until he figures something out. He is feeding himself, brushing his own teeth and loves to help daddy water the yard. Isaiah was walking by 9 months and has been talking for quite a while . He seems to learn a new word every day right now. He is such a joyous, happy little boy who is very intelligent for his age. He started swim lessons this summer and he is doing great so far! He goes to story times 3 times a week and is always the star of the show.

We do notice people looking and staring but for the most part we get really great comments about how cute he is or how well he gets around for his age. We decided from an early age that we would tune out everybody else and their comments. Kids often ask at the playground what is wrong with his hands? They are mostly curious. We just tell them"That's how God made him" Isaiah inspires us every day and we never treat him any different than if he had 10 fingers.

We came across this text and wanted to share this story with all of you as it has touched our lives greatly. Thank you again super hands for allowing us to be in touch with so many beautiful kids and their families around the world .

Brian , Orieta and Isaiah Ender

Welcome To Holland.

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts. But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

To communicate with Isaiah's parents, send an email.

If you want to be a SuperHands Kid or Hero, or know any inspiring stories that would be a benefit to this site's viewers, please send me an email. Thank You!

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