Preston Party of Six

Preston Party of Six

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Scales, Stares, and Six Flags

There is one thing I’ve come to realize about Jenna’s skin is totally unpredictable. 

Ichthyosis has stumped me.

For some reason, beyond my understanding, our little Jenna’s skin has not been looking good lately. 

It has been extra dry and extra scaly.

And these scales are very visible…very.

Hence the stares.

They seem to never stop.

Most of the time, Jenna’s scaly skin doesn’t cause her any pain.

But stares from other people are bound to cause her pain.

As Jenna’s mom, my first reaction has often been to try to protect her from these stares.  Although she doesn’t even know people are staring, there will come a day soon that Jenna will realize people stare at her…and I won’t always be there to protect her.

But today while we were at Six Flags having a blast together as a family, my perspective on this began to change. 

While Jenna and I were in line for her favorite “Canyon Blaster” roller coaster, it was obvious that some people were staring at her.  It was in that moment that I sensed a change in my heart about having to protect her from these stares.

People will stare, and I shouldn’t shield her from this. 

Rather, I will love her through it and teach her to stand strong.    

So in that moment at Six Flags, I picked Jenna up, held her tightly, and whispered in her ear, “I love you so much!”
And then we rode the coaster with our hands held high, laughing the whole way.

I have no explanation for why Jenna’s skin looks better one day and worse the next. 

And I don’t owe any person that stares an explanation for her scales.

And I certainly have no good, reasonable, healthy, or sane explanation as to why our society is so darn obsessed with outward appearances.

There is no doubt in my mind the road ahead for Jenna will not be easy.
But I also have no doubt in my mind that Jenna knows she is loved by her family.
And as her understanding of being loved by her family grows, I pray she will come to a deep understanding of her Heavenly Father’s love.
It is by this foundation of love that Jenna will have the ability to laugh and raise her hands in victory when people stare, believing this truth: 

So bring on the stares. 

No longer do I feel the need to shield Jenna from these stares because her skin…her beautiful skin, scales and all…is simply part of who she is.  And only a small part.

If there is one thing Jenna can help teach others it is that we are all so much more than our outward appearance.

So stand strong, sweet girl…you are beautiful—inside and out—in so many ways!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

If You Could See Her Now

Dear “Tummy Mommy,”

I don’t know you but not a day goes by that I don’t think of you. 
And more so recently.

A few weeks ago, our daughter…the precious baby you gave birth to and the adorable little girl I have the opportunity to love and raise…took a walk with me after dinner and we had a short conversation about China.  It went something like this…
I asked Jenna if she remembers anything about China. She said, “No…tell me.” So I told her that it is a very large place with lots and lots of people…and out of all those people, God chose her to be in our family. I also said there is a woman over there whose tummy she grew in and although we don’t know her, we love her and can pray for her. And I told Jenna how I wish I could tell her just how amazing, healthy, and joyful her daughter is.
Our conversation didn’t last long, but then a couple of hours later at bedtime, Jenna said, “I miss the mommy in China. I want her back. You know why? ‘Cause I grew in her tummy.”

Ever since that evening walk, Jenna has asked to pray for you, her “tummy mommy,” nearly EVERY SINGLE NIGHT at bedtime.
And so we pray…
“Lord, thank you for Jenna’s ‘tummy mommy’ and even though we don’t know who she is, You do.  Please give her heart peace and help her to know that Jenna is healthy, safe, and loved by her family.  AMEN.”
I will never know all that is going through Jenna’s little heart and mind at 4 ½ years of age.

And I’m trying to process all the emotions and thoughts going through my heart and mind.
In a few months, we will celebrate two years since Jenna became part of our family.  I knew a time would come when she would ask about you…and that time has arrived.  Although she can’t fully understand the true meaning and miracle of adoption yet, I am trying to be as open and honest with her about you, her background (what little we were told), and how we are so thankful God brought her into our family.

I’m also guessing these questions about you, China, and the many unknowns that surround the first 2 ½ years of her life will probably become more frequent and more difficult to answer as the years go by.
But I want to assure you that even when there are tears of sadness…mine and/or Jenna’s…you will be esteemed.  I thank God for you, a woman I’ll more than likely never meet but the one who gave birth to our daughter and the one who had the courage to give her life.
And I also want to assure you that our daughter is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!  She is healthy, happy, independent, smart, full of life…and she is LOVED!!!
Jenna has always enjoyed dressing up and lately she’s been wearing her white princess dress almost every day.  As I’ve watched her dance and run in this dress with not a care in the world, I wish more than ever that you could see her now.    


Our daughter is a strong little girl…a princess warrior! 

There will be challenges ahead, no doubt…no human being is immune to trials and tribulations.  Jenna has already overcome many, even in her young age.  And due to her skin condition, there are bound to be additional physical and emotional challenges…but she will never face those challenges alone. 
You may not understand this, but I am praying for Jenna to be so grounded in who she is in Christ—a wonderful creation of the Most High God—that despite the challenges she faces in this life, she will know God has a wonderful plan for her life (Jeremiah 29:11) and she is loved with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).
I pray that you, too, will come to a saving knowledge of how much Jesus Christ loves YOU and has a plan for YOUR life!  Part of His plan was for your daughter to be in our family and I thank Him daily for her…and for you.
If you could see our daughter now, I know you would smile!
Jenna’s mom

P.S.  Jenna also likes to eat!