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Prayer for Parents of Special Needs Children

August 21, 2015

Berk Ferry Have you ever had a nightmare; and when you woke up, you kept telling yourself, “It wasn’t real?”  You kept saying, “Everything is ok!” But you could not seem to shake the awful feeling because in the nightmare it WAS so real, and you were terrified.

That is the emotion my parents lived through Wednesday evening when Berkeley disappeared – didn’t make it home from work. Only this was not a dream, and no one could locate him. Phone calls flew back and forth. The hour grew later, and the company responsible for his transportation did a city wide search of their vehicles. Berkeley wasn’t on any of the busses. He wasn’t at his job site.  The transportation department called my parents once more. They asked for a description of the clothes he wore that day. “We need it for the missing person’s report,” they told my parents.   At that moment, every worst case scenario ran through their heads.

Safeguards had been in place, but they had obviously failed. Helpless does not begin to describe the feeling.

Berkeley was eventually located – safe and unharmed. His bus had never come to pick him up – he saw a different bus – a shuttle bus that looked a lot like his bus. He got on it, but when it didn’t take him home, he got off of it and on to another. We don’t know how many times he changed shuttles. We just know he somehow made it from Issaquah to Redmond.

Most people cannot understand Berkeley when he speaks; so he had to just keep going on alone. Finally, a kind and observant woman realized something was wrong. Berkeley was struggling with his phone. He couldn’t remember how to make an outgoing call, and it had somehow been turned to silent so he couldn’t hear it ring. This woman called my parents and kept Berkeley safe while they rushed to pick him up. Berkeley hasn’t been able to stop hugging them ever since.

I’ve seen a lot of Facebook posts these last few days.  They are posts of parents dropping their kids off at college – grieving because their babies have grown up much, much too fast. AND what a legitimate emotion that is, but it is not something some parents, my parents, ever got to do. On Wednesday, it slammed home in a way that is so very real.  Berkeley will NEVER grow up, and he will ALWAYS need extra care.

As a family we have always seen Berkeley as a special gift from God. We wouldn’t trade him away for anything or anybody because he has made our lives better in so many ways.  But this is what I am wanting to say, the parenting never ends.  I am asking you to remember to pray for the moms and dads whose babies never really grow up.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Cathie permalink
    August 21, 2015 8:27 pm

    Oh my goodness!!! I can only imagine the panic your parents must have felt. I’m so thankful for the woman who helped him out. God bless her!!!

    • August 21, 2015 8:35 pm

      Cathie, we are so thankful for her willingness to step in and help out.

  2. August 21, 2015 10:46 pm

    How terrifying! I’m so thankful Berkeley eventually made it home. Thank you for the insightful reminder of how to pray.

    • August 22, 2015 7:42 am

      Thank you, Mindy! Recently I’ve become more aware of my parents aging (not that I think you’re old mom and dad – they read my posts), and that some days they are weary. Then I look around at all the friends I have that face similar challenges, and I know they grow weary as well. I need to be better at praying for these moms and dads too.

  3. Tina Arwood permalink
    August 22, 2015 5:26 am

    I can’t imagine how terrified you and your family felt. A missing child is my worst nightmare. Thank you for sharing and giving me a new perspective into a world of parenting that I have never considered. I am so thankful for the kind, observant lady. I want to be her, so I will definitely be more aware and watch out for some else’s Berkeley. Praise God he is ok!

    • August 22, 2015 7:44 am

      Tina, this has always been a fear of ours. Finding that balance of letting him have independence and live versus keeping him safe can be tough. I am so thankful for people who immediately started praying for him and for the woman who took Berkeley under her wing. I’m sure you are that woman. 🙂

  4. August 22, 2015 7:29 am

    I am so glad they found Berkley. Thanks for this post. I am praying for you and your family and the many parents of special needs adults and children. Blessings on all of them.

    • August 22, 2015 7:45 am

      Gigi, thank you! Everybody has some challenge in their lives, and prayer is such a powerful gift we can give to each other.

  5. Lydia Harris permalink
    August 22, 2015 8:13 am

    Giving thanks for a happy ending to this story. Praying for safety for Berkley and strength for all his family.

    • August 23, 2015 9:24 am

      Thank you for your prayers! We love Berkeley and are so thankful for those who take an interest in his life.

  6. August 22, 2015 12:22 pm

    Oh, Laura, I am so glad he is OK!! Tears blurred my reading this post! Poor Berlkey– and family! God is with him. {HUGS}

    • August 23, 2015 9:26 am

      I recall praying for God’s protection for him that day. We just never know when God is about to answer our somewhat vague prayers. 🙂

      Judy, I’ll never forget those many years ago when my parents brought Berkeley to my college graduation, and the girls of Dorm 422 were excited to meet him for the first time.

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