At the Browns’ 20-week prenatal appointment, Pearl was diagnosed with alobar holoprosencephaly (HPE), a neural disease with low chances of survival. Despite a grim prognosis and a doctor’s encouragement to induce labor and end the pregnancy, the Browns opted to embrace life and hope and carry Baby Pearl to term.Pearl Joy Brown was born on Friday, July 27, 2012 — 4 lbs 3 oz, and very much alive.
This week, all across the big and wide interweb, folks are writing letters to Pearl Joy Brown as a keepsake, an encouragement, and a testimony.
Well. You know how I feel about letters.
To start, to understand, you should read Ruth’s (Pearl’s mamma) letter and then come back.
(photo taken by Pearl’s dad, Eric)
Dear Sweet Pearl,
I’ll keep this short… I know you are a busy girl with lots on your plate at the moment. But I wanted to take a minute and say hello, say we love you here in Michigan, and say we are so blessed to know you.
I think mammas everywhere took a collective deep breath when we heard about your 20-week appointment. If you’ve been through it, and maybe even if you haven’t, something in your heart kicks into high gear when you hear about another mamma needing a miracle. It’s instant. The desire to help and pray and cry and laugh with other moms- it’s instant. We started praying immediately, Pearl. We prayed for grace and wisdom and hope… and a miracle.
And there you were. You are nothing short of a miracle. You don’t have to do anything, Gorgeous! You, just by being here, are a miracle. Every thing else is BONUS miracle. We celebrate all of it.
We know a little bit about miracles over here. We know that they are not only to be found in the Old Testament, but on the modern streets. In the homes of the wealthy and the porches of the middle class. We know God works in waiting rooms, on Facebook, and in soup kitchens. On the football field, in grocery stores, and in earthquake rubble. We know they show up when least expected and with a mighty message. Child, what you have told us in your 6 weeks of life! Such a huge heart in such a little body. Our God is so poetic.
Pearl, you have changed and strengthened and pierced the hearts of so many in the short time we’ve known you. You are a game-changer. “And though she be but little, she is fierce. ” – Shakespeare. That’s you, Little. That is you.
You keep fighting,Pearl. Fight for every ounce, every inch, and every breath. Keeping reminding us that medicine is not limited to books and machines. Remind us that every second has a purpose, be it rest or journey or battle. Remind us that we can do- with God’s help– impossible things.
We are praying for you. We are praying for your doctors. And, we are praying for your amazing family. We love you, Pearl. We love you, and your God, so much.
more Letters to Pearl HERE throughout the week (at the bottom)
And if you need a place to tithe this month, may I suggest the Brown’s Van Fund HERE.
We can do really big things, Friends. Really big things with teeny, tiny steps of hope and faith.