John Paul

I’ve written about my sister and her family on this blog before (here and here, among other places), and many of my faithful readers already know the story of my nephew John Paul.

When my sister was pregnant with her fifth child, she went in for a routine ultrasound- one that was supposed to just tell them that she was pregnant with her fifth little boy (at least that’s what Vegas odds were on).  Instead, that ultrasound told my sister and her husband that their lives were about to change forever.  Every baby changes lives.  John Paul was going to change lives in ways no one had expected.

For months we prayed through the intercession of Bl. John Paul II for a miracle.  On March 11, that miracle was born.  The miracle came in a way we weren’t expecting.  Our miracle wasn’t that John Paul had arms.  Our miracle was John Paul.


I wanted to write a post about the Storey family, but I kept finding myself at a loss for words.  For anyone who knows me, that’s not a common occurrence.   But what do you say about such a powerful witness of love?  I couldn’t find the words.

Then I read Jill’s post: Five Months.   If I thought I was at a loss for words before, I was really at a loss after that.

My other sister and I are the teachers in the family.  She teaches high school and I teach adults.  But I think we could argue that the world is learning far more from Jill.

“Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses” (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 41)  In a world that needs a witness to the dignity of life and to the love of the Creator for His children, Jill and Patrick are a testament to that love, giving their lives for the most vulnerable.

Over the eleven months since we found out about John Paul’s TAR Syndrome, I’ve had a numerous people tell me that John Paul has already touched their lives.  It’s been humbling to hear from so many people that they’re praying for him and his family.  Many have asked how they might be able to help.  Thanks to the generosity of a friend of Patrick and Jill, they were put in touch with Azalea Charities, an organization that helps wounded warriors and youth and special needs projects in the Northern Virginia area.

I will always ask for your prayers for John Paul, his parents, and his brothers.  Prayers are the most important thing you can give to the Storey family right now.  But if you feel called to show your support for Jill and Patrick in a monetary way, there’s now a tax-exempt way to do that, too.

The other day I picked up a book I couldn’t put down – Christopher de Vinck’s The Power of the Powerless: A Brother’s Legacy of Love.  So many people had recommended it to me, and I’m sorry I didn’t read it sooner.  So many parts struck me, but this quote especially jumped out: “If Oliver had never been born I wouldn’t have the same joys and fears and secrets I dream about today.”  I could say the same thing about John Paul, and he has only been in my life a few short months.

I have a hunch this little boy will change the world.  He’s already changed ours.


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