"Unknowingly, the child is treated as somewhat subhuman and denied feelings of tenderness. The blow dealt to parents by the sickening realization of retardation is painful and confusing."

Becky and Sam Hutchison knew there was something wrong with their beautiful baby girl when, even after several months, she was not moving nor responding to stimuli. There was also the way little Lisa always held her head to one side, and the fact that she showed no sign of ever being able to sit up or manipulate objects with her hands. “The ultimate goal for Lisa would be sitting alone or brushing her teeth for herself!” writes her mother. The official diagnosis was microcephaly, complicated by cerebral palsy. That the new parents also abused alcohol and other drugs—and that Sam was physically abusive—only compounded an already difficult situation at home.

The Hutchisons, in openly sharing their struggles in raising a special-needs infant, are to be commended. The degree to which the book candidly shares their heartbreaking situation is astounding. This is true even for the violent recounting of Sam’s drunken beating of his wife, as well as the daily attempts to feed Lisa, which habitually resulted in choking, vomiting, gasping for air, and screaming. Their story, in this sense, is not a pretty one. And yet, the reader learns, there is indeed much beauty to be found here. The authors’ little Lisa, with golden-tanned skin and long-flowing silvery hair, never judged them, they write. They describe the way she would, in her broken little body, curl up her lip in smile, gazing at her parents with love in those two, big, beautiful blue eyes. God had brought Lisa into their lives for a reason. Though she died at age four, it was because of the birth of Lisa that the couple found their call to Christianity. As they admit, it was in many ways the parents—not little Lisa—who were the ones in need of healing.

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