Brian was an unexpected, late-arriving gift for his parents. His brothers and sister were more than 10 years older. Before long, though, the shock gave way to excitement and anticipation. A 10-year-old sister dreamed of having her very own live doll and his brothers a new sibling to pick on.

Late in the first trimester of the pregnancy, Brian’s mother became ill, and after an investigation and excellent medical care, it was determined that she had contracted German measles, also known as rubella.

The compassionate country doctor shared with the parents all of the terrible possibilities and even offered to help her end the pregnancy. With a firm resolve, they stated their commitment to trust God and receive this gift of life unconditionally.

The birth was difficult, and not long after, the physicians detected two severe heart defects that they predicted would prevent Brian from seeing his 10th birthday. Sometime later, they also discovered he was deaf.

But Brian did celebrate his 10th birthday — and many more. Before he was seven, he’d survived two open-heart surgeries. He also began attending a school for the deaf. He graduated with honors and went on to Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. He later worked for Boeing and became an accomplished athlete, actor and spokesperson for the deaf community.

Even when facing what may seem to be impossible odds, unexpected and wonderful things can happen if you believe. My parents chose to believe — and I was blessed by my amazing little brother, Brian.

by Chaplain Ron Hyrchuk

May 11, 2006