She's 11

It’s that time of year again. It comes around every May; Brynna’s birthday. It always seems a time when I contemplate the past, peer into the future, and wonder how things could have been or how they will be. I’ll be honest, sometimes it’s a sad time.

We have conversations about what we will do for her birthday by way of a gift and it always ends with something utilitarian because she needs things. She doesn’t understand what it is to even have a birthday, much less appreciate a special gift. For her an empty box can bring hours, days, and sometimes weeks of enjoyment.

This is a time when I look around outside as Spring days are filled with playable sunshine and beckoning breezes. Then I remember that Brynna can’t really take the heat, her stamina isn’t all that great for walking, her skin is sensitive to sunburn, and frankly, she doesn’t like grass to touch her feet. She does, however, love to be outside when she can, as long as she can.

This year is a bit different in another way, too. This year we have three eleven year old foster sons in the house. Everyday they go outside and play. They run, climb trees, play basketball, have Nerf wars, and hit the tennis ball with Erika’s old bat. They do what eleven year old boys do.

Then I think of Brynna. She is inside, not running, not climbing, not hitting the ball.  She is content and happy though. She almost always is, but she loves being outside. That’s why I want this year to be different. This year, I’m on a mission.

Not long ago I found something that turned my head and made me think, “Brynna NEEDS that!” It is a bike. A fancy bike built for kids and adults just like her. It’s called the Duet Wheelchair Bike by Mobility and Access, Inc. It has a wheelchair on the front and an adult-sized bike on the back. She can sit in the Wheelchair and I can pedal her around in the great outdoors! This is a game changer!


When she was smaller I pulled her in a trailer and she absolutely loved it, but as she grew she no longer fit in the little toddler trailers. Not to be stopped in our pursuit of outdoor fun, I built her a larger one with a place for her wheelchair and we used it a couple of times. It wasn’t long before we realized she was just too big for that, too. Not to mention how hard it was to drag a 65 pound kid in a trailer up East Texas hills.

This Duet Bike solves both problems. She will easily fit into the seat and there is an electric assist model that would help to push her now at 85 pounds up the steepest of hills. This year, I thought, she is getting a bike for her birthday.

Will this bike make her better? No. Will it heal her? Nope. Will it make her able to do something other kids do? Sort of, and that's exciting!

It will allow her a quality of life more like kids her age. It will provide her with the same sort of enjoyment the others get when the wind is whipping through their hair as they speed down the trail! I want her to experience that thrill. I want her to have a bit of normalcy, and somehow, by God's grace, she will.

The doctors have written a prescription so maybe insurance will help, but it's doubtful. These things are expensive. If not, we will figure out a way and Brynna will get her bike! 

The Lord has taught us so many things through this little cherub. Another year means another year we weren’t promised, or even hoped for. Another year of the child they sent home to die defying the odds as a living testimony to the goodness and greatness of God as He molds all of us into a more clear reflection of Himself, whether we like it or not.

This Duet Bike solves both problems. She will easily fit into the seat and there is an electric assist model that would help to push her now at 85 pounds up the steepest of hills. This year, I thought, she is getting a bike for her birthday.

Will this bike make her better? No. Will it heal her? Nope. Will it make her able to do something other kids do? Sort of, and that's exciting! It will allow her a quality of life more like kids her own age. It will provide her with the same sort of enjoyment the others get when the wind is whipping through their hair as they speed down the trail! I want her to once again experience this thrill. I want her to have a bit of normalcy, and somehow, by God's grace, she will.

The doctors have written a prescription so maybe insurance will help, but it's doubtful. These things are expensive. If not, we will figure out a way and Brynna will get her bike! 

The Lord has taught us so many things through this little cherub of a child. Another year means another year we weren’t promised, or even hoped for. Another year of the child they sent home to die defying the odds as a living testimony to the goodness and greatness of God as He molds all of us into a more clear reflection of Himself, whether we like it or not.