To the Stranger Who Cried When He Held My Infant Daughter


Sarah White's daughter I don’t think any parent goes into their 20-week ultrasound expecting to hear there’s a problem with their unborn child. I know we didn’t, but that’s exactly what happened. Our fourth child, our first together, our precious daughter, had brain abnormalities. From that day on it was a whirlwind of ultrasounds, meetings with doctors and genetic counselors, blood tests, an amnio and still no clear answers.

My fiance has a large family, so naturally news traveled fast. Rarely did a conversation with my mother-in-law end without her telling me “[so and so] is praying for you.” So, as thankful as I was, in that moment, hearing that my fiance’s cousin’s father-in-law had added us to his church prayer list was nothing overly significant.

As soon as our daughter was born, she began to defy the odds. The surgery to place a shunt in her brain that we were repeatedly told she would need immediately after birth, wasn’t necessary. The six-week NICU stay we were told to expect turned in to a short 13-day stay. We took our daughter home not knowing what her future would hold.

A few weeks later, we traveled the two hours to my fiance’s hometown for a birthday party. My mother-in-law, being the proud new grandma, proceeded to take our daughter around to introduce her to the family. She handed my infant daughter to a man I’d never seen before; I was a little uneasy. When tears began to run down this man’s cheeks, I was confused. It all made sense when he began to speak to her… telling her how hard he’d prayed for her every night, that his entire church was praying for her, how he never dreamed he would get to meet her, what a miracle she was. I promised myself he would see her again, he deserved to watch her grow. The next day, he died from an allergic reaction to a bee sting in his yard. I still think he gets to watch her grow.

My daughter is doing things doctors said she would never do: walking, talking, learning, laughing. She finally had to have that brain surgery and a second one. She has struggles. But I believe she also has someone in her corner in heaven. He was in her corner fighting for her before I could wrap my head around the fact there was a battle to fight. My fiance’s cousin’s father-in-law… my daughter’s first hero.

The Mighty is asking its readers the following: Describe the moment a stranger — or someone you don’t know very well — showed you or a loved one incredible love. No gesture is too small! If you’d like to participate, please send a blog [email protected] Please  include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Other

Boston Bombing Survivor Crosses Finish Line at the Site Where Her Life Forever Changed

On April 15, 2013, Rebekah Gregory was hospitalized and fighting for her life following the Boston Marathon bombing. She’d been near the finish line cheering on the runners at the time of the attacks. Last April, as a tribute run, she crossed the finish line in a wheelchair. On Monday, she returned again to the site where her [...]

Special Needs Parents Are Hard to Get Along With

Perhaps some of us special needs parents have snapped, yelled, spit or barked at friends or family, leaving them utterly confused about our behavior. Who can blame them for thinking, “Well that’s the last time I talk to her!” “What’s wrong with him?” “Is his disability sarcasm? He is so rude!” “Every time I talk to her [...]

Please Don't Praise Your Kid for Playing With Mine

Yes, it’s true, not every child takes the time to slow down and play with kids like mine (I have a child with Down syndrome and one with cerebral palsy), I’m aware of that, so when your kid plays with mine it makes me smile. I’m so thankful for your son or daughter. And I [...]

My Favorite Story on The Mighty This Year

A year ago today, we launched this website. I wrote a story that day about my daughter’s disability — how I got started down this path — and explained why we created The Mighty: Stories that inspire people – that can change the path of someone’s day, as my wife says – are a great start, but we are going [...]