Our family went last night to visit a shrine. as we do every Christmas. The lights were magnificent! The live manger was awe inspiring as the choir sang nearby. Of course, over the years it has become more commercialized…Merry Go Round ride for $3. Ride in the trolley, $5. $4 dollar popcorn and $5 dollar cotton candy. $12 for a small book about the nativity, and $25 for the accompanying small stuffed sheep. $9.95 for a children’s chicken nugget meal. Of course, with more and more lights, the expenses increase, and they have to fund it somehow. But I digress… The money making aspects of the shrine in no way minimizes the true spirituality and healing nature of the location, which is worth all of the money in the world.

We adopted Dinora from Guatemala at the age of 6 weeks, and I was so thrilled to have a daughter!!!  She came with a variety of diseases common in s 3
rd World Country, scabies, intestinal parasites and malnutrition.  But we loved her and fed her and she blossomed into an adorable baby with big black eyes and shiny black hair.

At the age of six months, it became apparent that Dinora was deaf.  She had not yet started to babble like other babies her age, but she also did not turn to her name, or looked at the dog when she barked, or seem to notice the footsteps of me coming into her bedroom.  She would be laying there awake when I walked in, (and, believe me, I am not light on my fight.)  When she finally would see me, she would startle.  She had not heard me.  The day I knew it for sure was a day she was sitting next to me on the floor while I was doing the dishes.  I accidentally dropped a huge lobster pot I was cleaning and it made a horrendous clang on the floor.  Dinora happily sat there playing, her back to the pan.  She did not startle.  She did not cry.  She did not hear it.

We then made the rounds of the doctors.  She flunked regular hearing tests, and had a brain stem evoked response test.  Her brain did not respond up to 90 decibels.  The doctor informed me that she was severely hearing impaired and that we would try hearing aids to maximize her hearing, although they would not be strong enough for her to hear normally.  They took the impressions for her ear molds.

That evening, our family went for a pre-Christmas visit to a shrine beautifully decorated with Christmas lights.  I was feeling sorry for myself.  I had a two year old son who was legally blind, and now I had an infant daughter who was deaf.

There was a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes surrounded by prayer water and many large candles.  There was also a large display of crutches and wheelchairs of people who had been healed by her.  I helped my son, Francis, who was 2 1/2 years old, light a candle. Because it was almost Christmas, and the only candles he had seen were on a birthday cake, he merrily sang “Happy Birthday Dear Jesus”.  I remember saying a non-de-script prayer, still upset that Dinora was deaf.  I still thanked God,  but was not quite as enthusiastic as usual.

The next morning, the dog barked and Dinora woke up!  I thought it was a coincidence until I started to walk into her room and she turned to smile at me. She had heard my footsteps!  I started talking to her and she started babbling back.  Only a day earlier she had been fitted with ear molds for hearing aids!  I excitedly called the doctor, who agreed to see her that day.  Her hearing was tested and it was normal!  Neither I nor the doctor could believe it.  He said in his 29 years as an ear doctor he had never seen anything like it.  He told me that it had to be an “Christmas miracle from Above”.  The visit the night before to the shrine came to mind.  A miracle HAD occurred, and I was  embarrassed because I had not thanked God more enthusiastically the night before. He had granted me a miracle even though I did not ask for one.

Dinora is now 28 years old and has had perfect hearing ever since that day! And I have lived life with a peaceful,generous heart because I know, without any doubt, that God is with me.


To read more about our life as a family, please read my book. Here is a link:

The Apple Tree: Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane


Comments on: "A Christmas Gift from Above Retold…" (69)

  1. Wonderfully Beautiful. Happy Christmas with Many Blessings and Peace~

  2. I do believe in Miracles. There is no doubt about it. I wish you posted the picture of your daughter. Thank you.

    • I’d love nothing better than to post a picture of my beautiful daughter. Beautiful tan skin, long black hair, and a smile that can melt a mother’s heart! However, I do try to keep them private. Just a little bit. (After blogging about their private lives, of course!!!)
      Have a lovely Christmas!

  3. I love a great miracle story!! How wonderful! Merry Christmas. (I’ve witnessed a few myself).

  4. I believe in miracles. I do love your stories and your Christmas heart!!!!! You are blessed in the sight of God and in the sight of your viewers. 🙂 ~~~&~~~

  5. a beautiful story, most of all what God spoke to your heart. thank you! and merry Christmas!

  6. what a joyous event. Thank you for sharing.

  7. It’s so encouraging when God shows up in the midst of our weakness. When my own adopted daughter was healed, I thought, “I didn’t even pray properly for that!” Glad God moved in regardless. Such a beautiful experience. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Wow. We forget sometimes that God is a God of miracles, and that means that miracles really DO happen, and therefore CAN happen for us.

  9. Such a beautiful testimony. You have a gift of keeping it short, yet so meaningful. It would have taken me twenty full paragraphs to tell the same story!!

  10. Merry Christmas, a truly beautiful story and real miracle.

  11. I am blown away by your story! What an amazing blessing.
    I just downloaded your book and look forward to reading it over the holidays.

  12. A miracle story to believe. Thank you for sharing it!

  13. Many thanks for sharing this story of your daughter’s miracle, as the world needs to be reminded that miracles happen daily. Some miracles are so big that they cannot be ignored, while others are so subtle that they go undetected. They do exist, and you helped to reaffirm my faith and belief in them. Thank you, and merry Christmas to you and yours!

    • I have many stories of miracles, especially during my childhood with my mom and brother. It is because of these affirmations of God that I am the way I am. Wouldn’t people live a little differently if they knew, for SURE, that God existed? I have been blessed with that knowledge form childhood. I have been sooooooooo lucky!

      • Spirituality, faith, miracles, and belief fascinate me, and I gravitate toward stories like the one you shared and so appreciate your willingness to do so. I believe in God, but sometimes, like the Doubting Thomas, I like to see some physical proof/reminders, as I strengthen my own faith. You are a blessing who has been blessed!

      • Blessed are those who believe without proof. I can’t imagine it because of my experiences, and I am in awe of people who believe so strongly in God based on faith alone. I was raised traipsing across the county, and my church was the mountains in South Dakota, a river in Tennessee, sitting next to the Grand Canyon and so forth. It is impossible NOT to believe in God when the settings are so majestic.
        My mom actually visited heaven, so I know THAT is real, too. We had all been asleep in our Volkswagen camper, and my mother woke up out of sound sleep, gasping. She was sweaty and joyous. She said she had the most real dream she had ever had, and that she was standing next to God to welcome a family friend to heaven. She described God as a bright light of unbelievable love and joy. We both talked about how great it would be if it really WERE like that in heaven. She couldn’t possibly have known that this friend, a young woman, had actually died at that exact time from a brain aneurysm, and we didn’t find out that her dream was “real” until we returned back home several months ago. Something like changes your life.

      • I so appreciate this dialogue, as it is a true gift to me. Sometimes, I feel like a spiritual mutt, as I challenge some of the teachings of my Catholic faith and seek out ways to be more faith-filled. It gives me great comfort to know that you understand the difficulty of blind faith and that you have experienced God’s presence in your own life and in nature. The story of your mom resonated with me deeply, and I believe that she was with God to greet her friend. What a gift for her and her friend! In addition to coming to know you as an exemplary blogger and outstanding mother, I am glad to have come to know you as an amazing spiritual person. Heartfelt thanks!

      • I’m just passing along the joy I know. As I’ve said before, I have been SOOOOOOOOO lucky to have this inherent faith. I DO go to church on Sundays, and belong to a wonderful Lutheran one. I had been going to a Catholic one, but switched when my particular church, with its own school, refused to accept my first born son who was blind. I am sure that there are many wonderful Catholic churches out there, but mine did not lead a very good example.
        Bless you as you have your own spiritual experiences.

      • The world needs more of joy indeed, and I wish you and yours an abundance of joy and miracles. Merry Christmas!

      • Thank you. And to yours, too!

  14. Thanks so much for sharing this. Such an inspiring story of God still doing miracles

  15. I’m reading your book and enjoying it so much, and this story is just as touching the second time around! Have a very blessed Christmas with your special family!

  16. Beautiful and uplifting! “God never shuts one door without opening another!” We must continue to believe in God’s ways.

    Wish you a Merry Christmas 🙂

  17. Truly a miracle to share …thanks!

  18. I too believe in miracles and have seen many as well over the years, so yes no matter what you religion you are – or who you believe in there is someone that watches over us and when it is time makes us realize that he is looking over us.

    Your comment about not showing the photo of your daughter – I can relate as I feel the same way that we can speak about our children but when the photo goes up it makes it to personal. Happy Holidays to all

  19. God is so real and this brought me to tears, especially as I am beating myself up about superficial crap, it was nice to read about your miracle and truly has brought on a change of attitude and praise for me. God is so good soo good!! Happy for you and Dinora, may your family continue to be blessed and have a Merry Chirstmas.

  20. Reblogged this on 4 Kings and A Queen and commented:
    A beautiful miracle. Totally changed my mood, I would like to share in hopes that if you need a change of heart, if you need a spirit of love, and reassurance, that this will do the trick, as it did for me.

  21. What an awesome story! 😀

  22. I have goosebumps all over! Miracles really DO happen.

    Many years ago, I was tentatively diagnosed with invasive, stage 4 ovarian cancer. 5 days later I was in surgery. When I woke up, the oncologist was standing over me, looking very confused. I asked her what they found, and she said “Nothing, really. Just a large bag of clear jelly. A benign growth, and we got it all.” I asked her about all the scary ultrasounds, the fibrous masses, the creeping tentacles? She just shrugged and said “I have no idea.”

    I told her that I had all my friends praying for me. She said “Well, that makes as much sense as anything I could come up with, because I can’t explain it at all.”

  23. weekendparent said:

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful and touching story. I was really moved to read it. I hope this year is another special Christmas for you.

  24. Reblogged this on Handicap and commented:
    I know that this is in fact a miracle. I know that miracles happen everyday, small and bid. In fact it’s a miracle I am still alive after my appendix burst. In fact the doctor said that even many normal people couldn’t have made it out of it. I did. Because God is by my side watching every move I make. In fact every one in a while something says “stop and think”. And I know that is him or one of his angel helpers telling me I should think before I do it. They don’t tell me what to do, they can only suggest what I should do. We still have free will.

  25. Thank You Lord, he works in mysterious ways.

  26. Reblogged this on Dogwalker, Ph.D. and commented:
    This is a beautiful story to again provide evidence that indeed anything is possible…

  27. great story to share – especially at this time of year

    must have been a very special moment when you realised your daughter could hear !

    • I couldn’t believe it! At the time, it didn’t dawn on me that it was a miracle, I thought we just got lucky and the doctor was wrong. It was the doctor who pointed it out…

  28. What a wonderful story and so well told as usual. It is wondrous that God grants miracles even without our asking or thanking. I think we are all lucky to have Him in our lives.

  29. He is so good and wondrous in His ways! I rejoice with you over your wonderful testimonies. Looks like you have been ‘whacked’ with joy in a number of ways! Love it!

  30. Beautiful story as usual, and wishing you the merriest Christmas ever!

  31. Jonathan Kingston said:

    Your inspiring story of your mom visiting heaven reminds me of one of my own experiences, which proved to me that we are spirits who merely reside in bodies for now.

    I was only 13 when I was electrocuted: 220 volts passed through my arms, disrupting my heart. I clearly recall looking down at the scene, seeing without my eyes and hearing without my ears. My grandfather saved my life, pulling me off the source (and burning his hands). I had never even heard of an out of body experience, yet there it was, real as the day is bright. I didn’t go through a tunnel or see deceased relatives, but I’d seen enough.

    It’s not clear to me why bad things happen to good people, but that experience along with others proved to me that there is a force for good. There is something beyond our current understanding protecting us.

  32. sarahlearichards said:

    This is an amazing story.  I want to comment on your blog, but cannot figure out how.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Sarah

  33. Praise the Lord for His miracles… anytime of year, yet seems more special at Christmas time ❤

  34. What a wonderfully uplifting story. Thank you. I’m looking so forward to following you and learning more of your story. Blessings to you.

  35. Reblogged this on Walking With My Brother and commented:
    My husband and I were tremendously moved by this story, by God’s work in your life. I’ve always said that our Lord knew I was not strong enough yet to bear such burdens as yours, but He has softened my heart and it was touched by your story. Thank you.

  36. This just touches my heart. Tears came to my eyes as I read it.


  37. My Aspie Heart said:

    Wow! Thank God for that! Very uplifting

  38. O my god, this brought tears to our eyes. As a woman whose blind since birth, and has did ptsd and a variety of mental illnesses, your blog really inspires me, you are a great mom to your kids! I hope you will come and visit our blog, which is privatised, but we’d be so honoured if you wanted to be granted access to read it! XX

    • I would love to!
      I have such empathy for you. Like my daughter who is deaf who was abused, her deafness is not a handicap to her…the ptsd and dissociation she has is a handicap. I long for the days when she can say she is “just deaf”…

  39. My first response was, “How wonderful!” I’m afraid my second was, “If I got a miracle for one child, but had others with severe disabilities, I’m afraid I would be asking God why they didn’t get healed, too.” Then I listened to myself sounding like the ultimate spoiled brat. . . .

  40. […] earth, miracles have happened that have strengthened my belief in God. Whether it be my daughter, Dinora, gaining hearing after being deaf, or the provision of a wildly disputed passport showing up in our mailbox just in time for her […]

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