Simply Special

Tapestry of Life

January 11, 2018 4:41 PM

I was on my way to an appointment for a sonogram as a precautionary step to confirm that the complications I had experienced previously with my pregnancy with Chaim Boruch were not a current concern.

An hour of images being recorded—and an hour of feelingWe connected over the beauty of parenting absolute gratitude for modern medicine and the expertise of the technician—I quietly whispered to G‑d deep praises and thankfulness for the gifts He blesses me with daily.

The technician was very kind and friendly, and we connected over the beauty of parenting.

After she was finished documenting all her images on the computer, she said goodbye, wishing me well, and notified me that the doctor who is on call would arrive shortly to go over the sonogram results and images.

Thankfully, I have been through this a few times since Chaim Boruch was born and have met many doctors—some of whom were more diplomatic than others, and some of whom were gifted with an extra dose of sensitivity to the patient and to the concept of miracles, belief and trust.

So, I made a mental note to remind myself that no matter who would enter the room, I would keep my inner strength in tact and know that G‑d is truly the one who knows every detail of the world.

Minutes pass, and I hear a gentle knock on the door.

A doctor slowly peeks around the curtain hanging in the dimmed room, and slowly says she thinks we may know each other from a previous connection with one of my children.

It is mere seconds, but the length of time fills my mind with images and memories that slowly drift before me, I am putting a name to a face, transporting me back in time, all while confirming her suggestion.

Indeed, we did meet many years ago.

Our eyes lock as she sits down. We are both incredulous, and in awe of the moment and reunion. Yes. Indeed . . . a reunion we both would never forget.

Dr. Hoppkins. That was her name. And then it all came tumbling out as my heart burst with emotion and my eyes filled with tears.

This incredible doctor delivered my Chaim Boruch 11 years ago.

I was transferred from my current medical group of midwives to UCSF, a world-renowned hospital that would take over my care and delivery for those last four weeks of pregnancy.

This would be my first experience having a doctor deliver, and I will always be in awe of her time, expertise, extreme sensitivity, care and dedication to every detail that we were dealing with.

Dr. Hoppkins stayed with me for 21 hours. She did not move from my side and gave me incredible support, and now I finally had another chance to thank her.

We sat in that dark little room and embraced. I told with her that I have been wanting to locate her and meet up with her again to share with her how far our special baby has come. It has been a dream in the back of my head, yet I believe part of my heart may not have been ready until now.

You see, part of me wanted so badly to go back to those nightmarish days. I felt that until I would meet up with this incredible doctor, I could not entirely pull full closure to this circle in my life.

A piece of my heart needed to talk to someone else who had been in that room. Who saw me go through what I went through. Someone besides my husband and my midwife, who could remind me that indeed what transpired was challenging, heart-wrenching and yet miraculous, hopeful and full of love.

I could barely breathe sitting but inches away from Dr. Hoppkins, as we reminisced with moist eyes.

Two women with a passion for life, living and children . . . belief, trust and miracles.

What I did not know or realize at the time was her admiration for our strength as a couple, our closeness to G‑d and our deep belief in miracles. I do not recall any such feelings or closeness.

However, I do recall intense fear, heartbreak, overwhelming despair and an agonizing desperate feeling of wanting to run away with my baby.

It truly amazes me, that after 11 years, someone can look at the same situation and offer a new light on what those hours and days were also filled with, even though in my heart and mind they were covered with much emotion.

And this was the gift of closure for me. A testimony to what occurred not only in a sterile hospital room and NICU ward, but in the recesses of my heart.

As I scrolled through photos on my phone of my precious Chaim Boruch—singing hisI recall intense fear and overwhelming despair praises of strength, love and his pure soul—within only a few minutes I traveled the span of 11 years.

I traveled from very challenging territory to a time and place that is so deeply beautiful and breathtaking.

Today.

A new day with a stronger belief and trust in G‑d, a closer relationship and a constant reminder to the gift of time, healing and milestones.

After about half an hour of time standing still, we embraced. Not only out of gratitude for each other, but gratitude for this gift of Divine providence.

Hashgacha pratis, Divine supervision, where nothing in our life is “random,” and every detail of our existence is truly choreographed by G‑d, with His infinite love for each of us, our potential and our journey in reaching it.

I do not recall the 20-minute drive home. I cried tears of joy and happiness for the gift of coming full circle—not in any other way other than the full circle drawn in the depths of my heart.

Thank you, G‑d, for sharing with me the tapestry of life.

Woven strands of the infinite colors of living.

Chana is a proud wife and mother living in Mill Valley, California. She is inspired by the colors and textures of everyday life, and loves sharing her creative ideas with her community. Chana writes DIY projects, crafts and recipes celebrating her Jewish life and shlichus on her blog Chana’s Art Room, and is the co-director of Chabad of Mill Valley with her husband, Rabbi Hillel Scop. To read more about Chaim Boruch, and Chana’s journey, take a look at her personal special-needs blog, Life of Blessing.

The Most Exquisite Bouquet I’ve Ever Received

December 1, 2017 12:44 PM

A farmers’ market experience is one close to the heart of many Californians. An opportunity to stroll through dozens of open tents, displaying a plethora of fruits and vegetables, flowers and other such delights. The produce is as fresh as one could dream of, with farmers standing by each case of overflowing produce with pride.

So, when I received an email from Chaim Boruch’s teacher saying that the class would be going on a trip to a farmers’ market, I could not contain my excitement. I read further, following instructions to sign the attached consent form. And then, before I clicked reply, I noticed a little note suggesting that our children could bring money on their trip and a list of desired produce to purchase.

With a huge smile, I reminisced about my childhood field trip days and how exciting they were, packed with a carefree spirit and a day of exploring. I excitedly pulled Chaim Boruch close to me, and we sat together as I read him the email. I asked him if he would like to go, and he nodded “yes” with mirrored enthusiasm!

All of a sudden, I realized that this was an incredible opportunity for him to do something tangible that could make him feel mature and responsible.

Within minutes, I gathered all of Chaim Boruch’s siblings and asked them to listen to something very exciting that Chaim Boruch had planned. I told them that their big brother will be going on a field trip to a farmers’ market. And then, I turned to Chaim Boruch and asked him if he would please go shopping for the family and buy each of them something they would like.

And so began the list of love.


With each little smiling face, shouts of delight and giggles filled the room as they chose their favorite fruit or vegetable to be added to the list, right next to their name. This continued for a few minutes, and then everyone scrambled back to their homework and games.

Chaim Boruch seemed very proud of the task that lay in front of him. I gave him a hug and squeezed his fragile shoulders.

I looked at him and asked if he could buy something for me, too. He nodded even stronger and with a huge grin said “ahhhhhh,” voicing his strong agreement.

I asked him if he would please choose some flowers for me for Shabbat. And he nodded with excitement.

That night I printed out his shopping list and attached it to a mini clipboard, tucked it into a brown paper bag with a handle and a $20 bill. I went to sleep, full of anticipation for the next day.

I don’t think anything could have prepared me for what happened when he came home from school.

My husband helped him off the little yellow school bus, and as I headed towards the front door, my special child literally ran through the entry way with a beautiful bouquet of flowers for me, with the most magnificent grin and the cutest flushed cheeks I have ever seen.

Tears filled my eyes as he thrust the bouquet into my arms and leaned in for a hug. I couldn’t get the words out and just held him tight.

My child bought me flowers . . . my very own special-needs son whose days are full of challenge bought me a gift I could only have dreamed of. And there we stood together, admiring his choice of blossoms, while I thanked him from the depths of my heart.

I have had many gifts of flowers for Shabbat in my lifetime. I have adorned our white pristine table with shining silver candlesticks and without a doubt, I have set the table with hundreds of arrangements of the most exquisite rare flowers, of hues I never knew existed, yet this bouquet surpassed them all.

Each petal, each stem, each leaf, each blossom was testimony to me of the gift G‑d has given each of us, to bloom where we are planted.

To grow despite challenge, to rejoice despite heartache, and to trust in G‑d and believe in His ways, despite adversity.

Chaim Boruch’s life is just that.

And so, hand in hand, we set the Shabbat table together, stepping back in awe, mother and son.

A beautiful moment and reminder to bloom where you are planted.

Chana is a proud wife and mother living in Mill Valley, California. She is inspired by the colors and textures of everyday life, and loves sharing her creative ideas with her community. Chana writes DIY projects, crafts and recipes celebrating her Jewish life and shlichus on her blog Chana’s Art Room, and is the co-director of Chabad of Mill Valley with her husband, Rabbi Hillel Scop. To read more about Chaim Boruch, and Chana’s journey, take a look at her personal special-needs blog, Life of Blessing.
Chana Scop shares her experiences parenting a child with special needs.
Chana ScopChana is a proud wife and mother living in Mill Valley, California. She is inspired by the colors and textures of everyday life, and loves sharing her creative ideas with her community. Chana writes DIY projects, crafts and recipes celebrating her Jewish life and shlichus on her blog Chana’s Art Room, and is the co-director of Chabad of Mill Valley with her husband, Rabbi Hillel Scop. She also writes about a mother’s journey of raising a special-needs son on her other blog, Life of Blessing. She welcomes you to be a part of her creative and touching journey.
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