Happy Birthday, Jude: A CCVI Parent Reflects on Three Years

Birthdays and anniversaries are opportunities to look back at moments with newfound perspective. We had one such moment over the weekend when we marked Jude’s third birthday.  As our family gathered around a homemade cake and watched our son, born without sight, excitedly sing and then blow out his birthday candles, it’s amazing to think how this journey began.  

Just three short years ago, together with my wife, a confused medical team and our new son, we discovered Jude was completely blind, unable to perceive light.  Naturally my mind raced down equally dark roads, attempting to envision what his future might look like in a sighted world.  The smiling birthday boy was not among my first thoughts.


Within days of coming home from the hospital the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired sent two staff members to our house.  I remember asking with tears in my eyes if I was right in wishing for our new son the same things we wished for our sighted children.  Absolutely, without hesitation was the response.  The two proceeded to remind us just how much control we have over Jude’s success as his parents.  

I think back to this moment as being the transformative one.  Here, my wife and I sat, thinking we would basically need to turn over our son to people who will know him and raise him far better than we could, only to be told that no teacher can be better than a good parent.  CCVI was not looking to parent Jude but partner with Jude’s parents.  Even before they began work with Jude, my wife and I became the CCV’s first project.

I couldn’t have believed it then knowing now just how much our family has grown as an advocate for our son; how much we’ve adapted and matured to be Jude’s best teachers.  This is what I am most grateful for.  We don’t choose CCVI for our son to hand him over and ask other people to work miracles and then hand him back when the job is done.  We choose CCVI to share in the miracle work, to collaborate with its expertise and become the best parents for our son.  CCVI knows a child’s best teacher will be his or her parents and in order to best empower the child, the parent must be empowered first. 

Please support the CCVI through the Trolley Run and help empower parents to be the best teachers for their children.  Click HERE to register or donate today.