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A Little Girl Born without a Brain Touches Hearts and Changes Lives
MEXICO | APOSTOLATE | NEWS
Her father, "Pepe" Carredano, tells the story of how adopting Jimena, a severely disabled girl, changed the life of the family and of many others.

Jimena
Her parents, Pepe and Celia, say that among the 7 members of the family, Jimena is doubtlessly the most special.

September 30, 2008. Mexico City, Mexico. Presented below is the testimony of José Carredano and his wife Celia, both members of the Regnum Christi Movement. This testimony was originally published in the September 26, 2008 issue of the Spanish weekly, ALBA. Reprinted with permission.

*****

Many children have passed through the house of Celia, Pepe, and their four children in Mexico City. Celia was a volunteer of Yoliguani, a Regnum Christi apostolate that takes in pregnant girls from ages 14 to 18 and helps them to have their babies and give them up for adoption. Since the space in the center is very limited, the babies waiting for adoptive parents are taken in by the Carredanos.

“Since the nursery is small, and the private institutions do not have an easy time with the government in Mexico, when the 8 cribs are full, the families keep the babies at their homes. About 18 have come through my home,” says Pepe.

One of them was Jimena. Her mother was 15 years old, and her father was 16. They never knew that the baby was sick.

“Her mother was very generous because she had the baby and gave her up for adoption,” said the man who is now her adoptive father.
Jimena already had an adoptive family when her new mother began to notice that her behavior was strange.

“One month after, she was returned to us because she wasn’t eating, crying all
Jimena
Her brother Pepe cared for her in Yoliguani and has always had a very special relationship with Jimena.
the time, and having convulsions. The adoptive mother didn’t have the money for the medical tests that the doctor recommended,” Pepe said.

The Carredanos brought Jimena home, and the neurologist discovered that she had a serious problem.

“He told us that Jimena had been born without a brain. She had the stem and a bit of cerebellum, where some very basic physical capacities are located… but she can’t hear or see. It is a rare case because normally children with this problem do not live more than 8 months or at most, a year. Jimena is already six years old. When the neurologist saw her, he said, ‘This is a little miracle.’”


A special kind of communication, soul to soul


A short time later, the Carredano family decided to adopt her. Her organs are healthy, but the only relationship that Jimena has with the exterior world are the vibrations in her hearing, and it seems that she has something of a sense of touch, because she cries sometimes when she has injections. She picks up on certain sharp or loud noises, and somehow is able to recognize her family.

Even like this, Pepe says that she has already taught them many things.

“She has expanded and filled our hearts. Thanks to Jimena, we are better people. Since she doesn’t have a brain, she expresses herself only with the soul, with the spirit. Even like this, Jimena is a great fighter for life. My wife has brought her to various congresses of deputies where they are discussing laws relating to the right to life. She takes Jimena in her arms and tells the deputies about her condition. It marks them, and Jimena’s example is changing the way that many people think,” he said.

“With the four children that we have, God was preparing the family to welcome Jimena and work hard for her. And the family is working a lot. Here we have a little being who is so pure, so privileged and special, who gives you what you need. She is an indescribable gift of peace and happiness. With this spiritual communication, she draws you closer to God,” said Pepe.

Jimena has a one-year-old aunt who loves her. The first thing this little baby does when she gets to her grandparents’ house is to go looking for Jimena.
“She gives her kisses and lays down next to her… And what can a little girl give back when she can’t move or speak?  You start to realize that these two children’s souls are communicating in a spiritual way. And that communication is what changes us, far more than rational, pragmatic, or empirical things,” Pepe observed.

God loves these little ones who are helpless in their infirmity, but strong in their souls.

“God sends us rays of light like Jimena. He wants them to change the others,” said her father with conviction. “Maybe their life is short. God knows what it is to have a short or a long life. I thought that when I died, I would be able to meet her in heaven and talk with her, but now I think that I’m going to be there waiting for her,” he said with a chuckle. “And I believe that we haven’t even seen the tip of the iceberg of what this woman is going to achieve.”


When God allows a person to be born, it’s because they have a mission


Pepe and Celia have been organizing international congresses on the family for years, but they say that they never did as much good then as they have now with Jimena, in spite of her limitations.

“I guarantee you that I have not changed anyone’s way of thinking, but that Jimena has done it. A woman who wanted to abort because she was expecting a child with Down’s Syndrome happened to read the story of Jimena in the book Beings of Light, by Gloria Conde. At a month and a half—when she saw that in addition to Down’s, her baby would possibly also have other problems and could even die—she decided not to abort the baby. If the baby did die from the illness, she decided that she would adopt another baby with Down’s Syndrome,” said Pepe.

“How could I get someone to experience such a deep change of heart? I could not, but she is doing it,” he said. “These beings that God created may seem to some people’s eyes to be deformed babies who should never have been born. But they are the ones who could be making changes in the world, and we are throwing them away. It’s a kind of suicide that we are inflicting on ourselves,” he said.

Pepe and his family have seen and experienced that no matter what human abilities one might have or lack, each person has a role in this world.

“We have seen with Jimena that when God allows a person to be born, a person created by Him, it’s because they have a specific mission to fulfill.”

Donors interested in supporting Yoliguani and its work with children can contribute through the Catholic World Mission web site.


PUBLICATION DATE: 2008-10-01


 
 

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