|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
the time, and having convulsions. The adoptive mother didn’t have
the money for the medical tests that the doctor recommended,”
|Her brother Pepe cared for her in Yoliguani and has always had a very special relationship with Jimena.|
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.’”
kind of communication, soul to soul
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.
like this, Pepe says that she has already taught them
“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.
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
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.
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
“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.
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.
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.