A Letter From Grandma Rose

As a committee, we asked the family for a reference letter that we could use in applying for some help with our project. We received the following letter, written by Jeremy's mother, and it was so beautiful that we wanted to include it here:


I have been asked or assigned to write many different articles in my life . . . but never before have I been so delighted to do so. As a mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother to this exceptional family, I feel highly qualified to write a reference letter.

First, about Jeremy. He has always been an incredible human being with an almost constant smile on his face. Always eager to learn, to help, to laugh, to entertain, to play, and to try any reasonable new activity. From about age 12, his best friend was profoundly deaf. It was a wonderful, mutually beneficial friendship that still continues today. I am sure their friendship was a great foundation for Jeremy's ability to easily accept, and grow to deeply love, these five special-needs children that have come into his home.

Now, let me define Christianne. The best way, the easiest way to do so, is to quote myself. Whenever I introduce her or talk about her to anyone, I simply say, "My son married an angel." And I mean that with all my heart. I've often remembered a conversation that I had years ago with Christianne and my own two grown daughters. The four of us were chatting, and somehow the conversation turned to a disabled child we had just seen. (Christianne did not have any children yet.) My daughters and I were feeling incredibly sorry for the problems that this child obviously had and how sad it was that she would never be really pretty. Christianne didn't say anything until I asked her what she was thinking. Her response was typical of her heavenly spirit, "I think the baby was beautiful. She's perfect the way she is." I was shocked by her words. But as I studied her face, I realized she was serious. I believe she honestly saw a perfection that I could never see. Through the years, as Christianne and Jeremy have adopted more and more special-needs children, that conversation has repeated itself in my mind over and over again. And I have grown to love this angelic daughter-in-law more and more.

I am thrilled that a whole community has been inspired to help my son and his family obtain a home that will allow them to live a little more comfortably and to offer them a better opportunity to reach their full potential. Through the years, I have spent many nights in Jeremy and Christianne's homes. From their first little townhouse to their Herriman home. It was in Herriman that things began to feel especially tight. A few years ago, Jer and Christi had finished a storage room and turned it into a bedroom, "Especially with Grandma Rose in mind." And I loved it! But within about two years, it became "Elli's Room." My sweet little blind and severely autistic Elli had become incredibly strong. And her screaming fits could be frightening. And any noise could wake her in the middle of the night. No matter that all of the other children in the house had to share rooms, Elli had to have a room of her own. And, of course, she still does.