About Jessica

About Jessica

Jessica Elizabeth Walker: An Unexpected Blessing

I remember the day we first met back in 1978. It was a wonderful surprise and was also the first time her life was in peril. Even today I can hear the doctor’s voice in my head…

“Of course due to your age, and the fact that you said this was not a planned pregnancy,” the doctor mumbled, still avoiding any direct eye contact,“…uhhh….you could at this early stage… ummm… er… abort this fetus…” He gulped for air, “…you could easily terminate this pregnancy.”GUWJ4_P021.410.15_hires

Thump! Thump! Thump! Went my heart. The silence in the room was deafening as Renée and I absorbed what he had just said. Finally at last our eyes met. I looked into her warm and tender brown eyes. It was like looking into the eyes of a doe who had just been confronted by a rifle shot. I could see the shock of the doctor’s words, reverberating with horror, through her body and soul. She was pleading for help with her eyes. I shook my head slowly.

I remember that with one voice, and with our eyes locked on each other, we said with a conviction that came from somewhere deep inside, “NOOO! NO, we DEFINITELY… WANT… THIS… BABY!” A new life had begun between us and I think at that moment we both felt the fierceness of our love for the new little person we had created. We had decided. This child was going to be born and grow and prosper in our family, and we would love this child forever. No turning back.

And just like that we had made our first commitment to our unborn child. An unexpected child that would become Jessica, ‘the blessed one.’ The first of many critical ‘life’ decisions.

We had at that time of course, no inkling of how much this unexpected child would ultimately alter and enrich us. We were about to be changed very deeply, and in so many ways. We could not even start to imagine. We had started down the path to what we now call ‘Adventures in Jessica Land.’

GUWJ4_P063.410.15_hiresThe ‘Birthday Present.’

“You have a beautiful baby girl, Mr. Walker,” she gushed, with an excited smile. “Would you like to come meet her?” It was August 25, 1978, my wife’s 34th birthday. I was feeling a little unprepared, since this baby, our third child, was not expected for at least another three weeks and here she was… a little birthday present. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

Rubbing my eyes, I walked into the half-darkened recovery room and the first thing I saw was Renée’s beaming smile, she was lighting up the room.

I looked beside her on the gurney and saw a beautiful little red faced girl with the biggest dimples. She had worked one arm free and was waving it in my direction as if to say ‘come closer dad’. Instinctively I reached out for her hand and she instantly grabbed my finger with a fierce grip.The watching nurses murmured in the background. “Wow! Look at that grip. She sure knows her daddy!”

The ‘Heartbeat’ Gets a Name.

A few days later we settled on a name for our new baby girl. We had a daughter named Jamie and a son named Jon so we stayed with the ‘J’ theme. Jessica was our choice and to this day I am not sure exactly why we chose that name. Later we discovered that it meant ‘blessed one.’ For her middle name we went with my mother’s middle name, ‘Elizabeth,’ the name means ‘consecrated to God.’

Over the course of our lives with ‘Jessica Elizabeth,’ those names we chose with such light- hearted excitement that hot August so long ago, we have come to treasure and hold close to our hearts. And today I can say that her name and her face are known around the world. Something that we could never, ever, have imagined.

‘Growing Up with Jessica’GUWJ4_P075.410.15_hires

“Jessica is having five seizures per second…” Dr. Wilson paused and looked me in the eye… “and I guess we don’t know why…” His voice trailed off into an awkward silence, as we sat there holding our baby Jessica, with our hearts sinking. ‘What happens now, I wondered?’

That was just the first of many questions I would have, as we stumbled forward into our now uncertain future. I remember at the time feeling that a huge chasm of darkness and anxiety was before us.

Over the years we have been following many paths with little guidance. We were in the wilderness without a map. It was January, 1979 and our journey had just begun and we felt lost already.

In 2004 as a very reluctant author, after much prompting from family, friends and distinguished writing professionals, I shared our story in print with only one goal. To try to help others who were facing the unknown as we had 25 years before and help them along the way. We had grown up with Jessica as we learned to survive and thrive and broke through to the blessings and joy that Jessica has brought us. Since the publication of that first book we have seen that goal fulfilled countless times. It has resulted in a series of three books.

‘Growing Up with Jessica’ is a sharing of that ‘Growing Up’ journey in Jessica-Land

‘Lessons from Jessica’ grew from the very real life lessons we learned along the way.

‘Prayers from Jessica’ is sharing our sources of comfort and inspiration over the years.