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  Home > Family > Stories > Terri And Tovah Ben Ami, Winter 2012: An Update.
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Terri And Tovah Ben Ami, Winter 2012: An Update.!
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado   

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The children keep Tovah and Terri Ben Ami very busy, as does Terri's involvement with an organization benefiting families who have lost children to Canavan disease (their own daughter died of Canavan's at the age of nine, several years ago).

Image (c) 2011, by Karla Dorman.

Sonora, California, 8:53 A.M., P.T.,  February 16, 2012~

Good morning, world!  Just shunted the kids to school; the only ones who are home are myself, Tovah, and our two youngest, Jahari and Denver, who are four and six.  We adopted Jahari two years ago from Africa, and Denver just this past year: both have proved to be extremely delightful children!

Alyssa, our oldest girl, no longer feels so sleighted at being the only girl.  She adores her little sister and gets along with Denver famously, even when Denver is being a little toot!  :)

Hard to believe that Hyman is nearly a teenager now.  He's only 12 1/2 years old, but is already quite tall: a few more inches and he'll be as tall as his father!  He's already past me in height; he will probably be well over 6' tall, according to our primary pediatrician, Dr. Rosenblad.

I can't help but feel a little sadness in my heart: in only a few weeks it will be three years since Nashi passed away at the age of nine.  She would have been twelve this year had she lived.  She died of Canavan disease.  Both Tovah and myself had the bad gene that causes the disorder, and we passed it on to our second child.  She suffered horribly during her short life; it killed us that we did this to her; it was through no fault of her own.

Amazingly, Hyman did not get Canavan's, which was something of a miracle.  He did not have not even one little sign; he has remained very  healthy, which has been a huge answer to our prayers!

After Nashi died, we decided not to have any more children the natural way; instead we turned to adoption.  We ended up adopting not one child, but five: eight-year-old Wallace from China, seven-year-old Mordechai from Africa, 12 1/2-year-old Alyssa from Russia, four-year-old Jahari from Africa, and most recently, six-year-old Denver Xie Nicole from China.

We haven't regretted any of it! We love all of our children unconditionally, as if they had been BORN to us.   They are all such great kids!

Of our two birth children, Nashi looked the most like me.  Hyman looks just like his daddy.  Spitting image of him.  I sometimes called Nashi my "Mini-Me" because she WAS.  Quiet, thoughtful, loving, appreciated the simple things in life.  Yep, that was Nashi all over!  Even though she could no longer talk by the time she was five, she could see and hear (then; by the time she was eight and a half, she lost her sight and hearing) and often responded to things by cooing or cryiing out in a very loud way.  She would smile and giggle and her eyes would light up like the sun.  It was magical!

I have since wrote a book about having a child with a condition like Canavan disease; I am waiting to hear from the publisher now, to see if the manuscript has been accepted.  I am praying with my heart of hearts that it has been accepted.  The title of my book is "Nashi's Story:  God's Grace Through Unspeakable Pain", and all proceeds in buying the book will go to Nashi's Angels, our foundation for kids like her who still survive.

Hyman has expressed a desire to become a rabbi, just like his uncle Fletcher.  Tovah couldn't be more pleased.  I am happy for him too; I am sure Hyman would make an excellent rabbi.  He understands and appreciates his Jewish faith.  He also would like to join the Marines, but if that doesn't pan out, he will go to school to become a rabbi.  Either way, wonderful goals to shoot for.

Alyssa, our ballerina, would like to be a professional dancer or work with babies at a daycare center.  I think having Nashi in our lives has given her a mothering instinct; she was very tender towards her sick little sister.  

Mordechai and Wallace both want to be football players or space cowboys (a la Star Wars ... their words, NOT mine!).

Denver is not so sure what she wants to do; she's only six years old and is behind developmentally.  If she could be anything, she would want to be a princess or a kitten.  She loves both.  :)

As for Jahari, he's too busy making messes.  I swear, that boy must be the African relative that Pig Pen of Peanuts fame never talked about.  LOL  He attracts dirt as garbage attracts flies.  LOL  He cannot stay clean for more than five minutes, twenty, tops, before he needs yet another bath!  LOLOLOL

Well, Denver is crying (as is Jahari), so I'd better see what this is about.  I will write in here again soon; until later, this is Terri Ruth Ben Ami saying so long; may Yeshua bless every one of  you always!

~Love, your friend in (not-so-sunny) Cali, Terri.  :) 

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