Last week in part 1 I shared the story of two special boys in our community and how God showed His purpose through them.

I would like for you to get know their moms better. Melissa and Katie have a powerful story of how God uses their life of special needs and loss to help others.

At the time of Noah’s death, JJ had moved to Michigan. When he got the news, he was determined to call Katie. Melissa was hesitant as she knew a lot of family would be calling and Katie would be busy preparing for other needs. But JJ was determined to let Noah’s little brother Kaden know that he was there and that he took his new role very seriously.

JJ has his own special story too.

JJ’s biological father was unable to handle the demands of a special needs boy and he left. God brought Andrew into Melissa’s life and, once they married, he adopted JJ.

JJ understood the feeling of losing someone and he wanted to fill that place for Kaden.

Melissa will tell you that JJ’s love is more genuine than anyone she knows, with or without autism. He so perceptive and will not stand for anything fake.

One night, JJ was upset when Andrew disciplined him. Melissa was sitting with JJ and he said, “Mom, don’t you think God knew what we needed? My other dad had to leave so God could bring my new dad. God knew we needed a family and that I needed someone to teach me how to be a good man.”

When I spoke to Melissa and Katie this week, they told me that they know their boys understand and understood their purpose and through this journey the two best friends have come to see theirs.

Melissa’s role has gone from single mom of three to wife and mother of seven (with 4 stepchildren).

People will make comments about not knowing how she does it. She asks, “How would I not do it?”


She knows it was her purpose that took her through hard times and is what carries her into what is ahead.

“I am here to be a safe place and to listen. I am so fulfilled when the kids express that they can tell me anything.”

Moms of special needs children and stepchildren need a listening ear. Melissa knows this first hand and wants to be just that, a safe place to share and feel heard.

As Ann Patchett reminds us in her book, What Now, “People need to talk. Often a willingness to sit and listen is the greatest kindness one person can offer to another.”

Katie’s role of being a mom to Noah and Kaden has a new meaning. She has always had the purpose of advocating as a wife to a high school band teacher. As she travels with students, God has often trusted her with a student who needs support.

She is now fulfilling that purpose in a new way: Pediatric Stroke Awareness. She comforts and advocates for families dealing with not only pediatric stroke but the loss of a child and sibling as well.

Katie’s and Melissa’s friendship and faith has been strengthened by the insight of their young sons.

God is still using JJ’s and Noah’s story to bring hope and shed light on the power of God’s purpose through us.

Psalm 8:2 says, “From the lips of children and infants You have ordained praise on account of Your adversaries, to silence the enemy and avenger” (Berean Study Bible).


Melissa  & Katie

For more information on Autism, Melissa would like to share her most relied on resource:

Thrive In Chaos — Kyle Jetsel

For more information on Pediatric Stroke and Noah’s story please visit:

2 resources I would like to recommend are:
Diane Dokko Kim, author of Unbroken Faith

Jenn Buell Special Needs Parenting: The Best Way to Be an Awesome Friend to a Special Needs Mom

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