Meet Jenalyn… by Sandy Moser
Have you met Jenalyn Moser? I am Sandy Moser and proud to be her mother. I was asked to tell you our story.
I was a classroom teacher. In 1987, a 6-year-old girl came to my classroom. She was nonambulatory, barely spoke, not toilet trained, but there she was. Her mother had died and her father was not able to care for her. She lived in a facility. By Halloween of that year, we (our family) decided to take Jennifer (her given name) to the community Halloween parade. That was the beginning. We began picking her up more and more often. She went to dinner with us, church, visits with family and friends, overnights and any and all holidays and birthdays. When I say “we” I mean my husband, 15 and 12 year old daughters and 10 year old son. Needless to say, the whole family was quite fond of her.
Before long she was using long leg braces and walking, becoming quite verbal and potty trained. Our pattern continued for two years and we were finally able to become her foster parents. When we were making arrangements to welcome Jenny to our house, our then 17 year old daughter came to us to say that she could move in to her bedroom. She said she would be leaving in another year for college so it made sense. Mind you that included sharing a bed with a little girl (including long leg braces).
There are so many stories I could share, including one involves her then 13-year-old brother. After school and at times during the summer that he would be the one at home with her. At my parents 50th wedding celebration he was in the middle of the room with her, let go and edged away. She stood without her walker and took independent steps. There was not a dry eye in the house. It was clear they had been practicing.
Due to legal problems it took several years and a bit of money to make her a full Moser. She had been claiming the name and eventually all of us began discussing her first name. Somehow she became Jenalyn!
Twenty years ago she had a very life threatening emergency exploratory surgery. She did not need to do that to get our attention. The whole family ran to her bedside from around the country and thank God we got to bring our girl back home.
At the very beginning and forever more she was a part of our family. She took her sisters and brother to college, was in their weddings, welcomed her nieces and nephews to the world. The whole family is devoted to her, but no one more than her Dad. He did anything and everything for her. He built things; ramps, adapted bicycles, lifted and boosted her and in every way supported her. She often joined his church contemporary choir and they did a duet for the entire congregation. He could even do her hair!
Two years ago we lost that wonderful person. We moved to North Carolina to be close to her brother and sister and their families even though we left a sister and family back in the north. I don’t think I could have survived these years without her, so we (that little girl who came to my classroom so long ago) and I will move forward.