I’m begging. I’ve never done that before unless you count the time I wanted a puppy in college of which my parents offered a resounding NO. I’m not even sure if I begged for my big brother’s life though there was no one to beg but God Himself and that felt more like a wish to the fifteen year old girl, helpless as the cancer spread. No, this begging is new to me and travels with belonging to a little boy with special needs named Amos, my youngest of four children. I’m begging and it’s been the most humbling experience to which I have relinquished my participation.

Amos. It’s him who I lower myself as far as the ground will allow and I beg, plead, cajole, ask, hint, try to not to be overbearing as I lay my heart on the line over and over again. On the other side of the emails, phone calls, and letters are people, people like you and me, kind strangers. What if those kind strangers overlook my precious son for admission to Duke’s Undiagnosed Disease Network?

Tonight I checked the Duke/ NIH/ Harvard website, as I do every day and have done for 8 weeks and three days now. I check my spam. I look for missed calls from Durham. I scour my email and I check the site that updates numbers. Every day. Since I have been a stalker, the number of acceptances has been updated two times. Always a Friday and a month in between. My sleuthing has convinced me that the team meets once a month and chooses between the winners from families much like my own, desperate for answers. To do the math and count that 13 more were accepted today took my breath away and I checked again. No emails. No spam emails. No texts. No missed phone calls. No voicemails. Nada.

It could be eight to ten weeks Duke had offered kindly and firmly when I begged a physician to call and check on my Amos’ file three weeks ago. November 29th would be the ten week mark and if I was right in my careful observation of the process, there would be no more acceptances between now and then. I sent an email, thoughtful and inquisitive, and let them know I was just checking on Amos’ file. I thought for several minutes.

I’m begging, I said in my second email, sent minutes after the first one and I included this snapshot. I have nothing to lose and so, I’m begging for Amos and his siblings and my husband and me. I’m begging for a chance to solve the mystery of the most lovely puzzle I have ever encountered. Begging is the very least I can do for our precious three year old son, his lovely smile imprinted in all I do and wonder and ask and pray and yes, even beg.

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