A few years back a sweet, sweet fellow FPIES mama surprised me by sending a necklace that held the phrase “there is always hope”. Over the years, “there is always hope” has become the GAPS Kids slogan, as moms repeat this sincere encouragement to new members as they join. That little phrase has such incredibly deep significance for me that I had no idea I was preaching it so often or that it was sticking until this treasure arrived.
I wore out the chain and have not yet found a replacement, but grabbed the charm and brought it with me in my pocket to the Certified GAPS Practitioner training last weekend in Minneapolis. As I pulled it out the evening after training completed, it evoked a huge spectrum of emotions that I was not expecting. I flipped through old blog posts from when Ellie was an infant, and the magnitude of the weekend hit me in a massive torrential gush.
In February of 2011 I held an 18 month old Ellie in my arms and wondered if she was going to make it through the night. She vomited and cried non-stop, her little eyes sunken deep into her face and her body limp. I had already began trying to feed her broths alongside her elemental formula and homemade almond milk, and she was not getting any better.
I had nothing to FEED her. Nothing to nourish her. No plan. No answers. No hope. And I was running out of time. The fear left me without oxygen.
In the dead of night and by the grace of God, I somehow managed to send off an email to a doctor half way around the world, never expecting a response. I was confident that we were alone. Yet the next morning there it was – a response in my inbox that contained the very words that I needed to hear. Just enough to give me forward movement. Just enough for a grab at hope. Just enough to be absolutely everything.
“GAPS Introduction diet is the right way for your daughter to heal.”
And so I jumped.
But as I watched the healing happen in my own home, with my own case study, I was flabbergasted that it all could happen with only food.
I made a promise to myself in 2011. I promised that if I could help it, NO mama should ever have to go through what Ellie’s daddy and I have had to go through. That NO mama should kneel by the side of her bed sobbing, not knowing what to feed her child in one of the riches countries in the world, not knowing how to make her baby better, and not knowing that it was all within reach. Such worthless, pointless suffering. I swore I would SHOUT it from the rooftops so that they could hear:
THERE IS HOPE! There IS a plan. There IS healing to be had. And they CAN eat.
That necklace charm now no longer sits on top of a GAPS book, worn and falling apart at the seam. Now it sits on top of a practitioner manual. And though I could never have guessed the journey would lead me here, I would not change it for all of the broth in the world.
There is always hope.
Hope is contagious. Pass it on.