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November 23, 2010 / paperkids

The beginning

And now these three thing remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love.  – Corinthians 13:13


I never could have imagined six months ago that I would know Emma as I do now.  My God!  How could I ever have concieved it?  In all my entries, I don’t know that I’ve been able to fully express the joy it has brought me.  Words themselves have taken on a a whole new meaning for me.  I see them pour out through Emma’s fingertips and every single time it feels a little  like the first time.  These words have filled up my life and left behind only all that is possible.


After all these years of her silence, it is my desire above all else to just listen to her.  And what she says could never fail my heart, not even if it might be hard to hear.

Emma:   Would you stop writing the blog?

I felt like someone had knocked the wind out of me.  We sat on the couch and I just wasn’t sure what to say.

Me:  “Emma, why?  Do you really want to stop the blog?”

Emma:  yes

Me: “But why?”

Emma:  I am trying to be a part of this world

I think even before she typed this out, I began to feel this from her.  Autism has been her whole life for so long.  For all these years, she was defined by that word.   And now I could see more clear than ever – she is a  nine year old girl who really wants to learn how to ride a bike and be a part this new world that has opened up to her.

Me:  “I think I understand.   Are you sure?”

I continued to question her in the week that followed.  It was hard to swallow the idea of saying goodbye to this experience.

Emma:  I want to move on

quit asking me about the blog

Me:  “Okay!  Alright.  But you will let me know if you change your mind, right?”

Emma:  yes but I won’t

Her matter of factness, which is a personality trait that I really admire in her,  was somehow comforting and eased my sadness somewhat over the whole thing.  I realized that one of the things I love the most about writing this blog is documenting this time with Emma.  All of our conversations and sharing this with her while getting to know her for the first time – this is what I love the most!  And I will continue to have this with her no matter what happens.

Me:  “Are you glad that we did the blog?”

Emma: yes

Me:  “I still want to share about this, Emma.  And I will still write about autism.   Our story can help other people.  You know that, right?”

Emma:  yes

Me:  “What if I start another blog?  One that’s about our family?  Would it be okay if I still share things about you?”

Emma:  yes

What more could I say?  After all these years, she was telling me how she felt and what she wanted…. and  I really heard her.

I put my arm around her and held her close to me.

Me:  “I am so, so proud of you, Emma.  I could not be any more happy or any more proud.  I love you so, so much.”

Emma:  I am a lucky girl

I felt such a wave of joy mixed with sadness – it was bittersweet.  I looked at Emma and thought about how far she’s come in these six months.  How far she’s come to draw so close to me and the life she so desperately wants to be a part of.

It took me a while to figure out how to say goodbye to this blog and all of you.  I’ve spent time crying like a baby over it.  You see, I’ve come to love my intimacy with you.  I know that I don’t know you all, but I feel our hopes and dreams mingle.  I have been able to share this powerful moment  in our lives and record it in these forty entries in words that mattered to me…and even to you.

I could never call this the end, but it is just the beginning.  The start of a whole new wonderful journey for Emma and our family.  I have no idea where this road will take us or the obstacles that may lie ahead.  But now I feel like anything is possible when you believe.

It’s been hard to get video (the iphone is pulling through, although somewhat limiting), but I wanted to get one more up.  I am still having to lightly support Emma’s arm, but she has come so far that I really think she’ll reach independence in her typing.

Emma:  I am a lucky gal to have this amazing experience and loved doing it.

New blog coming soon!!

To be continued…….


UPDATE:  Got our new blog up!  www.Murphy the



Leave a Comment
  1. Lynn States / Nov 23 2010 2:53 am

    I continue to be excited about all of the possibilities in Emma’s life and will always praise God for this miracle.

  2. Dani Lorraine / Nov 23 2010 4:23 am

    So bittersweet! With heartfelt thanks…and tears…we thank you, both, for inviting us to be a part of this amazing journey with you.

    The Lorraine Family

    “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
    Phillippians 4:6-7

  3. Candy / Nov 23 2010 4:27 am

    It’s ok if Emma wants to take a break from the blog. She has shared so much with us in the last six months! I was so happy to learn about her likes/dislikes, favorite color, her thoughts, God, and to read her beautiful poems. She’ll still communicate with you, Sabra, but privately. I’m sure she’ll come back to this. But for now, it’s her turn to learn things–like how to ride a bike. Thank you Sabra & Emma for sharing your wonderful experience with us. xoxox

  4. Grandma / Nov 23 2010 4:56 am

    Thank you, granddaughter for trusting us to know a little about you.
    I feel honored to have witnessed your incredible growth and faith. I sing praises for these blessings, and thank the one from whom they flow.
    Loving you is so easy my girl, loving your songs, your poems, your willingness to reach out with your fingers to tell us what you are thinking.
    And your brave parents have been so creative in their days. And your sweet smiling brother who has had you to make the road easier.
    I am glad that you have trust to speak about your needs; may you always be connected to wise loving companions and relatives.
    We love you Emma.

  5. Emma Apple / Nov 23 2010 6:00 am

    I hope Emma will start her own blog one day to share her poems with us. I’ll miss her but feel so honored that she and you have shared this indescribable past 6 months with us. Thank you Emma! For everything. I think this is a wise decision, and you will both treasure this, I hope you print the blog and keep it somewhere very safe!

    Emma, you look wonderful in your yellow outfit sweety.

  6. Melissa / Nov 23 2010 7:19 am

    I feel kind of like that grandparent that only gets to see their grandchildren once or twice a year, and the first thing they always say is, “You have grown so much!” I know that when we next hear from you, Emma, we will all be saying, “she has grown so much!” It won’t all be due to your stature…which I’m sure will change….but your experiences, your ability to communicate what you are seeing, feeling, hearing and doing….and your innate sense of God. I look forward with anticipation to what the future will bring you, Emma….but I have to be honest…I’m going to miss you and your mom! You’ve been on my “bookmark bar” since the beginning of this blog….and when I don’t get a link to you via my email every few days…I search your blog out to make sure I haven’t missed anything!

    Blessings to you, Emma and your mom, dad and little brother!

  7. gloria cassidy / Nov 23 2010 7:58 am

    Thank you Emma.
    Thank you Sabra.
    Your words (both of you) changed me. I have been like Jacob wrestling with God. Jacob was changed and never walked the same again.
    Your voice has broken me (in a good way). I can’t walk the same way again.
    Bless you Murphy family

  8. karen / Nov 23 2010 2:43 pm

    Emma, thank you for the wonderful gift of your words and your thoughts. I will always treasure what you have taught me, and will forever be grateful for you. As you move on into your next stage of growth and learning, please know that my love and support go silently with you. I believe great things are in store for you. 🙂

    Sabra, you are such an amazingly supportive and patient mother! I have the greatest admiration for you. It is because of you that Emma has her voice and we all benefit from that. 🙂 (And I loved hearing “Farmer in the Dell in the background there. How sweet!)

  9. Fitesa / Nov 23 2010 8:31 pm

    I am very gratefull to be witness of this wonderfull happening. It’s only God who keeps on surprising us with great events.
    Thank you Sabra and Emma for sharing your experience. I learned a lot from you both. You are amazing parents with amazing smart kids.
    I will be happy to find you again after some time.
    Emma sweety, I am very happy to know a bit of you. I know you have more and more to give. Keep on giving sweety.
    Blessings to you and family

  10. Rita / Nov 23 2010 8:33 pm

    Thank you Emma. I loved reading the blogs as you posted them better than anything I’ve read in a !long time. I hope to hear something about how you are growing in the future if you desire to tell us. I feel a little sad because I love to hear how God works threw you. You have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas ! Thank you, Sabra !

  11. dory / Nov 23 2010 11:52 pm

    What an amazing experience. Enjoy your newfound window of opportunity, Emma. We all make progress in our own way. Never stop trying. Your momma will be there. Best wishes to you all. You deserve the best. dory (PEACE member)

  12. alysia / Nov 24 2010 12:47 am

    I have been following this blog since a friend of mine, who has a young daughter with autism, recommended it. I have worked with autistic children for over four years (using an ABA and Verbal Behavior approach), and I have known many success stories. None, though, have been as beautiful and inspiring as yours. It has made me so much more aware that I do not and cannot even begin to understand what is going on in the mind and heart of the children I work with. When I find myself becoming frustrated because a child is displaying problem behaviors or not getting something I am trying to teach, I think of your story and it fills me with so many emotions, including patience! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It has reached more hearts than you can ever know.

  13. Danielle / Nov 24 2010 1:56 am

    I have never met you or anyone in your family, but I am so inlove with your blog! I work with children with Autism and in all my experiences I have never learned as much as I have learned from reading your blog. Emma’s story is so inspiring, and she has shed an enormous amount of light on the world she has spent so much of her life living in. Because of her, I am that much more passionate about advocating for and working with kids with Autism. As a professional working with children like her, I am so grateful that Emma has chosen to share her life with her readers. She has opened my eyes and given me so much insight, I feel as though I am a much better professional because of her. So, THANK YOU EMMA!!!!! And welcome to this world 🙂

  14. not supergirl / Nov 24 2010 4:23 am

    I will miss reading, but I’m so grateful that you’ve shared this much. What a gift! Thank you!

  15. Karissa / Nov 24 2010 6:47 pm

    best wishes to you and emma and your whole family 🙂

  16. molly / Nov 24 2010 7:13 pm

    Dear Sabra, I am so proud of you ! I know this has been so good for you to write, its a very beautiful gift you have and I know you will keep writing – ‘a book’ perhaps?! : )
    Love to You, Jared, Emma and Hayden! Aunt, Molly

  17. Kara / Nov 25 2010 7:03 am

    Thank you for sharing your story. Tonight we had a community thanksgiving service, five small churches in Minneapolis MN got together to celebrate Thanksgiving, and I preached about gratitude. I shared your story in my sermon. You and Emma have witnessed to me the power of gratitude, and the presence of God in our lives in all the ways we notice God or not, and the sacredness of our ordinary lives as a place where God meets us. Thank you for your courage – to live fully and to share your story with others.

  18. Kara / Nov 25 2010 7:13 am

    Dear Sabra & Emma,
    I want to thank you for sharing your story. Your love for each other, your courage and your determination are so inspirational. I wanted you to know that tonight I shared your story in a sermon – five small congregations in Minneapolis, MN got together for a community Thanksgiving Service and we talked about the power of gratitude – that it lets us see and feel where God is working in our lives and in the world. That life is a gift from God. Your words share that so beautifully. Thank you.
    Blessings on your family this Thanksgiving.

  19. Fat2Fit2Fabulous / Apr 10 2013 4:27 pm

    Amazing story Sabra. I hope that Noah will soon follow Emma’s steps… So good seing you! Love, Jules ❤

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