The Oranika's spend much of their time at the kitchen table. Homework and learning are priorities. "That has to be your greatest desire, a future for your child."
All three girls do well in school. But the oldest, 7-year old Michelle exceeds expectations. "(They told me) You just had a Down's (Syndrome) baby and I thought , this must be a nightmare."
Michelle, diagnosed with Down's Syndrome, was given little hope of ever being a 'normal' child. Doctors predicted learning disabilities and lifetime struggles. They even said Michelle would not walk before she was three."
Patience Oranika, Michelle's mother says, "It doesn't seem fair that a child should come into the world and not be able to do anything."
Michelle's father says, "I was really shocked for sometime until it became real that what they were saying was true."
A year after Michelle's birth, the Oranika's moved to Montgomery and joined Christian Life Church, and discovered the Power of Prayer.
My husband is fiercely private. But we went down when they had an altar call and I'm surprised he came, but he did. And we told them what our greatest desire was." That desire was for Michelle to contradict doctor's predictions. The couple and their church began praying.
"She got up in our living room and picked something up and started walking. And, I looked at her and said OK."
Michelle was only eleven months old and when she was tested for school, there was another surprise. "They determined that she would be in a regular classroom because she did not lack anything and that was one of the prayers."
Michelle today learn's on a 7-year old's level. She makes good grades and her parents say she is a good big sister. The Oranika's say Michelle keeps beating the odds of Down's Syndrome. "Medically at birth that's the diagnosis, but that's not the diagnosis of our God."
And this family says the reason is this. "It's not because we are lucky. That's not true. It is God and faith and the fact that God still answers prayers. The Power of Prayer is what pulled Michelle through."