For the entirety of his nine years of life, Jie had never once spoken or expressed himself verbally, and no one knew why. Medical test upon test had come up negative, showing there was nothing physiologically wrong with the child.
With no answers from the doctors, all his parents could do was hope that he might one day be able to speak on his own. However, his mother GG Wan and father Chef Au knew that time was running out for their little boy. Enrolled in a regular school, they had begun to arrange Jie’s transfer into a special needs school when they heard that His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche was giving a baby baptismal.
With deep faith, GG and Chef Au submitted all three of their children’s names for the baptism – together with Jie, they submitted the names of their two older children, a 13-year old daughter and 11-year old son who have no problems with their speech, or with their studies. GG and Chef Au, who is the Head Chef of Kechara Oasis, simply intended for their children to attend the baptism as a blessing. They never knew that the event on Wesak Day would bring so many great changes for them.
The day after the baptism ceremony, GG recalled that she tried to guide Jie to recite Manjushri’s manta OM AH RA PATSA NA DHI. Jie however, was unable to memorise or recite the whole mantra.
“That’s why it came as a surprise for me when he recited it. It happened while I was driving. Jie, who was sitting in the back seat, suddenly said, “Mama, OM AH RA PATSA NA DHI!”"
“It happened two days after I tried teaching him. I was driving so I said to him, “Good boy!”" said GG, who is still very excited when recalling her son’s miraculous improvement after the blessing ceremony.
“I have had more surprises after that. Once, Jie even uttered, “Mama, you crazy ah, driving dangerously!”", GG explaining that Jie said this when she tried to avoid a car in front of her which made an emergency stop.
Instead of being angry at Jie for scolding her, instead GG was very happy that her son could express his feelings precisely and with ease.
Since the baptism ceremony and his first recitation of Manjushri’s mantra, Jie has shown significant improvement. GG believes that these changes are due to the power of the Three Jewels, and that his improvements are only just the beginning.
GG and her husband suspected Jie of having speech problems when he was four years old, and no one could tell them what was wrong, except to say that he might have learning difficulties. The only sentence Jie came anywhere near to enunciating was, “Mama, I want to play computer games.” For the most part, he was incoherent, uttering incomplete sentences and noises, or relying on hand gestures to communicate – for example, to indicate his hunger, he would place his palm on his stomach.
Thus the change comes as an immense relief and joy to the proud parents who, after many years of living without any concrete hope that their son would one day speak, can now hear their son express himself perfectly…and for a parent, that is their greatest relief, to know that their son will be okay when they are gone.