Monday, October 8, 2012

As Long As

I have had this on my mind lately.
I may not say the words exactly like they have been impressed on my heart,
but I am going to strive to convey them in such a way.
I warn you, it is a little longer than I typically write,
and my thoughts are more scattered than collected.
But today, God has given me the gift of time.
Time to write. Time to reflect. Time to rejoice.
Of all of the words I have said that I wish I hadn't said,
there are none I wish I could retract like these:
"As long as he or she is healthy."
In learning of my pregnancy, my husband and I were inundated with the question,
"Do you want a boy or a girl?"
And we responded in unison,
"It doesn't matter as long as he or she is healthy."
What exactly does that mean?
What I really meant to say was nothing at all.
Or if I did respond, I wish I would have said, 
"God has answered our prayers of a baby,
so we are trusting in Him in His plan for our lives."
Because it doesn't matter if he has an extra chromosome,
or requires physical and occupational therapy twice a week,
or has medical bills that have most certainly sacrificed an entire forest of trees for all the paper,
or has seen more doctors in his short 152 days of life than I have seen in all 10,175 of mine.
With my response, I was somehow insinuating a lesser love if he or she wasn't healthy, or was born with a disability.
Like my love for our child would be conditional.
 But that isn't the case at all.
I love my little.
So much that sometimes I think my heart might burst right out of my chest.
So much that tears fall without prompting as I gaze at this wonderful gift wrapped in the most beautiful package.
So much my body physically aches in his absence and longs to smell his sweet scent and kiss his rosy cheeks.
Oh, how my love for my baby boy abounds everyday,
with each new expression,
and little leg roll (yes, we seemingly add these daily),
each new coo and aahhh.
I am so thankful for my Baker.
I am thankful for God's perfect plan for our lives.
I am thankful for the opportunity to learn and grow in this
wonderful journey called motherhood.
I am thankful for God's mercies anew every morning.
What an incredible blessing.
What an incredible gift,
that I was chosen to be a mommy, Baker's mommy.
In my imperfection, God gave me one of His most special children.
Thank you, Lord.
You are so good, so good to me.
I had a conversation last week that prompted this post.
The person on the other side did not understand my joy,
could not understand why I was not mad, not grieving.
Why I was praising God instead of cursing Him in this.
I tried to share my heart then, just as I am now.
No, we did not pray for Baker to have Down Syndrome.
In fact, we prayed very diligently and purposefully for the opposite to be true.
Even after we knew, I prayed that I would wake up to discover it was a dream,
that it had all been a mistake.
Not us, not our Baker.
It was a selfish prayer I prayed for me, for my husband, for my parents, for my in-laws, for my sisters and brothers, and brother-in-law, for my friends.
For my child.
All mothers want the best for their children.
They want a world of ease, comforts, blessings, success.
I am no different.
God answered my prayer in His own way, and today, I can tell you with confidence I am so glad He did.
I no longer pray that Baker won't have Down Syndrome.
Today, if God asked me if I would give Him Baker's
one extra chromosome back in exchange for a "typical" child,
I wouldn't do it.
I couldn't do it.
Baker has been such a such a source of strength and encouragement for me.
He is such a fighter.
He fights so intentionally to overcome barriers that hinder a child with Down Syndrome from reaching developmental milestones at the same rate as their peers.
But each new milestone we were told he would never reach is affirmation.
Affirming that God doesn't make mistakes,
affirming that God is reigning on His throne,
all the while holding us in His comforting grip.
Today, I am throwing the phrase "As Long As..."
out with last night's dinner.
I encourage you to do the same.

Today, I will  
love unconditionally, live joyfully,
rejoice wholly, celebrate wildly.
I encourage you to do the same.