Thursday, January 26, 2012

and so it begins.

I remember the days, the moments, the hours after learning our son was built with an extra chromosome. I remember the fear, the uncertainty, the anger, the sorrow. The tears. The sobbing. The unknown.
I remember searching, scouring the internet, googling every time the pain would become too unbearable - what were our lives going to look like? What was he going to look like? 

In one of my internet searches, I came across a blurb, I believe? on a site that I barely glanced at, as I don't think my eyes were not able to see it fully at that time. It mentioned something about organizations that specialize exclusively in adopting out children with Down syndrome; that there were families seeking children with Down syndrome specifically.

Truth be told, my exact thoughts were who would choose this? well, those people are just trying to be all goody-two-shoes and all fancy christians and pretending they're all la-de-da and look at us we're so fancy because we love babies nobody wants and we're building treasure in heaven because we are choosing children with special needs; and so on and so forth.

And I remember instead thinking our lives are ruined
We are not ready to be the parents of a special needs child
Let's just give him up for adoption and tell everyone he died.

I remember saying to my sweet cousin - no little girl ever sits around dreaming and praying and hoping for a special needs child when she grows up.

She said, very matter-of-factly I did. 

What?


She replied - I went to school with two people with Down syndrome, and I loved them both, and they accepted everyone. Everyone. I have always dreamed of having a child with Down syndrome.


Whoosh. 

For weeks following his birth, his time in the hospital and recovery from surgery - for weeks and weeks I ached with a terrible ache - because I loved him relentlessly, I loved him with abandon - but I ached so deep in my guts, a deep, ugly, unrelenting, painfully inflamed ache - wishing I could take the extra chromosome away.

My eyes burned, my heart ached, my soul was weary. I felt torn, cracked, broken.

I remember night after night, rocking him, his fuzzy little head settled in the crook of my left arm, and my eyes brimming over with tears, then tears spilling out and over, down my cheeks, soaking my face, his immeasurably perfect, precious face. So many nights, so. many. tears. 

I would think of my cousin's words so many times, now all those months stretching into years ago - and I began to understand. I loved him. I loved him with that nearly undefinable mother bear love regardless of what a doctor said he did or didn't have -- because he was my baby. I began to see with such clarity what a gift Down syndrome was. I remember telling our fantastic family doctor here I could have a hundred children like Amos.


I knew what my cousin meant. I completely understood what the families seeking children specifically with Down syndrome meant. I got it. I got it! I GOT IT!



Whoosh. Again.

And so I began to feel a whispering in my heart.

I was reminded of the sad nights while rocking him to sleep again and again now as nights, and weeks, and months pass by. It is pure contentment and a feeling of being blessed to look down onto my precious baby boy's face - knowing my other three children are nestled in their beds, and I can just relax with him, rock and soak, rock and soak, rock and soak in the delightful joy of being this boy's mama. 

And one night, I felt a deja vu - a strong sense of ooh, I remember this...

I looked down onto his face, his beautiful eyes with Brushfield's spots - a characteristic he wouldn't have were it not for the extra chromosome...

And I felt my eyes fill up again, spill over onto my cheeks, and sobs come out of nowhere. From deep inside of my guts, these beautiful, soul-cleansing and joy-filled sobs poured out of me as I rocked my babe. And I started to smile as I cried.

Even now as I type this I feel a grin creeping across my lips - because the sobs, the tears, the choking, the gasping for breaths - I realized how now? they are completely, fully, unabashedly FULL. OF. JOY. It turns into laughter, crying, sniffling, smiling through wet cheeks and salty tears spilling into my mouth - and doing my best to not disturb my littlest cherub as he drifts beautifully, peacefully and gently into dreamland. 

Ah, it's a happy, happy cry. 



I know I have written of this many times, yet it somehow never feels like enough, because it runs so damn deep. Because I fell so hard, so completely, utterly, helplessly and deliciously in love with him. All of him - and not just accepting the fact that he had an extra chromosome. I sit, rock my perfect son, my baby love, my Bubby, my boogaloo, my wee little man whom I love with all my heart - and I rejoice and thank Jesus for him especially because he has an extra chromosome. And I realize how truthfully, how completely and wholly I would never, ever want to change it. 


I adore this child - I am so in love with him, so overtaken with my delight in him, my joy in his face, such joy in seeing my older children, and I, and his daddy, and all who cross his path being touched and blessed and changed for the better because of his presence... he is a gift from God. Pure and simple.

Yet there are hundreds of children, beautiful, precious, just like him - whose parents or societies or countries are not able to see past the pain, past the fear, past the unknown. 


And so they give them away

Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do. 
-Luke 23:34

Once these little children turn 4 or 5, they are sent to adult mental institutions where they live for the rest of their lives, which may be a year or two, or five, or ten. Maybe more. Maybe.

How can I sit and rock my precious baby, my perfect son with an extra chromosome, warm and safe in my arms in our rocking chair, and turn my back on another one? Or more? Simply because they have the same extra chromosome? 

And goodness gracious, that whisper in my heart just about turns into a scream. 

Once our eyes are opened, we can’t pretend we don’t know what to do. 


I felt the calling to adopt another child with Down syndrome long ago, but felt words not of myself pour from my lips in saying I cannot do it alone - if God wills it then He'll put the calling on my husband's heart, as well. And I left it at that, and prayer. Lots of prayer.


And wouldn't you know, days, weeks, months later - my beautiful Man came to me, quiet in the dark of our room, and whispered, tearfully - I thought about it. I prayed about it. And I feel it, babe. And I love you so much more because you love these children without knowing them - so I am on board.


Whoosh. My heart melted, and jumped out of my chest with excitement. I swear I felt the angels dancing, and my eyes were filled with tears, joyful tears - again.



And so our story begins. Please pray for us. Please pray for the heartachingly beautiful children waiting for their mama's soft skin and their daddy's arms and warmth and rocking chairs and full bellies and love. Waiting for their own forever family. 

We know it is incredibly costly to adopt. We are not wealthy people. We also know the high costs will not be the only mountain in our path.
But I have this unshakeable faith that God will provide. 

For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.
- Matthew 17:20

And whoosh - there goes my heart, again and again. Baby? We're comin'.
Father God, keep these children safe in Your arms.

We're comin'. We hear You. We hear you. And we're comin'. 

Mountain? Move.





17 comments:

  1. Praying for you! God delivers blessings so creatively doesn't he?

    We adopted our eldest within the UK - we haven't had the sadness so I don't know what that would be like. But I know about the joy! The feeling of being the luckiest person alive to get to be him mum. It's still hard and his troubles bring some sadness with them but we are blessed beyond our dreams.

    Your family is beautiful. Can't wait to see more of God's plan at work.

    Xxx

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  2. Laura, you know how much I love your posts, and especially because I have shared so many of the same tears.
    Thank you for sharing like you always do, and even though I am not a religious person but i truly feel something from the last passage. my faith is about the size of a mustard seed, but I will pray for you guys with all that I have! I am so glad that I get to be your friend during this journey!

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  3. I just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate your blog. It gives me pause for thought every time I read it, and inspires me to be MORE.
    Thanks Laura!

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  4. I'm one of those lucky ones who have been changed by this sweet little boy. Sometimes all I need is a moment to hold Amos to feel at ease with life. Just one little hug. :) He is such a blessing...

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  5. Beautiful post, Laura, beautiful.

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  6. I remember that conversation like it was yesterday. Thank you, sweet Laura, for remembering those moments. I have goosebumps reading this - and my heart bursts with joy when I think of Amos. Also, thank you for such good music on your blog - I love every song that I have listened to as I read and type. Let us talk on the tele soon... xoxo

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  7. OH THE TEARS ARE FLOWING HERE TODAY MY FRIEND!!!! Beautifully written...I look forward to seeing how this story of your life unfolds...its gonna be AMAZING...more AMAZING than you have ever dreamed up for yourself!!

    Thank you for celebrating with us as we embark across the world in a matter of DAYS!!!!!!! AHHHH....we serve an incredible God!! Please pray us through, we need it! :)

    LOVE to you!!
    Erika

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  8. Oh sweet friend, I could not have said it better myself. You have such a way with words. You scripted the thoughts of my heart. I'm sitting here fighting tears...tears of Joy for what's to come for you...for us...tears of Joy for all we already have...oh God is so good. and I'm right here with you...Mountain...MOVE! <3

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  9. What a great blog post. I am so excited for you and your family's journey into this new adventure. It is really neat because a few weeks ago at TQ Egan's prayer request was that you and Joel would be on the same page about adoption, and now her prayer has been answered. LOVE IT!

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  10. Laura, How can we your blog friends help you fund the addition to your family? Online auction..can we donate? Can we do something?

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  11. Hi! Stopping by from MBC. Great blog!
    Have a nice day!

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  12. Reading that totally gave me goosebumps... move those mountains you crazy beautiful lovely lady!

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  13. Laura,
    Here is a website I think you would be interested in. http://www.glahaiti.org/ You may have already heard of them because they have strong connections to Canada. The orphanage is called Gods Littlest Angels. I have been following them and supporting them for several years. If you click on the part that says "Notes from the NICU" you will see that they just got a beautiful baby girl with Down's Syndrome. Good luck on your journey, you are such a breath of fresh air and an inspiration.

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  14. Amazing. Love like that only comes from God. I'm in your corner, only for different reasons. I ache with you, rejoice with you.

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  15. Such a beautiful story. We have a new baby with down's in our extended family, and we have all fallen in love, too. Good luck with the adoption process. I also believe that when something is right, things fall into place.

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make no mistake, I am smitten with your words. please say hello, or pour something out - you will make my heart happy.

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