Sunday, May 15, 2011

the perfect gift

Dearest Lily,

It's a beautiful Sunday afternoon and you just woke up from your nap, smiling your beautiful sleepy grin at me...

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While you were sleeping I was reading about Kareen's mama and daddy...they just landed in her country, and in a few days they'll be able to meet her. I tried to read the post out loud to Daddy, but as usual the words were stuck in my throat. I can hardly believe that the beautiful little girl who stole our hearts last December is being rescued. I remember staring at her sweet little cherub face, praying so hard for a family to come forward for her...and here less than six months later it's happening. And while I'm quite sure God could have orchestrated that rescue a million different ways...I am so over the moon that He let us be a part of that.

And you know what is amazing, Lily? In a very real sense...it's because of you.

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When I think back to my pregnancy, when you were still safely tucked inside of me, holding a secret that only God knew...I really can't believe what a treasure I carried. I say it all the time, but truly you are one of the greatest gifts I've been given in life.

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Having you opened our eyes to what children in other nations are facing, and for that I am forever grateful. I might have missed out on the miracle that is unfolding right now for Kareen, if you arrived in life as the baby I prayed for. Because honestly? Who prays that their baby girl will have Down syndrome? In fact, since my last three babies were born after I turned 35, my heartfelt prayer each pregnancy was that I would not have a baby with Down syndrome.

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I'm so glad those prayers went unanswered. I'm so glad that God knew what He was doing when He sent me you. You weren't an accident or a mistake; I can't believe that. Although the world might look at that extra chromosome and see misfortune, although doctors and medical experts might see your diagnosis as something to be feared, I am confident that you are exactly who God intended you to be.

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I glanced at who was coming to read about you today, sweet Lily. And again I'm convinced more than ever, that there was a purpose in God giving me you.

Someone from overseas came by typing keywords into google..."please reassure me about my down syndrome babies". Another came for help "dealing with people who mock my down syndrome child." In a perfect world we wouldn't need reassurance about our children. In a perfect world mamas wouldn't ever worry about the cruelty of ignorant people.

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But isn't it amazing how God allows our trials to be turned to gold? Because the thing that I feared- giving birth to a baby with Down syndrome- has now become my greatest blessing.

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I went back and read a letter someone gave your daddy the night after you were born. I was recovering in our hospital here in town, and you were a few hours away in a NICU with Daddy. One of the nurses on duty was a man named Larry.

Larry had a son with with Down syndrome...coincidence? I don't think so. I think God knew Daddy would need a friend that night, someone who recognized a gift when he saw one- because he had been given one himself.

When we brought you home from the hospital, one long week later, I found a letter hidden in the pile of papers we'd been given. It was from Larry, and more than any piece of information we were sent home with that day, those words held the answers for our future.

Sam and Patti,

I know you will get a ton of advice whether you ask for it or not. Please excuse me giving my 2 cents...I just thought I would encourage you to just enjoy Lily. I know there are plenty of questions about medical and practical things, and I think you will get the important questions answered. I just think that one of the most helpful things I have seen/learned from my wife Janelle, was to just enjoy our son. He/Lily are a gift from God just like our other kids. I think the more I just enjoy my son, the more the rest of the things seem to fall in place.
Hope to see you again,

Larry J

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Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17

Loving my perfect gift,

Mama oxox

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P.S. so honored to be HERE.

10 comments:

Elissa said...

Love this post! I feel the same way about Abbie. She was a gift to me, Steve and Reagan. She was an answer to my prayers that I never expected, but God knows doesn't he.

Lily is as beautiful as ever.

Ginger said...

Waaaaahhhhhh! {that's a big dramatic boo-hoo}
Such a precious post! This advice doesn't just relate to children w/ Ds. I think I need to just enjoy my adoptees instead of worrying so much about the things that are so hard for them. God is glorified in them. What more could I want?

Annie @ The House That Jade Built said...

amen lady! Exactly how I feel for swet Ollie. I prayed for God to take away her DS as I carried her, but I knew he would not in my heart. Now that I have her I wouldn't trade her for the world...she is pure love :)

Elisabeth said...

Beautifully written, Patti. Our children truly are a blessing and a precious gift from the Lord.

Katrina said...

Your post reminded me of that Country Western Song "Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers".

I actually had a friend who got married at 19 and prayed to God that if He had a special spirit that needed to come down with a disability that she would be honored to be the mother of that child. She was blessed with a baby boy who had Down Syndrome.

Her next 5 children were born "perfectly" healthy.

To this day I am still amazed by the love that she showed God in trusting him to send her such a special gift.

I am so glad that you take the time to share your precious gift with those of us who have not been blessed the same way and for opening our eyes to the other children in the world who desperately need to be blessed by a loving family.

One who will recognize they are a gift from God.

nicole said...

Oh Patti ~ I am so excited about Kareen too! I can't believe it's actually happening ~ but I can because He is amazing.

I once heard the analogy that God is working on a tapestry in our lives and that we only see the bottom side of that tapestry. So to us, there are lots of knots, frayed ends and strings running here and there and none of it makes much sense. But on God's side, a beautiful work of art is taking shape. It is our job to stay "loose" in His very capable hands so he can work everything out for good. I can't wait to see the tapestry named "Lilybird" on God's side. Because even here on our side, some of the beauty is being revealed.

Deanna said...

so beautiful, as always, Patti..

Pam said...

Beautiful! I feel the same way about my son. I am always thanking God that he is mine and opening my eyes to a great new world.

Mrs. K said...

Once again, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE those pictures of my BEAUTIFUL Lily Anne. Abbi is such a sweet big sister and such a cutie.

I am soooo excited about Kareen and Elizabeth. It takes so long for things to happen, so much money and so many prayers. But it is all in God's plan to teach us to be generous and to turn to Him in all our need and to be patient.

Love ya all, Mom/Grammi

Jane@flightplatformliving said...

oh that post was just amazing! lily you make me smile inside and out and wow, the advice to just enjoy our kiddies...thats everything right there! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx