Happy Birthdays …

We say with so many things, “I wish I knew then what I know now”.  But this … the love, the joy, the change in our lives that our Evan has brought us through disability … I wish I would have known that on the days after his birth like I know it now.

Birthdays often bring reflection.  So as his birthday approached this year I was reflecting on those first days after Evan’s birth.  I was remembering all of the things a doctor told us he would never do.  Some, yes, he won’t be able to achieve.  Others, she had no basis on the day after he was born, to make those assumptions.  She had no need to place those burdens on our hearts. It’s a common story from many special needs parents in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit).  We were in a hospital known as a baby factory, not one known for special needs deliveries. Those memories of listening to her words while sitting on the sleeper sofa that I would later spend the night on are ingrained deeply into my soul all these years later.  

I would love to meet with this doctor and hospital staff now and give them some insight into the heart of the newly hurting parents.  It wasn’t the birth I was expecting and I know my hormones were off the charts to say the least.  Believe me, I would first love to apologize to those lovely, patient nurses who bore my wrath.  But I would also love to tell the NICU staff, yes, facts are important.  Heck, I am a the Google, WebMD, NIH Queen!  I want every single detail of those facts.  If you don’t give it to me I WILL find it!  But what I really don’t need someone else’s opinion on what my child may or may not be able to do decades from that point.  The enormity of those words may weigh on us for a lifetime so it’s okay to tell us “I don’t know“.  

What I needed to hear was our child would still bring us immense joy and pride.  It may be different than we expected.  But it could actually be even better than we expected.  I wish I had known then that each of Evan’s birthdays would bring me more and more gut-busting pride and thankfulness that God has allowed me on the inside to see Him doing big things in Evan’s life and the lives of the people Evan challenges and changes.

This year Evan has told everyone, EVERYONE, “It’s my birthday!”  But he has no idea that I am happier than he is that it’s his birthday …

Bible Verse I’m Loving Today:
Psalm 92:4

For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord
I sing for joy at what your hands have done.
Song I’m Loving Today:
Natalie Merchant: Wonder

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