I know today is our regular Tuesday,
or at least to you who don't live in the real Welcoming House,
it is a normal Tuesday.
But for all of us here, today is the day we celebrate the miracle in our house that walks, talks, breathes, giggles, and pretty much brings a world of sunshine right inside on the darkest day.
Today my beautiful, oldest daughter turns 13.
Before you begin to grumble and ask why I hijacked the recipe post day of the week to share about my daughter's birthday, I want to show you a picture of my Bid Kid at birth, and then perhaps you will understand a little more. Sometimes pictures speak a thousand words.
She is our miracle.
She is our second child, having had an older brother that she was never blessed to meet. We kissed his still warm cheeks in the delivery room and buried him four days later. Our hearts were broken until the day came that the little white stick showed us that we would be blessed with another child. Then they were a little less broken, a little less fragile.
They broke again 5 months into the pregnancy when we were told the baby was far too tiny to survive, something was terribly wrong, and we needed to abort her and try again.
Of course, we didn't listen.
I went on bed rest for 9 weeks, straining to see that flutter of a heartbeat with every ultrasound twice a day. As I saw her move less and less that last week before her birth, my heart broke again as I realized that I would probably be kissing another set of newborn cheeks goodbye and laying her to rest days later. Words are not enough to describe the depths of despair that was in my heart. To want a child so desperately and not be able to carry them to term is a horrible feeling.
Then THAT beautiful Saturday morning the doctor came into my hospital room, propped his feet up and said "Let's have a baby, shall we?", and it was like the sun was shining again. A ray of hope. Of goodness. Of something, finally going right, and pleading that it would not go wrong.
They said "She is too small to cry."
But she did.
They said "She wont make it past the first few days."
But she did.
We heard it all. "She wont walk, she wont talk. She wont understand. She will be a vegetable. She will have a brain bleed. She will be blind. She wont survive." Best case scenario, worst case scenario. Babies all around her passing away every day. Alarms going off, parents collapsing in grief. Nurses whose hearts were broken right along with them.
And around the bassinet of a tiny baby who struggled to breathe and eat, whose skin was like porcelain in its clearness and transparency
.....a sweet cocoon of peace.
No one could understand it.
We knew He cared. He watched. He protected.
More diagnosis. More things she wouldn't do.
Possibilities, all tragic, all stressful, all painful.
Over and over again we heard: "she wont......."
But she did.
And every day, every moment that this precious child puts her arms around me and hugs me,
I feel like it is a hug straight from the Lord.
It is HIS hand that brought this miracle into our lives,
HIS hand that placed this precious, scrappy, little peanut of a child into the broken hearts
and empty arms of two people who
desperately wanted to have a child that lived.
She is the child that couldn't hear and we used sign language until she was two years old. And then the Lord miraculously healed her hearing, and she could talk, and share, and laugh, and chatter, and we were thrilled over and over and over to hear it and see her respond. This was the same child we would stand behind with pots and pans, and bang them, and she would not move or startle. They said it was impossible. She couldn't be healed. The bones were formed wrong.
She would never hear.
She would never hear.
But she DID...
This is the same child they told us she would never be able to walk a balance beam,
Now the second that praise music comes on,
this amazing light comes from her heart and lights up her face
and she is spinning and swooping, and twirling.
Impossible. Improbable. Irreversible damage.
"She will never do any of it." they said.
But she did.
She is a miracle. Our miracle.
And she turns 13 years old today.
How fast those years have flown. She is a light in our hearts that we praise God for. We tell her that someday, she will be able to tell others about what God has done in her life, that He must have some amazing special plan for her to give her the start that He did. Even as an infant in an incubator she was changing lives for the Lord. The nurses and doctors had no explanation for how and what she did,
except for miraculous intervention.
For a tiny 1 lb 4 oz baby in the Neonatal intensive care unit or other intensive care for 8 weeks...
to the 8 month old baby who had brain surgery and a shunt placed.....
to the two year old who miraculously could hear...
to the six year old who could walk a balance beam.......
to a ten year old who could write beautiful cursive......
to the 13 year old who will be soon standing next to me with a good morning hug.
I love you.
I was blessed the day they placed you in my arms.
That wont change.
Nothing you do, nothing you say, NOTHING will ever change that in me.
You are my living, breathing miracle straight from the hands of Someone who heard the cry of a broken heart....and gave me YOU.
Happy Birthday, my sweet girl.
May the tenderness of your heart always be there...may you bloom and grow to be a woman passionately in love with the Lord...may the spirit of kindness and hospitality I see peeking out in you every day become the hallmark of your life...and may you be a beacon of light...a testament to the power of God in the lives of normal, every day people when we pray. May the tenacity you showed in praying eight years for a sister, and then your delight in receiving two at once,
be the birthplace of a heart
that pounds the doors of Heaven on behalf of others,
expecting more than you ask.
May you never forget the hand of God guides the very steps of your life, and that He adores you, loves you, fights for you, protects you, cheers you, and died for you.
Happy 13th Birthday.