Thirty four years and eight months ago my parents made the decision to keep me. Though their lives were full already with two beautiful children, they decided to take a chance on one more. And today I am very grateful for that.
Their lives were already very full. They had a brilliant six year old that blessed them with her amazing perspective on life. Amy was energetic and precocious. She loved her little brother immensely and was a big help to her mom. Richie was a precious, loving little boy that was born with a genetic disorder that would have him hospitalized often for many different reasons. He was needy but happy, and Dad had his boy. And yet, they took a chance on having another baby. And they welcomed me in March.
Little did they know how that decision would affect the rest of their lives. And the rest of mine.
Six months after I was born, our lives shifted. As a result of pregnancy, my Mom got very sick. She could no longer care for my sister and brother and I. She was hospitalized on and off for the next four years. Sometimes it was for a short period to stabilize her health. Sometimes it was longer. Time was frozen and hearts were broken. I can’t imagine how it must have changed our family’s dynamic. I can’t imagine the grief she felt, handing over her six month old baby to endure hours, days, months of treatment. I can’t imagine the torture my Dad felt having to admit his beloved and leave her behind. Amy was six, and had to quickly become a little woman, while her little heart was breaking inside her. Richie had to give up his Mommy and the precious care that only she could give him. The threads of our family unraveled the day that Mom was admitted.
And yet, my Mom says this on her facebook status:
“well tomorrow at 11:51 a.m. my second oldest daughter will be 34 years old. How time flies! I am so happy and thrilled that she is mine! I love you Julie> Love and many, many kisses-Mom”
And at 7:11 this morning, my Dad sends me this email:
“Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday Dear Midget. Happy Birthday to you!!!!!!! I'm sure that the day you were born, God looked down from Heaven and said, "Am I good or what!" I just want to wish you a wonderful day and to tell you how proud I am of you. We are truly blessed.I love you.Dad”
My parents endured severe emotional and physical pain to have me. They didn’t know at the time that their lives would be affected the way they were. My Dad didn’t know he’d be shaking his fists at God for years to come. He also didn’t know that one day he would trust God with his life. My Mom didn’t know what blessings were to come in hers either, yet she trusted.
So today I am praising my God, who gave me parents that believed enough to bring me into their family, who has taught me so much about His grace and His sovereign plan through my parents, and who can restore brokenness like no other.
Thank you, Jesus, for allowing me this life, for allowing me to feel the miracle of parenthood, for blessing me with a husband that hears you and loves you, for amazing daughters that test and try and teach me. Thank you for this celebration day. The glory is all yours.