14 years……where has the time gone? They say the days are long and the years are short and there is no truer statement. Today, 14 years ago at 6:29am I gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl. I will be honest, the pregnancy (after week 17) up until her birth at 37 weeks was filled with fear, worry, sadness and even some anger (God and I had many discussions and disagreements during my pregnancy). You know the “how could you do this to me” and the “you picked the wrong girl for this” and “what in the world were you thinking” type disagreements. I cried…..A LOT! I grieved…..I struggled. I prayed in anger, sadness and resentment. It was hard to find the joy in my pregnancy or in the fact that I was bringing a precious life into this world. My joy and happiness was overshadowed by the diagnosis of a chromosome abnormality, heart defects, bowel/kidney dysfunction, limbs that were not equal length, fluid on neck/spine, etc. I was told “the fetus won’t survive birth.” When we refused to abort Hannah, the doctor told us we were thinking emotionally instead of logically and the words that cut me like a knife were….”then don’t plan to bring her home….plan a funeral instead.”
14 years later:
14 years later this is the child I have the honor and privilege of calling mine. I get the great honor of staying home with her, taking care of her, teaching her, helping her and most importantly LOVING her. I have said many times that she is my greatest gift and biggest blessing in life. I stand in constant amazement of her resilience, joy, contentment and love for others.
I acknowledged many years ago that God gave her to me for ME. Her number one purpose in life, in my personal opinion, was to take a selfish, materialistic, uncaring, uncompassionate and hard woman (aka me) and show me what unconditional love was. She showed me how to care for others and she taught me how to love myself. I have learned the past 14 years that you truly cannot love and care for others until you love and care for yourself. She has taught me what is important in life and how much better it is to give than receive. She has been my greatest teacher.
She tells me all the time that “Hannah and mommy best friends forever” and it melts my heart but it is also very true. She is my best friend….heck, I don’t spend time with anyone in life like I do her. There were times where I struggled with everything our life consisted of….the routine, being stuck in the house, the same conversations over and over and over and the lack of being independent the older she got. It was weighing on me that she was so old; yet still so much a toddler in many ways. But, God did something in my heart awhile back. Instead of bemoaning the fact that our routine was the same and we had the same conversations I became thankful. Thankful that I have this amazing little girl who has taught me so much. Thankful that there is such innocence in her sweet soul. Thankful that I get so much time with her; as so many parents don’t at this age. Thankful that she is my best friend and she will always be with me. Thankful that I get to enjoy her hugs, kisses and sweet spirit every.single.day. Thankful that I don’t have to send her out into the “world” that is unsafe. A world where she might be bullied or treated unkindly. A world where she will hear and see things that are not what we have taught her. A world without Jesus. I get the rare privilege of keeping her safe in the nest and that is indeed a great gift from the Lord.
Today (let’s face it….everyday) we celebrate Hannah. Her sweet life, the lessons she has taught, the way she loves, the way she lights up a room with her smile and the sparkle yet mischievous look in her eyes. Today I am so thankful that God chose me to be her mom; even though I was so scared that I would fail at this motherhood thing, especially having a child with special needs. God took this special little girl, gave her to Dennis and me and through her taught us so much. She is still teaching us and we are still learning a lot of profound life lessons from her.
Happy Birthday “baby cakes.” Mommy and daddy love you more than we can possibly say and we are so thankful that God chose us for you. We are the blessed ones. I just hope and pray we are doing right by you and that you always feel love and accepted; that you always know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made by a gracious and loving Savior.
We love you Hannah Boo!
Until next time……….