“What are you thankful for James?”
“I think I’m thankful for God giving us a baby.”
“A baby? What baby do you mean?”
And just like that my son has me pondering. We weren’t even talking about Baby Charlie. You see, I asked him the question from a “Q & A a day for kids 3 year journal.” Ben and I bought it because James is such a great little conversationalist, and we thought it would be fun to see how his answers changed over the next 3 years.
When I asked James what he was thankful for, I wasn’t expecting that response. In some ways I was taken aback. And in his typical 3 year old fashion, he went from saying something that to me seemed so profound (Baby Charlie) to what I was originally expecting:
“…and I’m thankful for that dirty tractor and that clean tractor” in reference to those very things sitting on the table (FYI: His “dirty” tractor only looks dirty – John Deere makes some amazing toys!)
But I haven’t been able to get his response out of my head: “I think I’m thankful for God giving us a baby.”
Yes. I do THINK I’m thankful. But am I really? I’ve seriously asked myself these 2 questions. “Am I thankful for Baby Charlie?” And “Did God really give us a baby?”
James knows that Baby Charlie is his sister. He also knows that she lives with his Auntie Wendy (aka “tummy Mommy”). He talks about Charlie from time to time: where she is, why she doesn’t live with us, and then he’ll always respond, “but that’s okay.” His adaptable little self accepts this as it is and knows that it is okay.
It’s okay because God, in his infinite grace has given Ben and I the strength to accept this as our normal and to allow everything to be okay. We long for James and Charlie to have a special relationship.
Am I thankful for Baby Charlie? Am I thankful for the simultaneous joy and pain her life brought to us? Yes. I am. In a small way she has given me a glimpse of what it must have been like for Wendy when she placed James into our care. Reading about special markers on facebook: her rolling over for the first time, her sitting up…experiences that could’ve been mine but weren’t meant to be. Her first Christmas….every 12th day of the month…all markers that were always there for Wendy on every 2nd day of the month…
Did God give us a baby?
That’s a hard one for me to answer. Last year this time I had the hope of a baby. I had finished a fast, and I knew that another baby was on the way. I could hardly believe it. I was confident and sure of what I had hoped and prayed for. This year I’m left saying, “Is this it?” All forms of adoption are at a stand still since we are still unclear as to what God would have us do come summertime. Will we stay? Will we move? Currently the only “baby” in my household is now 3, and I certainly thank God for him every single day.
Did God give us a baby?
Yes. No. I don’t know. He gave us a baby but not in the way we had hoped and prayed for.
I am still searching my heart and seeking God for understanding. I am still wrestling with the “whys” of my life. Some of the pieces of the puzzle have come together, but it’s going to take time. I may never fully understand.
I will say that for the first time in months I feel like Sarah again – if that makes any sense. Although some stresses in the past few weeks have caused me to be forgetful and get mixed up about some things, the fog is clearing. For that I am thankful. I am thankful for a blue eyed boy who wakes me up in the morning and says, “Mom. Can you tell me a story?” I am thankful for a teaching job at a school in which I feel fully supported and am encouraged on a regular basis. I am thankful for my students whom I believe I was obviously meant to teach this year. I am thankful for a husband, who despite the various things going on in our lives has humbly taken on our reversed roles working 20 hours a week at the office and putting a whole-hearted 20+hours/week into our son. I am thankful for mom and dad next door and the time and energy they put into our son. I am thankful that although life isn’t what I thought it would be, it is what God has given us. We have our health. We have our family. We have each other.
So what are you thankful for?