I wept as I read this today...
Today at 11:51am
I was thinking today about a conversation I had many times with close friends before becoming pregnant with Olive. The conversation was about my fear of having a baby…all the things I would have to give up. How self-less you need to be. And that once you have a baby YOU will be the one in charge of caring for it—you can never give him/her back to their parents and drive home to sleep.
It’s interesting how quickly one can change perspective, and how drastically life has changed since having Olive…how much more ready I felt to be a mother after being breaths away from losing her. How willing I felt to give up my time and make life changes if it meant keeping her. And then came the fears of holding on too tightly to keeping her, and wanting to be able to let her go if that was what was best for her. And the times we tried to “let her go” and “give her to Jesus” and how she kept fighting and taking one more breath than we were expecting her to.
I think things happen for a reason, and believing that also helps me not drown in guilt that I did something to make Olive come so early. I have been struggling with those thoughts and feelings...the “what if I did this differently”...or “what if I listened to all my Thai friends advice rather than laughing at them when they told me…” Still I can recognize that those “what ifs” aren’t going to help me in dealing with what tomorrow will bring me, and they can't change the past.
So now I will continue to take a day at a time...an hour at a time.
Yesterday the neurosurgeon asked me if I knew about her case. I told him I had already been told that she had the worst kind of brain bleed and that her prognosis is very bad. He agreed and said that her brain tissue is so thin that she may not be able to do anything but lay in bed when she gets older. She may be blind, and she may be deaf. She may not be able to speak, or process information. He said he hopes this won’t be the case, and that sometimes things turn out better than doctors expect.
I've heard this about 15 times from our doctor in Chiang Rai, and other doctors in the States, but it just never feels like old news. Each time it feels like someone just punched me in the gut and knocked the wind out of me. I tried to hold myself together, but my throat tightened and my eyes welled up with tears. My mind blanked with the other questions I was planning on asking. The doctors and nurse tried to comfort me, but I just needed time to be alone and sob.
I believe that God still does miracles, and I will continue to ask for them. I also know that often He didn’t choose to heal the whole crowd, but only one out of the bunch…and I don’t know if Olive will be that one. But I will keep asking like she will be that one.
When He doesn't answer my big requests like, "Jesus, heal her brain...renew the damaged places" I start making my requests littler...like today, "Jesus, can you at least allow Olive to sense how much she is loved? Can you let her smile when she gets bigger?" And before I go to bed I will ask Him again to touch her, to surround her as she sleeps, and to do more than I can even ask or imagine.
Its hard for me to believe that you need to know the right way to pray--like its some kind of formula. In fact, when I hear that little children are praying for Olive before they get tucked in at night all around the world, it's those prayers I get most hopeful about. Those simple honest requests to Jesus with no fancy wording attached.
It’s been confusing to know where the line is drawn between denial and faith. It’s impossible not to hope for the best. I am willing to raise a disabled child and I will love her with everything in me. I think I already do.
Whether life brings us what we were hoping for or not I am still resting in the fact that God is good. That He is compassionate and gracious, and abounding in love. That Olive is a gift. And that someday far down the road this part of the journey we are on will make more sense then it does while we are in it and searching for our footing.