Welcoming a child into the world is a life-changing experience. I remember realizing that after Connor was born. From the moment we drove away from the hospital, it was as though we had left part of us there in that room... it's neat to look back on those days, those thresholds being crossed. My transition onto "Planet Mom" was pretty rough...infact I'd say I entered it kicking and screaming. I had wanted a baby brother for Logan...I was unsure of my new role of having to end bad habits and act like an adult. It's been five years since then, and with the kinks worked out, I was thoroughly ready for another package to add to our growing family. Even with the challenges we've faced with Joel, I didn't prepare for any emotional changes to ripple the way that they have. I didn't expect any life changes after coming home. Wrong. A new baby is something to hold dear, to protect and cherish. Joel is something above and beyond that, and I feel special and loved because of it. Instead of our new baby affecting our lives, he's affecting everyone within earshot. A three-month stay in a hospital does a lot for a family with faith. My husband and I learned just how much effort it takes to stay insync with stress and miles between us. We tried harder, we loved more, and each minute together was spent communicating, even when we didn't want to. It was tough on us, but we're stronger today than we've ever been. Every minute we had with the kids was one that we were thankful for. We were given a chance to share with others what big faith was all about, even when we were unsure of tomorrow's outcome. Spiritually, our family grew together in ways we didn't even know were possible. I got the chance to meet & get to know some of God's best work, and I'm telling you right now, they all work at Mary Bridge. I love every single one of them. I made life-long friendships with people who are dealing with similar situations, and they lift us up and encourage us daily.
My family came up to our home for a weekend visit, and I'm coming to see the affect Joel has had on them as well. We hugged tighter than we used to. We stayed up later to talk and hang out. The cameras were out at all times. I don't think I was the only one to notice the change.
What a wonderful gift we've been given. My eyes are opening to a glimpse of our Father's love for us. He didn't just give us a new life. He gave us a child that is going to change the lives around him, and he's just getting started.