Being told that your baby will not be normal is one of those scenarios in life where you begin to question everything you believe. A parent’s first thoughts are usually along the lines of, “Why me?” “Why my child?” “Why our family?” “What did I do to deserve this?”
These are tough questions, and I do not pretend to have answers. A lot of these questions and answers delve deep into theological truths involving the nature of sin, of our fallen world, of grace, redemption, and gospel.
When we first received our daughter’s diagnosis, I spent months thinking that someday I would know the answers—someday in heaven, I would ask God why He made our daughter the way she is. But one of the biggest lessons I have learned in the past three years is that I can see now why He gave her to us. While there is probably a bigger picture that I can’t see right now, I can see so many blessings that have come into our lives through having her that I honestly think the ‘real reason’ won’t matter to me when I finally come face to face with our Lord. She has changed my life, here and now, for the better, and I don’t wish to change any of that.
So what are the things I’m thankful for now?
*Her easy-going and sweet personality. As my 8-month-old son is starting to crawl, and generally wreaking havoc on the entire house, I’m realizing how easy-going my daughter is. She is a sweet, happy girl, always ready to climb in a chair and listen to a book. She responds quickly to “no,” and is loving and affectionate.
*I am no longer afraid of disabled people. I have always thought that having a disabled child would be something I could not handle, and have never been quite sure how to treat the disabled. Now I know: they’re normal people, too, wanting to interact in a normal way.
*I have a new understanding and compassion for parents dealing with birth defects or infant loss, along with a desire to help them. We did not lose our daughter, so I can’t relate exactly to women who have lost a baby, but I certainly understand now a lot more than I used to the pain that comes in this situation. And the fact that grieving is not a quick or easy process.
*The joy that I have watching my other children care for her. They are kind and gentle with her, eager to help, and quick to comfort her when she gets hurt. They also are learning how to love and care for the disabled.
The ‘why?’ question has changed for me. I can see why, here and now. And I am thankful.