I am thankful for many things this Thanksgiving, but one in particular is always at the forefront of my mind and has been for the past year and a half. Yes, you know. Our sweet Moriah treasure.
I have said it before, but I will say it again. God has led us on an amazing journey along this path of parenthood. When I reflect on it all, I just sit back and marvel at what He has done.
Years ago I never wanted to be a mother. Ever. It just wasn’t on my radar. I had important things to accomplish in life, you see. Good things, Christ-honoring things. And even after I got married and motherhood became an option, my thoughts were unchanged, and we as a couple remained unchallenged in our thinking for six long years. I won’t take time here to delve into our mixed-up rationale or the many ways Godly people all around us affirmed our decision to remain childless back then, but I thought having a baby would be the end of the world.
I remember once, early in our marriage, when I feared I might be pregnant. I distinctly recall standing in the small kitchen of the duplex where we lived and bawling my eyes out to David as he got home from work.
The end of the world.
As it turned out, I was not pregnant, and I breathed a big sigh of relief, thankful that the end of the world had not come after all.
I also have a Down syndrome-related memory which stayed hidden away for decades but resurfaced after Moriah was born. I remember hearing a news report of a baby with Down syndrome who had somehow drowned in the bathtub, possibly an accident with his bath seat. I had mused that his mother must have been secretly relieved. Because, surely, the only thing worse than having a baby would be to have a baby with “something wrong” like Down syndrome. THAT would really be the end of the world.
I am so thankful God changed our hearts on all counts, and the wicked, fallacious thoughts I had back then shame me now. Our thinking regarding children had undergone a drastic reformation long before Moriah entered the picture, so that when we discovered her Down syndrome at birth, I knew it was not the end of the world.
Our sweet girl has changed us in ways I am sure we do not even realize, but in the ways we do—well, I can tell you it’s all good, even when it doesn’t feel like it. Through the health challenges, the sleepless nights and all the unknowns of this past year, I have come to rely less and less on the capable, self-confident woman I used to be, and more and more on His strength to get me through.
I am thankful for answers and the right doctors He has led us to.
I am so very thankful Moriah has been gaining weight. It was a long, frustrating, scary time when she wasn’t.
I am thankful when I see our other children rally around their little sister with heartfelt devotion and adoration. And when she gets hurt how they drop everything, quickly encircle her, and enthusiastically belt out the “Moriah theme song” to cheer her up.
I am thankful that my husband helps with her feeding and care, especially on those days when everything is getting to me.
I am thankful Moriah is four-point crawling with proper form, as we worked so hard to help her do that, knowing the incredible neurodevelopmental benefits she will reap from it.
I am thankful for every small victory, which is always a cause for celebration around here.
I am thankful she has opened our eyes to a world we knew virtually nothing about, and opened our hearts to others with unique challenges and disabilities. We are more caring and compassionate because of Moriah.
I am thankful for the love and joy she often radiates.
I am thankful to have so many people in my life—family, friends, neighbors, church family, and other moms of little ones with Down syndrome—who have helped me along this new path and who all affirm the preciousness of our girl.
I am thankful that I get to be her mommy. Moriah is truly a blessing beyond measure.
Moriah and her crawling buddies
Having “one of those days”
Gotta love nap hair!