Lamp in her blessing dress--which was my dress when I was a baby.
I got a lot of great questions last week. I'm excited to answer them and I hope I don't disappoint you if I don't get to them all. I'm not going to go in order, but I'll probably group some of them together, since most of them have to do with my sweet baby Lamp of course. So from Jill and Reagan here we go:
Jill: I would like to know, if looking back over your life, you feel you were being prepared in some way for the challenges of your sweet little Lamp?
Reagan: I'm interested to hear why you think Lamp is right for your family. Why are you her mom? Why can you give her that no one else can (don't be shy to brag!)? What are you learning from her?
Looking back, do I feel like I was prepared for Lamp? I had to really think about this question to answer appropriately. Was I prepared for a baby with special needs? Not really. I do remember during this pregnancy when B was saying the prayer one night...he prayed that our baby would be healthy and develop normally. Not a bad thing to ask for and certainly something we both wanted. However, after this prayer I remember saying, Sometimes I feel bad asking for a healthy and normal baby because not all babies are healthy and normal and they need someone to love them too. He agreed, but really we didn't talk about it too much. I guess if I could say there is any preparation it would simply be the mentality or belief that I have that we're no more special or "unspecial" in receiving of trials or blessings. Good and bad things happen to people all over the world and why should we be exempt from either of those things? I wouldn't say I was expecting it, but never assumed that something like this wouldn't happen. I know that's not a great, big thing but I can honestly say it helped in the sense that we've never asked why us? However, that makes it sound like Lamp is somehow a negative thing...and that's where I want to be really clear. I wasn't prepared for having a special needs child and of course our initial reaction was sadness over learning about her condition, but I think we were given some preparation in the months leading up to her birth for the positive side of this situation, which is Lamp herself. She is a joy. After we had already found out about Lamp's condition I was concerned about what name to give her. Long story short, I felt impressed to give her the name she has (not Lamp, but her real name). It's not a name I would have given her on my own, but it's beautiful and full of meaning. I feel that her name is strongly associated with her, her talents, the gift that she is to our family and what she's here to teach us. I know it's probably annoying to hear that without knowing her actual name. Sorry. Anywho, the preparation has been along the this child is going to be special and bring you great happiness lines, which when contrasted with the initial news the day of that fateful ultrasound, has been a wonderful surprise.
As far as why do I think Lamp is right for our family? I don't know. All I can say is that right now she is an absolute angel. She's a blessing pure and simple. At this point I think her presence in our family is more about what she will teach us rather than what we will teach her. I know how cliche that sounds, but I absolutely believe it. We had an appointment at the limb clinic at Children's hospital last week and I told B my favorite part was hearing the Dr.'s comment more than once at what a pleasant and sweet baby she is. They were almost amazed at her demeanor and the peaceful way about her while they poked and prodded her. I have to say, she definitely has a way about her that others seem to take notice of. I guess you could say I'm excited to see what we learn from her. My heart occasionally aches for future hardships she might have, but that is about other people and how the outside world might treat her. I have no qualms about who she is and the unique set of challenges and blessings she brings to our family. Again, I don't know why I'm her mom. I'm not sure what I can give her that no one else can. But I do know this, she is loved. I'll never forget the words a friend of mine, who used to be a social worker, once said. After seeing some really bad situations and homes she said she now knows that not all mothers love their children. So while I'm not a perfect mom by any means, I know she is loved and valued in our home. Sometimes I worry about sounding overly perky about the situation because I think there will be challenges---and there have been challenges. Learning to navigate this world and learning to do things for herself in a way that's different from how most of us do them--those things might be tricky and tough...but for right now my heart just soars at the wonderful and amazing little spirit she is and how perfectly and seamlessly she fits into our family.
I hope that answers your questions! Yay for more questions tomorrow.