Today marks my third child's entrance into the teen years. We now have more children in their teens than not - we have a teen majority. This basically feels crazy to me. How on earth so much time has passed literally boggles my mind (not a hard task, btw).
We have had thirteen years to love this child, and each day feels like a gift. He is funny, generous, passionate, loving, kind and sincere. I am unable to imagine our life without him. As I generally do on my children's birthdays, I've spent the day pondering his birth and his years with us. And after I tucked him in tonight, I laid down with him (which he still allows, even welcomes) and stroked his cheek after he fell asleep. I looked at his face -- his nose, his eyelashes, his cheeks, and thought of all the times I had done that very thing - gazed into his precious face. And as I always do, I recalled the story of his birth:
Thirteen years and three days ago, I was admitted to the hospital at 31 weeks into my pregnancy. I was huge and looked ready to deliver. An ultrasound had shown there were complications, and no one knew exactly what was going on, but it certainly wasn't good or routine. The plan was to admit me, monitor the baby, drain some excess amniotic fluid and send me home to try to get baby to wait until closer to his/her due date. Since all of this hospital staying/major test administering/very sick baby was very stressful and worrisome, we decide to find out the baby's gender so we could name him/her and be able to pray for the baby by name.
We were delighted to be told our sweet baby was a boy, but a bit stymied on a name for him. Since there was a very real chance that he would be coming early, we knew we needed to decide soon. We had been going back and forth with a few options, but nothing was seeming quite right. I vividly recall laying in my hospital bed discussing names with my husband, who was sitting across the room. Slightly hesitantly, he told me he had thought of a possibility. Looking vulnerable, he made his suggestion: Isaac. As I thought about the name, he went on to explain why it had come to him. He recounted the story of Abraham and Sarah in the bible, who had longed for a child for years, and were given their son Isaac. But when Isaac was a boy, God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, and Abraham was obedient. But just before Abraham went through with the sacrifice, God told him not to hurt the boy, for He knew now that he feared God, seeing that he had not withheld his son from Him.
Through tears, we decided to name our precious son Isaac, and prayed that if God saw fit to take our son home to Him, that we might have faith like Abraham and Sarah's. And that was our prayer -- as he was born before I ever left the hospital to wait it out. As he was born not breathing and was immediately put on a ventilator. We prayed that prayer while he was being sent that day by ambulance to the nearest children's hospital, three hours away, my husband driving behind the ambulance in the night. We prayed that prayer as he stayed 7 weeks in the NICU at that hospital, and when we brought him home with all manner of medical paraphernalia we never thought we'd be able to handle.
And as we prayed for God's will, God's will for our baby began to take shape. It seemed God's will was that our sweet boy grow and get healthier as the years passed. And as he grew, we discovered another facet to his name -- laughter. The name Isaac means laughter we later realized, and nothing could fit this child more perfectly. He exudes happiness and joy and brings that to those around him. Laughter indeed -- so very fitting.
So thirteen years ago today was a pretty scary time. We were holding on by faith, not by sight, and we didn't know what the future would hold. Thankfully, God knew all the time the plans He had for this child. We have seen thirteen years of His plans and I'm in awe.
I can't wait to see what else God has in store for Him.