In my sappiness this particularly morning, I found a bit more meaning in my Hallmark-themed, glass case of emotion psyche. A thought occurred to me for the first time; an overwhelming joy flooded my hamster heart. It went something like this:
Nolan is going to be such a blessing to his brother or sister.
Wahhhhh. Ack. Someone just opened the flood gates again. Geez.
If you have followed Nolan's caringbridge and this site for any amount of time, I'm sure you have read the equivalent of many novels as I write his story and share the impact he has had on our family's life. I'm sure you are aware of how resilient he is, how courageous, how hilarious, how intelligent, how full of promise. I'm sure you know that he has changed me and that I am shaped more and more into the mom this superstar deserves to have running along side him with each passing day. What he has done in our home is serve as a constant dose of perspective. Our view of the world now is through HIS eyes. His struggles are our only true hardships, his successes our purest joys.
Now we will have another little person to get to share in all of this, to get to share our Nolan with us, to be in his world.
I have to admit that I felt such guilt about that every week I did remain so obviously pregnant this time around. I felt I was doing Nolan a great disservice by willingly distracting myself from him as I tend to a screaming newborn in a therapy appointment with my firstborn superkid. I thought about how surgery days with Nolan have successfully meant that no matter how long a wait, no matter how unbelievably frightening a day, Jay and I were locked into his every need-- never leaving his side, immediately returning to it the second we got the call that he was out. I have always been able to climb into the hospital bed with him, wiggle myself around the cords, gently place hands on him and not let go until we were discharged. How could I guarantee that I could do that now? What if another child needed one of us at that same moment? What if our next child had special needs? How could we balance all of this? How could Jay and I possibly remain so perfectly available for Nolan's every need (emotional or physical)??
If there are other parents walking through these emotions with a firstborn who has medical challenges they face, I wanted to express that. And I have to share the peace that washed over me this morning. I believe God replaced those gnawing doubts with a positive hope I could cling to: "Nolan is going to be the biggest blessing to our next child and our next child is going to be the biggest blessing to him. This is a good thing"
Nolan has so much love to give. He already is so empathetic. His soul is an old one. I'm stunned by the things he picks up on: his emotional awareness and truly kind nature. I cannot wait for someone else in our home to benefit from that. I cannot wait to see who Nolan becomes when he has someone else he can feel protective over, when he has someone else he can encourage. I daresay this next child will experience adversity. I know our next child will feel fear. I also know that this child will have someone in their life apart from Jay and I who can meet them in their struggle with a proven fact: "you will get through this". We have this little amazing boy here whose very existence screams: "the resilience of the human spirit, we can overcome".
I'm so excited for our family to grow. I'm excited now more than afraid, guilty or anxious. This morning I am certain that every miracle child added to our lives after our first will strengthen our family and provide for Nolan yet another person in whom he can find unwavering support and love. I certainly feel that our second child will take a village to raise as we continue to navigate our first child's medical journey and focus our eyes on ways in which to ensure his successes, but I know that Jay and I will naturally find a way to rock this. With a kid like Nolan as our inspiration, it will just happen. One day we'll wake up and walk through our new family life, managing our new responsibilities with ease, and more than anything I have a motivation to do so. The impact Nolan will have on our next bundle moves me to tears, and I cannot wait to see our whole family's transformation.
Find peace in your uncertain future today. Know that all things work together for the good (Romans 8:28) and that every good and perfect thing comes from the Lord (James 1:17), that nothing is impossible for Him (Matthew 19:26), that we can take all of our burdens to him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7), that He has a plan to prosper us and not to harm us (Jeremiah 29:11), that He has overcome the world (John 16:33) and that His desire is for us to come to know Him (John 17:3), to sore on wings as eagles in the face of horrible adversity (Isaiah 40:31) and that His love for us is everlasting (Romans 8:31-39) and that in everything He urges us to not be afraid (Philippians 4:6) and that finally He does provide a way out when we are drowning in self-induced panic (1 Corinthians 10:13) and that finally He is a very present help in all our troubles while here on earth (Psalm 46:1).