Elisha Lawrence. He's my 5th little guy and his story is something. We'd had 4 beautiful kiddo's. 3 girls and one boy. Our home was already always bustling with some noise. I loved it. Our youngest was now 3 and it was time to clear out all the baby things we no longer needed. It was a Saturday and we had a scheduled pick up later that day for Salvation Army to come get our things. We went about getting all the boxes down of the things I'd saved from my babies..bibs, toys, cloths, blankets..you know, the typical things. We went though the things to make sure we were giving away only what we wanted to & we started to talk. "Are you sure?..I mean, are we really done?" I asked with hope he'd say no. He knew I wanted a big family. Four kids wasn't big to me. "I'm sure.." So with a heavy heart it all went. Everything. And then later that night came.."I think we should have one more.." but it wasn't me who said that. Exactly 40 weeks later Eli was born. ♥
When I was 8 months along I was reading a mothering magazine. In it was an article written by a mom whose last child was born with Down Syndrome. She went on & on about the joys this little girl had shown them by coming into their lives. That's the moment God let me know my baby boy would have DS too. I went upstairs & told Mat..who wasn't too thrilled with telling him my thoughts. My last month of carrying Eli I came across so many encounters with DS it was crazy! We started getting mail from the National DS Association & I found out we had a neighbor up the street with a 12 year old daughter with DS..we were getting her mail. The next week at church a missionary came to talk to our congregation. While he talked, his family sat behind my husband and I. They had two children with DS with them. A little girl and a little boy. I remember nudging Mat to show him. He just shrugged my encounters off..but for me, they all meant something, lol. I introduced myself after the service and got to met the two cuties who had caught my attention. Beth and Ezra. Beautiful.
There were more things that happened. Like the young lady I ran into at the grocery store and the mom and her son at Costco. I seriously had never had such encounters before..I mean, not ever.
About 3 weeks later as we held Eli and his little almond eyes looked at us we knew. I told the nursing staff I was sure he had DS. "Oh, honey..no, no. He's just squashed looking. All new born babies look like that." No. He's was my 5th..and my others didn't look like Eli. There for sure was something a little different. I requested the doctor come look at him and told him what I thought. He looked Eli over and looked for the tale tale markers..the one crease across the palms of his hand..check. The larger space in between his big toe and his others..check. The beautiful fold at the top of the ear..check. The doctor said he thinks I may be right and blood work was sent out to verify it. I was right. God really did prepare my heart for Eli! I never went though what I've heard other parents go though. I never mourned the loss of my typical child I thought I was having..cause I already knew I was having Eli and he was absolutely perfect. ♥
It wasn't easy his first few years. Loads of things to educate myself on, doctor visits upon doctor visits, hospital stays that were too long, scary times of sickness and his fights with his seizures. But I wouldn't change any of it..not if it meant changing him. People always tell me things like "God only gives special children to special people.." Or "You must be an angel cause God would only give an angel one of his special children to care for them." And while those comments are nice, there not true. God didn't give me and my family Eli cause we're special and I know I ain't no angel. But having Eli did change us and raising a child with sn does teach you how to be a whole 'nother kind of parent..person. I know God gave us Eli, but not because of who we are. I fully believe God gave us Eli to help us see who we could be.
Rewinding time...and we're about to be new parents for the first time. We're out eating and the topic of our convo is a family I'd come to really admire. Well, it was more about the two little boys of this family that I'd fallen in love with. Both boys had been adopted. Both were born with sn due to their birth mom using crystal meth while pregnant with them. You would never know they had sn until you were spending time with them (I was a preschool teacher at the time.) They were great boys, but they required you to have an abundant amount of patience to be around them for to long. So anyway, our convo turned to adoption. Our thoughts about it and so on. It was the convo that each of us learned we wanted to adopt a child someday. It was also the conversation that taught me more about my husband then I knew before and gave me more about him to love. He not only wanted to adopt..he wanted to adopt a child with sn. One who wouldn't have as much of a chance of being wanted. Do you know how rare of a guy he is? He's amazing! Okay..fast forward and Eli is about 18 months old now. He's living on med's for his seizures and he lives on breathing treatments due to the constant battles he fights with respiratory issues. But in retrospect..he's healthy and didn't deal with any other medical issues. It's about 2 a.m. and I'm online doing some research on nutritional and dietary supplements for kiddo's with DS. Anyway, I'm on this chat board with other mom's reading about their experiences with it when this URGENT flashed across the screen. Under it was a message about a little boy in Ukraine who about to be transferred to an adult mental institution because he was nearing his 5th birthday. Of course I clicked on the link to find out more! And that was the start of our adoption journeys. It was the start of us learning about other kiddo's like Eli who were only given till their 5th b-days to be adopted before being transferend and hid for the rest of their lives in places no child, no person at all should ever have to live. -I can honestly say that when Mat and I talked about adoption of sn kiddo's I never, ever, EVER thought of DS. It didn't even cross my mind. But God knew how to change that :) So okay..so here we are today and today we have our 3 boys. Our precious Uki (Isaac) who we were able to adopt only months before his transfer. Oh gosh. the thought of that kills me! And our little Georgian prince, Levi. They each are very unique in who they are and why. They've taught this family in ways nothing else could. They've let us see life in a completely different way then we ever could of with out them. They've taught us to appreciate things we didn't before. They've put compassion in our hearts and have shaped their brothers and sisters
into different kinds of young men and women.
And to think..we thought we were done that Saturday, lol ♥ And you know what else is neat? I've gotten to become good friends with Beth and Ezra's mama and today their getting ready to be teenagers :).
How good is our God?!