Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Love Like Never Before

Braxton is on my mind a lot lately.  I know, it's not unusual for someone to have their baby on their mind often.  But I've been finding myself lingering on thoughts about Braxton.  I've slowed down lately, if you will, and just stared at him while he sleeps.  Pressed my cheek against his a little longer.  Sat on the floor with him a little more often.

A week from today is Braxton's colon surgery.  It's a pretty big deal.  The diseased part of his colon is going to be removed, and the good parts will be sewn together.  His colostomy will be reversed.  The actual surgery is expected to take about five hours.  Then, as Braxton begins to heal, his colon will begin working, and we will eventually end up with poopy diapers.  I will never be so happy to see a poopy diaper.

But oh, how I am dreading next Tuesday.  I have had the experience of having children in surgery before, and I don't think it gets any easier the more you do it.  Honestly I think this time might be the worst as I have had the longest time to think about it.  It's also the most major surgery any of my kids have ever had.

On Sunday we will have the privilege of dedicating Braxton at church.  We will go up on stage and our pastor will pray a blessing over Braxton and we will publicly declare our commitment to raise Braxton up for the Lord.

When I pause and spend a moment thinking about Braxton I immediately become overwhelmed by the goodness of God.  I didn't ask for another baby.  I wasn't trying to get pregnant.  Yet here I have this precious, precious baby who is nothing less than a blessing from God.  Oh how much my God loves me to give me this gift.  I am so undeserving.  And so grateful.

I am a Mom, so I know what it means to have your heart live outside your chest.  Yet there is something even more profound, more indescribable, about the love in my heart I have for Braxton.  At the same time, that love overflows to my other children as well.  And I think that my love for my other children trickles down and puddles up around Braxton.  Honestly the more children I have, the more love I have for my children.  I've heard people who worry that they won't have enough love for a second baby, because they've already given the love they have to their first child.  I say that being a Mom equips you to have that extra love for another child.  The more experience you've had loving a child gives you that much more love for the next one.  It kind of makes me want to have a few more children just to see.

As I struggle to find the words to explain my love, my mind is also thinking about Down syndrome and trying to make sense of how I feel about that.

This might surprise some of you.  But I have actually fallen in love with Down syndrome.  How could I not?  It is a part of Braxton, and part of what makes him who he is.  I couldn't love Braxton without also loving his extra 21st chromosome, just like I love his hazel eyes and his ball chin.  I am not a fan of some of the negative things that sometimes come along with Down syndrome...but all of my kids have things about them that I'm not a fan of.

This month is Down Syndrome Awareness Month.  On Saturday we are participating in our local Buddy Walk.  I am new to all of this.  And to be honest, a little intimidated.  But we will walk with pride for Braxton on Saturday.  And we will do our part to change the way the world views people who have Down syndrome.


Did you know that around 90% of babies who have Down syndrome are aborted and never given the chance to fill their home with the same kind of love Braxton has filled our home with?  I'm not talking about a love that feels sorry for a person, or a love of sympathy or lack.  I'm talking about a love so deep you never knew you could love like that.

Ninety percent.


Anonymous said...

So sweet!!
What a wonderful post and a precious tribute to your baby. :)
Rachel in Idaho

Chris said...

What a beautiful post and what a beautiful baby !!! will be thinking and praying for him next week.

Anonymous said...

My heart is in my throat and the tears in my eyes are clouding my eyesight. What a gorgeous baby Braxton is, thanks for sharing him with us!
Love mom, Barb, grandma

Anonymous said...

I read your post with tears running down my face. As you say each child brings extra love with it, some even more than others. i'm praying for all your family and your little man

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful beautiful boy.

We adopted our son in Ethiopia almost one year ago.

We talk about if we were to ever to adopt again in the states we would adopt a down-syndrome baby.

I can't believe that the statistic is that high on abortions of downs babies. I've had some of my best conversations and learned so much about life by people that have it. God has revealed himself to me by one of my friend's children that has this condition. Living slower, better, and really appreciating life, that is what I've learned. I can't believe someone would want to end a life that would no-doubt be a very fulfilled one.

Your baby is a miracle. You are so blessed.