Saturday, April 4, 2009

Normal ?

Well as I think everyone knows we are expecting Baby #2. He is due June 27th. Along with all the joys of being pregnant and the fun things that surround the idea of having another baby for Daniel and I come the emotions of the fact this baby may have OI. Do we try to dwell on the fact that something may be wrong with our baby - no. Do we think about it daily and let it take away from the happy times of having a baby - no. But it is something I probably cry about or think about at least once a week while being pregnant. I try to ask myself why does it matter if we have a baby with OI? It will not change the love we have for this kid or the responsibility we have of raising this child to know and love God. We will not have any less love for him and we won't even know how severe the OI will present itself until he grows and develops over the years. I have been thinking a lot about this and wondering if it is because of what I consider "normal" may be interrupted by this genetic disorder OI. I think I am scared of not being able to handle the responsibilities. I am scared of failing. I am scared of what it may due to our marriage and/or finances. I am scared of having to change our lives or our way of living. I am scared I will have let my son down in some way. I am scared of feeling guilty that it is my fault. I am scared of the unknown.

I subscribe to this blog. This lady has a terminally ill daughter...and she posted this awhile back about being "normal".

Our lives are not “normal.” Letting go of that normal has been very, very hard. I often wish that life was easier. I wish that my two little girls were running around, laughing and playing together. I wish that Lauren and Carmen would grow up together.

For some reason, God chose us for a not-so-normal life. We took the first step by adopting internationally but we had no idea that road would lead us to a terminally ill child. Letting go of my own desire for a normal life has been a painful process and one I continue to struggle with.

I keep going back to Hebrews 11, the faith chapter. Normal is not spending a year in an Ark. Talk about life on hold! Normal is not waiting until you are 90 and 100 years old for a child. Most of us don’t like waiting one day for what we want. Normal is not hiding your child for 3 months from a king intent on killing all baby boys. Normal is not giving that baby boy to the very people enslaving and mistreating your people. I doubt Moses’ mom envisioned this life for her son.

I can’t think of anyone in the Bible who lived a normal life. And yet their lives are awe-inspiring. So perhaps normal is over-rated. I do know that this past year with Carmen has changed us forever. I don’t think we will ever be normal again and I am not sure we would want to be. I hope and pray that for the rest of our lives, we let go of normal. And that we are willing to take the big “risks” that are both painful and rewarding.

I have gone back and reread this post several times over the last several months. Even though if my son is born with OI he will not be terminally ill we may have to give up what some call "normal" depending on the severity of the genetic disorder. I know all of this is the "what if's" of my life right now and I have no clue what the future holds for us. But if they become a reality at some point whether with this baby or if we choose to have more children later on, I hope and pray to our Heavenly Father that I am able to give up what some call "normal" and embrace and enjoy everything God will have to offer us through that journey.


Kim Smith said...

We haven't talked about this in awhile, but I know that it's on your mind (and Daniel's) often. Just know that I do pray for you guys all the time. Whether God calls you to live a "not-so-normal" life or not, you are going to honor Him in your parenting. And we will be here to support you every step of the way! Love ya girl!

traci said...

Your heart is beautiful Mandy.

I echo Kim's comments and pray for ya often.

jennynaree said...


In reality I think that being "abnormal" is more normal than you think.

I am reading a book called The Faith Club (about a Jewish woman, Muslim woman and Catholic woman). The Jewish woman told a story that her dad always told her (Yiddish proverb).

Think about putting all of your problems in a paper bag. And everyone else put their problems in a paper bag. And everyone put all of their paper bags in a pile (mountain). Then they told you that you could go pick out any bag you wanted. Would you?

This story has really helped me deal with these difficult things in my life. It made me realize that no matter how bad it is, I wouldn't trade it for anything. Because with those really hard things also come really good things.

Keep your head up and know that even if things change, you have a wonderful husband, amazing children and a great community who will do whatever they can to help you all!

Lots of love,

Jen McLaughlin

Amanda said...

Mandy- you inspire me as a mom and a woman. You have so many wonderful and great qualities. You and I both know that you can handle anything! No matter what the outcome your family and community are welcoming that perfect baby boy! Remember, no worries :)

joye said...

awesome post, mandy. i've wanted to comment for a couple of days, but i can't really find the right words. here's my attempt!

as i'm in the middle of mourning the loss of "normalcy" i can't help but think there's no where else i'd rather be. actually, i'd rather be at home with a perfectly healthy baby, but that's not our reality anymore.

the comment about the yiddish proverb really stuck out to me. when i think about how "bad" we have it, i remind myself of the 3 sets of parents who have lost their babies in the past 4 weeks. we still have ours, and like you said, you'll still have baby #2.

you're an amazing mom to brayden, and you'll be the same to #2, regardless of his health. will it be stressful, hard, painful, sad, scary? heck yeah. but it will also be beautiful and perfect in its own way.

i'm praying for you and this precious baby as much as i know you're praying for me and mine. love you girl!