Still Amazed

I'm combining a couple of posts today...I wanted to participate in Show and Tell Friday (for the first time), and I found the scrapbook page that I wanted to share on Tuesday (I *still* haven't completely finished my Tackle, by the way, but I *have* made a lot of headway and *did* find the missing scrapbook pages...whew!!), so I thought I would share this scrapbook page as my *show and tell* for today. :) It's a bit long because of the journaling from the scrapbook page...I'm sorry about that!

Last week at Sam's, the girl at the check-out offered to scan our items in our cart, rather than our having to take everything out and put it on the conveyor. Ammah Grace was still in the cart, so Billy said, "We already paid for her." The girl laughed and said, "and how much was she?" and Billy laughed and said, "pretty expensive". The girl said something like "I can imagine," and I laughed then and said, "well, this one was more expensive than most...she spent 6 weeks in NICU at UAMS...so she was *really* expensive." The girl began to ask questions about Ammah Grace and why she was in the hospital so long, so I shared a little of her story. As we left, she said, "She sure does look healthy and happy to have gone through all that." And I was reminded again of how blessed we are.

This page was made before Ammah Grace was 9 months old. The title is "Every Little Thing You Do," and it talks about how every thing that Gracie did just *amazed* me...even though I had seen our three other children do the very same things. After our experience in Sam's the other day, I realized that I am *still* amazed at *every little thing" she does...even at 3 1/2! I don't know that I will ever get used to her being *normal*...I think I will always be in wonder at God's work in her.

Here is the journaling under the flap...

"Any mom of a large family will tell you, if she's honest, that while you love all your children *equally*, you don't love them all the *same*. My love for Peter, my first-born (and only boy), is very different from my love for Bayley, my first little girl. My love for Bayley, the most sensitive of you all so far, is much different from my love for Emlyn, my easy-going, contented child, and the one who reminds me the most of myself at that age. And my love for your three siblings, who were born healthy, perfect miracles, is very different than my love for you, the baby we were afraid wouldn't make it, the baby I sat with in NICU for weeks on end, praying and wondering about what we would face once we finally left those walls. I certainly don't love any one of you *more* or *less*, but my love for each of you is *different* and *special*.

"I see this so much with you. One would think, by the fourth child, that everything would be pretty much old hat. We've done the diapers-bottles-sleepless-nights-first-smiles-first-teeth-rolling-over thing a few times before! But I am constantly amazed at *every little thing you do*. I remember laughing at your Daddy in NICU the first time he got to change your diaper. He was SOO excited to have gotten to change that little diaper. And frankly, I was jealous that it was him, and not me! now, after three other children, I must say that was a first...that we were fighting *to* change a diaper, rather than NOT TO! But when your child is two weeks old and you have not yet been able to physically meet *one* of her needs, you'll take anything...even a smelly diaper! :)

"I also remember sitting in NICU, looking at you in the warmer bed, back when we couldn't even hold you yet...just sit and quietly talk or sing to you...and wondering if I would ever see you smile. The neonatologists had warned that they really couldn't give a prognosis at that point...so much depended on the damage that had already been done by your brain hemorrhage and how it healed from that point on. They warned of brain damage, cerebral palsy, blindness, hearing problems...and the list went on. As I sat and sang to you and prayed, I suddenly realized I might never see you smile at me intentionally. That you might never squeal in delight at your Daddy's silliness, or laugh at your brother and sisters as they played. It was a sobering thought, and although Daddy and I both knew that we would love you no matter what, it was more painful than I can describe to think of what you (and we) might be facing.

"I guess that is why now I am so awed by *every little thing you do*. Although you have been smiling for months now, I still sit and just marvel as you look into my eyes and break into that gummy grin. I am overcome with gratitude when I hear you squealing in delight at your Daddy's silly antics, and I still have to fight the urge to cry every time I see you laughing at Peter, Bayley, and Emlyn as they spend hours a day entertaining you (and thus, you entertaining them as well!)

"After physical therapy yesterday, you were laughing at Mrs. Martha on the way out the door, and she said, "You know, she just smiles with her whole body...how incredible..." I told her about what I had just told Mamoe...that every mother delights in her child's smile, but that when you have experienced the awareness that your child might never be able to smile at you, those smiles are even more incredible. Martha replied that she had just been thinking that very thing...and that we have "come out smelling like a rose" from all of this. We again talked about how exciting it is to think about all the prayers that were said for you, and then to have the results of those prayers smiling up at us, "with her whole body"...what a blessing!

"And what a blessing to experience *every little thing you do*..."

Three years later, it is *still* a blessing...and I am still amazed every time I see her smile!


ellen b said...

What a sweet blessing and what a wonderful smile she has. Blessings on all of you.

Pieces From Me said...

How heartwarming. I was very touched by your journaling to your child.

Linda aka yellowroseli said...

How sweet. Gotta love that smile. Your scrapbook page is a very nice idea.

Joyful Days said...

What a beautiful post--what a beautiful girl. You are so right about the equally but different love.


Barbara H. said...

What a precious story, and a precious little girl.

Myrna said...

thank you for joining us at Show and Tell. It is a fun thing to do.

Your story is so sweet. Your daughter is beautiful and her smile is, too1

Sharon said...

She is beautiful! I love her sweet smile!

Penless Thoughts said...

What a lovely, beautiful child.

Cheryl said...

That brought tears to my eyes... you little stinker. Your truely blessed... continued blessings~

Kelli said...

What a sweet and beautiful girl! Your scrapbook page is wonderful! Thank you for joining in for show and tell!

Lallee said...

What a beautiful post. Your daughter is a beautiful picture of someone with God's fingerprints on them. I'm praying for a little NICU baby right now. This has encouraged my heart.