I've really been motivated by the Lord to do a blog series from my devotional that I've been reading called "A Special Gift: A Devotional for Mothers of Children with Unique Challenges." I was really, really sad after going to a very well-known Christian bookstore the other day to pick up a graduation gift, where I spent an hour looking for a book for Moms with babies who require more help, attention and love. There were gobs of books about how to have a happy baby, how to raise a child who's well-behaved, how to make sure your family is living for Jesus...but nothing, not anything close, to a book for Mamas who are Christians and have a baby that doesn't fit the mold.
This made me angry for 2 reasons: (1) there ARE mothers who ARE godly who don't have 15 perfect children, and (2) there is no one writing anything from a Jesus-perspective to encourage them that God loves them and their baby and they can get through it. Since I don't have time to write a book right now (though I plan on it one day) for these Mamas out there, I thought the least I could do is share the devotionals I've been reading.
Thank GOD for Carrie T. Gruman-Trinker who took the time and had the heart to write this devo! It has given me so much strength, even though her baby Aiden's needs were very different from Stephen's. PLEASE, if you know any mother who is struggling with a baby/toddler/child who requires more than the typical baby and has specific needs, send them here!!! :) Also, I think those of you Mamas who don't have a baby with challenges/difficulties will still find these devos to be beautiful and encouraging to you!
Day 1 - Celebrate Your Baby
"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!" ~ Phillipians 4:4
Never lose sight of the fact that you have been given a wondrous new creation - a baby - to love and hold and care for. Your baby may have some flaws...but don't we all have flaws?
Joanne Green, a woman who adopted 3 beautiful children with facial abnormalities, once wisely told me to always remember that "the baby you hold is a baby first, and a cleft palate-affected second!"
How right she is! Many people had a difficult time looking at my Aiden's disfigured face, gasping at first sight. My first look at him was frightening too.
But then I saw those incredible blue eyes gazing calmly into my own. I fell absolutely in love! He was my child, the blessing God had entrusted to my care.
Yes, Aiden needs more than a dozen surgeries, extensive oral work, speech therapy, and other not-so-pleasant challenges. But he is funny and bright and so loving.
He is the first of my 5 children to love snuggling on my lap for extended periods of time. He charms others with his ready smile, crooked though it might be. He has a deep belly laugh that is irresistably contagious. At the age of 18 months, he has already learned an extensive vocabulary in sign language. (His palate construction is not yet complete). He has the most expressive eyes I have ever seen. Every child in our neighborhood adores this fair-haired child.
If I dwell on his future surgeries and obstacles to overcome, I feel defeated and angry. But when I see the wonderful boy he is becoming, I rejoice. I thank God that he gifted me with this precious son. Aiden has taught me to accept and to love all those around me, no matter the situation. All of my children have learned to be compassionate individuals, respectful of anyone who is "different."
Aiden is a reason to rejoice. So is your baby. Hang a sign, have a party, take LOTS of pictures! Rejoice - God has given you a precious and wondrous gift - one that will touch your heart forever.
Prayer: Lord, focus my eyes on the beauty of this child You have placed in my hands. Thank YOU for this little life. Help me to rejoice in the wonderful traits of my child and what he can teach me.
Copyright 2000 by Carrie T. Gruman-Trinkner