I have a cross hanging in the nursery that has part of a verse from 1 Samuel on it. It quotes Hannah, a woman who had been barren as she dedicates her son to the Lord and praises God saying “for this child I have prayed.” I hung it there when that was still the spare room and my children still lived only in my prayers. We ended up putting the changing table against that wall so I have had this running joke in my head for about a year that I prayed for poop. I was changing a particularly disgusting diaper one day when I had this epiphany that babies come with poop, lots of poop. See when we pray for children, we tend to have this picture in our head of bedtime cuddles, frilly dresses and toothless smiles. I don’t know about other women but I know I never sat and prayed for dirty diapers. If you want the baby though, you have to take the poop along with it. On rough days I remind myself that all of it is an answer to prayer. The blessings that I call my children are worth the messes.
We have had a lot of poop lately. When they brought Little Miss to us, they told us that she had seizures when she was a baby. They said that she still took a little medicine just to be safe but that she had grown out of it. For a long time that was true. We had a little scare on Christmas of 2011 but then they disappeared again and they decided that was just the result of more stress than her little brain could handle. Then this January she had a seizure, and then another and another. Then all of the sudden it got really, really bad and soon I was following an ambulance to the children’s hospital and calling the church so that they would pray that my little girl would just wake up. Nothing has been the same since that day. We have bounced from specialists to emergency rooms to more and more tests. Some days she would wake up and between the seizures and medications, she wouldn’t know who I was anymore. She would just stare at you and smile with a blank look in her eyes. I had to quit the job that I loved because of her constant medical appointments and not being able to find childcare that wasn’t afraid of her. I almost had to quit school but managed to hang on by a thread and finish the semester by living off 3 to 4 hours a sleep each night for a few months. Things have eased up some but our whole world still revolves around this monster they call epilepsy. Even the little things that I never would have thought about are a big deal now. Like, when we go to a restaurant, I have her sit in a highchair so that if she has a seizure and falls, the sides will catch her before she hits her head on the floor. And, I sit in the new mothers’ section at church now because it is right by her Sunday school room and they need to be able to get me, just in case. And we have to be extra careful because little things that used to be normal are dangerous now, like swinging or swimming or riding horses or… It has been exhausting and devastating. There have been days when I felt like I was breaking and I just wasn’t sure how much more of this “poop” I could handle.
We were blessed with two wonderful CASA workers (Court Appointed Special Advocates) that have been with the little people since day one. One of them is a nurse and a few months ago, she came with my to a neurologist’s appointment so that CPS could better understand what was going on. After that, the department came to me and asked if we still wanted to proceed with the adoption. They said that they understood if we didn’t. We hadn’t signed up for a kid with special needs. What they didn’t understand, is that we believe she is an answer to prayer and we weren’t willing to throw out the baby just because of the poop. I couldn’t turn my back on the child who had called me Mom for a year and half just because she got sick any more than I would have abandoned my biological son if he needed me. I know in my heart that Little Miss and Little Man were both given to me by God. Last week, when they finalized their adoption, I had total peace knowing that He is going to get us through whatever trials lie ahead. It’s not because there is anything special about us because honestly we still aren’t real sure what we’re doing here. We just keep putting on foot in front of the other and believing He will direct our path. Along the way, we just keep thanking God for entrusting us with all those dirty diapers and the beautiful little people that accompany them.