First Birthday!

Yesterday was Benjamin’s first birthday!!

We’ve never made a huge deal of the first birthday – only a small celebration – but in the culture where we’ve been serving, the first birthday calls for a feast!

Our sweet, elderly coworker explained to me a few years ago that in that country, for a child to live through the first year was tremendous.  Now, I understand.

Yesterday, I decided to read what I wrote in my journal on Benjamin’s birthday last year.  When I skimmed through my notebook, I realized I didn’t write anything on Benjamin’s birthday – for obvious reasons. 🙂

Here are a few snippets from later that week.



We are overwhelmed by God’s grace, mercy and love for us.  He has answered so many prayers […].  

Right now I’m exhausted- the last few days have been a whirlwind of unexpected, overwhelming circumstances; decision-making (or decisions yet to make […]); and overwhelming reminders of our merciful Savior’s love.  […]  

We are so thankful He has chosen to give us Benjamin to enjoy for this long.  I treasure every breath he takes, every touch, every look, every moment spent with him.  

[Reviewing] Day Two (Aug. 10)

It was just me and Jason the first time I saw Benjamin.  […]  After a while I asked the nurse if it was okay to hold him.  I wasn’t expecting her to say yes, but figured I’d ask and she agreed that I could.

They had gotten me a chair that sat higher up so I could sit beside his bed and still see/touch him.  The nurse maneuvered a few wires, wrapped him up warm and placed him in my arms.

How beautiful.  Some moments cannot be expressed in words […].

Thank You, Father, for this beautiful gift – for this one of many blessings – to hold my baby the first time I saw him. 

I shared several posts out of order, but from here I’ll attempt to go back and review challenges/blessings of his first year in chronological order.  We’ll see how that goes.  🙂

Unseen Treasure

A Quick Explanation

I’ve heard that there’s a level of emotion, pain – even joy, I suppose – that is too deep to express in words… and that you know someone has reached that point when they use word pictures/analogies instead.

This excerpt- everything written after this paragraph- was taken entirely from my journal, from the midst of an uncertain pregnancy.  From a writing standpoint, it needs tweaking, but it was the best way I knew to get my point across.

A Journal Entry

A young man gave his sweetheart a round-cut diamond ring.  He wrapped it in special packaging and took her on a meaningful date, where he humbly expressed his unconditional, enduring love for her.

She joyfully agreed to commit her love and life to him. 

At first, she was ecstatic. She couldn’t wait to tell her friends.  Many congratulated her.  

Then one friend looked closely at the ring and said, with a disappointed sigh, “Oh. It isn’t square. He should’ve given you a square diamond.”  Another pulled her hand to the light – “Is this white gold?  Why didn’t he give you red gold?”   

One by one, slowly, each new friend had a disappointing comment, a piece of advice, a tidbit of their own knowledge of quality jewelry. 

The young man’s sweetheart didn’t argue.  But she married him joyfully, fully treasuring the ring he had bought her.  She trusted him. 

Her friends didn’t know his love for her, or the careful thought he had put into buying her the best quality diamond ring, the one that would fit her– who she was. 

What’s more, he hadn’t bought the ring.  

Her friends didn’t know that her Groom was the Master Craftsman. 

He had made the ring Himself. 

So this is the first, very imperfect, version – but I thought the analogy expressed well the way people see children.  So many have commented on how we have to have a girl next/before we “quit.”  And I had to wonder how much more their disappointment would be if he has Down Syndrome.  

It’s natural to want a normal child.  But let’s not forget that they are each a treasure, or place more value on one than the other.

God has a beautiful purpose for each precious life.

And sometimes that purpose is to give others a chance to serve and show compassion to the helpless, as Jesus did for us.