A view into the life of a family who encountered a different future than expected, but has become all the richer for it.

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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Unconditional Love

On our second day in the hospital, my parents and Mark’s parents came to visit bringing our two other girls with them to see baby Victoria for the first time.

Natalie, being only 14 months old, could care less and had no idea the brevity of the moment of seeing her new baby sister for the first time. All she wanted to do is get into every piece of medical equipment in the room to see how many alarms she could set off!

However, Elyssa, our 2 ½ year-old, was so excited about this new baby that momma was holding. She climbed up into my hospital bed with a zing in her step because she could hardly wait to see this cute little bundle. She was curious about every part of her. She wanted to see her hands and feet and most of all, she wanted to hold her! She was already being such a great big sister!

On this day, little di
d Elyssa realize that I was still so emotional about the news of Victoria definitely having Downs and heart defects. She had no idea the mixed up feelings I had about the entire situation and how fearful I was about the new life that had been suddenly thrust upon me. My dreams of a “normal life” were gone. Everything had changed in a matter of moments.

As Elyssa sat in the bed with me looking on as I held Victoria, I could only think one thing: Elyssa doesn’t even care or have a clue that anything is wrong with this baby. It will probably be a long time before she or Natalie even realizes that she is “different.”

Elyssa was so carefree in showing her love to Victoria. She would rub Victoria’s newborn hair with her hand so gently. She kissed her head over and over and even began saying, “I love you, baby Victoria.” She hugged her and I actually let her hold her (with my help)! Never once in the middle of Elyssa observing her and loving on her did she say, “Momma, what is wrong with this baby?”

It was so moving for me to see her display of unconditional love and affection. It reminded me that in the midst of the grief I was feeling at the time, this is how I should be toward my new daughter. I should throw all caution to the wind and just be happy that she had arrived and was finally in my arms, Down’s and all. I was learning a lesson from an almost 3-year-old little girl who had a heart full of love.

I’m thankful that the Lord allows us to be humbled by our little children. I think I’ll spend the rest of my life learning from all three of my girls and I’m sure they will teach me a thing or two about life and love.

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