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 8, 2008

What I Thought I Wanted

When Victoria was born, I was so overwhelmed at the thought of raising a child with special needs. I was worried about whether she would be able to read, write or even speak in a way that I could understand. I wondered how I would cope with these possible challenges. I had no idea that in a short time my little baby would be hooked up to so many tubes, wires and machines. I couldn't have begun to imagine how my feelings would change.

You see ... through this entire situation, God has taken away any fear of raising a child with Down Syndrome. He has helped me to realize that I couldn't care less if Victoria can ever write, read or even say "Ma Ma." I just pray that God allows me the privilege to share life with her for a long time. I will feel so blessed if I can spend every day just "being" with her. Loving on her. Taking care of her.

She is a gift. She is a joy.

My heart longs to hold her these days as I see her lying so quietly in her Plexiglas home. I wish so badly that I could pick her up and hug her. I know I cannot because of the wires and tubes. It will be a glorious day when I can lift her up in my arms and kiss her face without the interference of tape and a ventilator. I look forward to those days in faith.

I thought I wanted a "perfect" and "normal" child, but what I didn't realize was that in 7 weeks of her birth, what I would really want was a little Down Syndrome baby with a heart defect and thyroid dysfunction named ...
Victoria Jayne.

14 comments:

Paul said...

My Dear Brother and Sister in Christ,

Thnak you for sharing your hearts on your blogspot. My oldest sister -Rosalyn daw, who is a member of the church where you serve - wrote, telling me of your precious one's struggle.

I will fast and pray this morning.

One of the ministries of a company which I founded is in serviing families with children who have Down's syndrome. This is in the former USSR.

While the sociey there looks down on such children, one Christian couple is setting the example for the non-Christian/muslim/ancestor-worshiping people there by delighting in their daughter.

God willing, I sense that you two will do the same.

God has firmly established the length of each person's days (Acts 17:26.) I will pray that your daughter's days will be many and for His glory.

In Jesus,

paul griffin

Anonymous said...

Heather, Mark & Victoria,
Hi! Victoria is so beautiful even with the tubes and wires. I know as parents we want the best for all of our children. You and Mark are so encouraging for me. I told Alan the other night (Wednesday) that ya'll are so strong. I know it is all because of God. Our family is praying and trusting in God that everything will be just as he would want it to be. Your family is on our minds and in our hearts everyday. Love ya'll, Chasity, Alan, Cali, And Graci Capps

Lani said...

Happy Mother's Day Heather! God has blessed you with a special gift. He knew what He was doing when He allowed you to have His child Victoria Jayne. She is so blessed to have you as a mother. You have been given the opportunity to raise a special little girl. She is going to touch so many lives because they will see God's love through you and her. I am praying for you all. Thank you for sharing how you feel with us. I pray for the surgery on Tuesday. In His love, Lani

Anonymous said...

HEATHER AND MARK;
THANK YOU FOR THE UP-DATES. IT HELPS SO MUCH TO SEE THE PICTURES AND HEAR YOUR HEART. YOU EXPRESS IS WHAT EVERONE IN MY PAST FRIENDS HAD TO SAY ABOUT THIER SPECIAL NEEDS KIDS. AS YOU KNOW WE USED TO WORK THESE KIDS AND THEY ARE BIG HEART CHILDREN AND SUCH A BLESSING.I SAID FROM THE BEGINNING THAT GOD PICKED THE PERFECT COUPLE TO GIVE VICTORIA JANE TO. TO SHOW HIS MIRACLE AND LOVE. KNOW YOU ARE IN OUR PRAYERS. SUE AND HARRY

Bill said...

Heather and Mark:
While it seems so little: please know that Tina, Hannah, Hayden, and I pray for you and Victoria daily. I know this is overwhelming. As I sit at my computer and read your blog I cry with you. I pray that God gives you his peace beyond all understanding which reminds me of a song by Greg Long called "In the Waiting" which I feel is very appropriate here;

"Pain, the gift nobody longs, for still it comes and somehow leaves us stonger when it's gone away.
Pray, I try and pray for Your will to be done, but I confess it's never fast enough for me. It seems the hardest part is waiting on You when what I really want is just to see Your hand move.

I want a peace beyond my understanding. I want to feel it fall like rain in the middle of my hurting. I want to feel Your arms as they surround me and let me know that it's okay to be here in this place, resting in the peace that only comes in the waiting.

Time, time to let it go and just believe, trusting in what no one else but You can see.
Free, freedom from the fears that close me in. When I can't get beyond where I have been but then again, the silence doesn't mean that I'm alone as long as I can hear that I am still Your own.

I want a peace beyond my understanding. I want to feel it fall like rain in the middle of my hurting. I want to feel Your arms as they surround me and let me know that it's okay to be here in this place, resting in the peace that only comes in the waiting."...Greg Long.

We stand in prayer for the Messicks.
We Love You...The Vanderheidens

Alan said...

Hey yall, just wanted to let you guys know once again how much we were praying for, and thinking about you. I sent a prayer request to the "Prayer Force" at my school today(Liberty University) and started a group on Facebook called Praying for Victoria. Dawn also sent out an email with her picture on it. I tell you all this simply to let you know that there are people all over the country praying for you. Having been in a somewhat similar situation I know how much that can mean. I know both of you are so very strong in your faith, although I also know how easy it is to get down when your tired and all that is weighing on your mind. It was tough going through that with a parent, I can only imagine how much more difficult it would be with a child. I do know this, you are in the hands of the best doctors in the world, as far as I'm concerned anyway. They are truly amazing.
And on another note, she is soooooo Beautiful, even if she does kinda favor Mark. =)

Caleb said...

Hey Guys, didn't know you all had a blog on here. I have been praying for you all since the very beginning and it clear that God has moved and has been with you through this whole process. And He will continue to be with you. I love yall sooo much!! My prayers will continue. I'm coming back to Mobile on Mother's Day to start my internship at Integrity on Monday so I'll be seeing you at church all summer. Again love yall soo very much!! :):)

Beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hi, Heather! Praying for your beautiful family during this time that God will strengthen you all and pour his blessings on you!

Love,
Jessica (Postma)

Anonymous said...

Heather,
Praying for your sweet family as you are on this very difficult journey.

Love,
Jessica (Postma)

Becky Pepper said...

Your courage is amazing. This blog spoke to my heart. I am thankful he gives us what we need at just the right time. Your faith is a ministry to others and I keep thinking of this song when I am praying for you

Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful.

May the fire of our devotion light their way.

May the footprints that we leave lead them to believe and the lives we live inspire them to obey.

Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful.

Happy Mother's Day Heather and know you are inspiration to so many. God Bless and know that your family is being lifted up in prayer.
Becky Pepper

Anonymous said...

Precious Messick Family, Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us, as you travel through this, with precious Victoria Jayne.It is a blessing and an honor to pray with you. One of my favorite "Mama" passages is, Isaiah 43:1-3. God gave me that verse when Riley was little and I figure it covers It all! Please know how much we love you all. We will be praying, and we can't wait till you are all back home. Love, Jan (Ronnie & Riley) Johnson

smgrantham said...

Dear Heather and Mark, Howard and Justine are in our Sunday School class at FBTC. They've kept us up to date on the pregnacy and birth of little Victoria from the beginning. We've been praying for all of you everyday. She is precious and so very blessed to have such sweet Godly parents! The way you trust in the Lord and give him praise and glory in whatever the future holds is such an inspiration! God bless you and your family.
Love,
Sally and Jimmy Grantham

Anonymous said...

Praying for you... you encouraged me today through your site! I know God's still carrying you as He is Faithful and full of Promise!