Um.....yeah. Just go with it, OK? It's been an emotional day:
As I sat with Jacob today at pre-op in between tests and visits from various medical professionals I had plenty of time to look into his deep blue eyes, and reflect upon the 12 short weeks that he and I have had together.
What is it about this little child that draws me to him? How can it be that after only a few short weeks I cannot imagine (or remember) my life without him? This one little soul, who has not spoken one word to me, hasn't taken a single step, or even kissed my cheek had managed to utterly complete me.
And why did this child, my fourth, do what the others have not? Each of my other three children are absolutely amazing in their own right.
Elisha is our overachiever. When we decided to have children, she was conceived on the very first try. At 15 years old, she is beautiful, intelligent, dynamic, athletic, articulate, talented, and loved by virtually everyone. I cannot help but be drawn to her, her sense of humor, and the sickening reality that way too many of her strong-minded personality traits come from her mother (drat!). Not only is she an absolute success at everything she puts her mind to, she has grown to become a friend to me - something I did not imagine happening until well into her 20's or possibly 30's.
Nathan was our miracle child. After 4 years and 3 miscarriages, he was conceived. Nate is the most endearingly sweet young man I have ever met. He never ever EVER complains and is constantly smiling. Elisha has no idea how fabulously she has it with Nathan as her little brother. Who else would offer to clean out the kitty litter, or do her dishes and chores for her 'just because'? What other 11-year-old boy volunteers to watch his two younger siblings so that his mom can sleep an extra 30 minutes in the morning, or would willingly and knowingly let his 20-month old sister into his room to virtually annihilate it just because he know that she loves his room and all of the things in it? I have somehow managed to have a little boy who goes with the flow and is happy as long as those around him are happy. I blame his father. ;)
I thought about this question regarding my pull to Jacob, concerned that I may somehow love him more than the others, or give him preferential treatment.
Then it dawned on me today in the hospital.
No, I do not love Jacob any more or less than I do my other children. However, I have been preparing my whole life for (and ultimately anticipating) him. In high school when I assisted the disabled children 1 period a day for gym, I quickly felt at home with the students. So much so that I decided to become a Special Education Teacher. Those goals were not achieved because I was side tracked with marriage and motherhood. However, we went on to manage for 10 years (and live amongst) an apartment complex filled with persons with developmental disabilities - and my favorites were always those with Downs. I had dreams of a boy with Downs Syndrome years before I conceived Jacob. Several dreams. I had often wondered if those experiences in my life were all coincidence, or if they had a purpose.
When I was told about Jacob, his disabilities and his birth defects. It was of no major surprise to me. Only a realization that I was not actually imagining things after all. I had known all along that I would have Jacob. I was just waiting for him. Treading water until he came into our home. And when he did come to us, to me it wasn't the birth of another child. It was the return of an old friend back to me. Someone I had been waiting for. And every time I pick him up, it's like the reunion of two old friends. I see in his eyes a wise soul with so much to tell me and teach me when the time comes. So much to share. I just have to continue to be patient.
So when I see Jacob, there is no sadness. There is no fear. There is no worry. There is only hope. Only joy. Only excitement at the life me and my dear friend will be able to share and experience together here on earth - no matter how long or how short that journey may be. Jacob was meant for our family. And this is only the beginning.