Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Eyes of a Child

I've been pondering this blog entry for quite some time.  I'm unsure how much of my random thoughts - both positive and not so positive to include.  For example, did you know that over 90% of children with Down Syndrome are aborted?  Never even given a chance at life.  That is so very sad to me.  Yes, this is a hard road, but so is being a parent.  We don't know what lies ahead with any of our children and yet we love them and would do anything for them.  I've never thought so much about how others view us as I have recently.  It's a new perspective to me on how things are seen.

I've heard it said that the eyes are the window to the soul.  Pondering on this reminds me of the words to a song ... "Open the eyes of my heart Lord, open the eyes of my heart.  I want to see you."  What are your eyes seeing?  What do others see in your eyes?  I hope my eyes show love, acceptance and a faith in our Father

When I first saw my daughter's eyes ... I knew.  I had not had prenatal testing done and it was quite a surprise to me at birth.  Initially it was this physical feature that I noticed most and had the hardest time with seeing it as different from my other children.  It was a reminder to me of things to come or rather things that might come to pass or things that I feared.  When I shared this with a friend, she told me that her daughter has said that she loved Eliana's eyes as they were such a beautiful shape.  This brought tears to my eyes and a knowledge to my heart that God is so in the details of my life that He comforts me with a child bringing the very message that my heart needed to hear. 

I've learned a lot since Eliana arrived.  Some days it seems like a short while ago that I was pregnant and life was good and happy and "normal".  Other times, it seems a lifetime ago that I wasn't crying about so many different things.   This has been so very different from the newborn time I've had with my others - a time that I LOVE.  This time has been hard.  Yet, she needs just what the others did - lots of love, lots of holding, lots of time to get to know us.  It's been the same in some ways too.  I LOVE my little girl so very much.  I love holding her, examining her tiny little fingers and toes and the thrill of having her smile at me is the best!

So many comments have been made since Eliana arrived.  I've received tremendous support and love from so many people.  So many that have reached out (and continue to do so) in love to me that I can't help but feel overwhelmed in a very good way.  Other comments have left their marks in other ways.  Very sad ways that bring tears of sorrow or anger.  Most of these are spoken from a lack of understanding and I try to remember that so that I don't hold on to the hurt.  I've never appreciated so intensely the power of words until the last couple of months.  It has been hard to be the one to have to extend grace over and over when people say things that just hurt.  I know that this is right, but it still difficult.

I sometimes wonder how Eliana will be viewed.  Will people see her and the gifts she has been given or a syndrome and the things she lacks?  I know some will see the problems only.  I've already had comments and questions that cut to the core.  After a particularly difficult conversation, I was talking with God about how very sad this made me and was blessed the next day with an email from a friend. 

This is what she wrote.  Yesterday during praise singing at church, we were singing "Shout to the Lord."

I had been having one of those "I have children and we are late to church again" mornings, and was closing my eyes during the song trying to focus.

When we sang the part about "the wonders of your mighty love," that sweet picture of Eliana that you posted flashed into my mind.  It was a sudden and strong image.

I continued to think of her, and pray for y'all as we sang, "I sing for joy at the work of your hands."

I just wanted to share with you that you were brought to my mind and my prayer yesterday, and I was singing for joy as I thought of the "wonder of God's mighty love" whom you are blessed to cuddle. 
Thanks Robin! 

I do know how Eliana is viewed by her family and friends.  She is a blessed little girl to have so many people that love her and are praying for her.  I haven't shared much about my younger children and their reaction to Eliana.  They are just smitten with her.  It is so sweet to see them with her - loving her for who she is - not wishing she were different in any way.  What is it that their eyes see?  A precious little baby.  A sister.  Someone to love.

My 2yo, Daniel, loves to touch on her.  He thinks pumps (feeding and breastfeeding) are a normal part of having an infant.   It wasn't that long ago that he was just a baby.  Here are some of his recent comments.

"Eliana is cute!"

"She has eye."  (Said while pointing and I agree.)  "She has ear."  (Same response from me.)  " Why she have tube?"  (Hmmm ... maybe he does know it's different.)

Daniel is a delightfully funny and loving little fellow.  He LOVES to laugh!  Here's a photo of him that ought to give you a laugh.
Looking like the younger  photos of his little sister! 

Isaiah (5)
also loves Eliana.  He always greets her when he sees her or me walking in a room with her.  Like Daniel, he seems to have accepting pumps as a normal part of life.  No big deal.  He and Daniel both ask to hold her and love being with her.

"I love Eliana!"  An unsolicited and emphatic statement.  Wow, does this melt your heart!

Joshua (7) loves to hold Eliana, look at her and love on her.

"Do you think she is more beautiful or cute?"  This is asked of anyone that will answer.

"She is the cutest baby girl I have ever seen!"

Daniel is on the left and Joshua on the right.

I love seeing my boys line up at her crib to look at her or talk to her.  I often come in to find one of them with her.  Sometimes all 3 of them are in a row just looking at her.  It's really cute!

Rebecca (11)
has recently been singing songs about Eliana.  It's sweet to hear her words of love and acceptance.

"If you don't get to know her, it is your loss."

"I love you.  You are my sister."

Christopher (14) often comes in and scoops her up from the crib whether she is awake or not.  He likes holding her, talking with her and loving on her. 

"I love her big beautiful eyes."

My friend Catherine with  Christopher.

I was recently sent a link to a photo montage that really touched my heart.  The pictures are beautiful and so is the song that goes with it.  Make sure you turn up the volume so that you can hear the words.

Eliana is a gift from God to us!  I know that she will be used mightily of God in so many ways - she already has.

One of my friends shared these thoughts about Eliana.  (Thank you Ronette!)

Eliana is perfect! Look at what she has done for the Lord in her 3 1/2 months! She has driven Christians to their knees in prayer. She has drawn those weak in faith closer to the Lord. She has awakened such compassion in her older sister that others are going to benefit greatly. She has served the Lord more mightily in her short little life than many do in years and years! You are so blessed to have such a one in your family.

How can you look at this precious face (at the top of the blog) and see anything but love?  She is not a mistake, but is a gift.  A child made in the very image of God.  A child to be loved and treasured.  Our beautiful little girl.

Praying For Eliana

Leanne here, I have hijacked Leslie's blog for a moment to share the following. 

If you'd like to add the photo-link above to your blog, use this code.

Greater than sign a href= Less than sign Greater than sign img src= "" /> </a>

Many thanks to Sheri from Shades of Pink for making the photo Link