Two of my cousins had a baby today.
One of them, my cousin Rob and his wife Marseille, called me tonight to let me know that their sweet daughter was born with a cleft pallet.
As you can imagine, I have a lot of thoughts and emotions going through my head. I couldn’t believe it. They said to me, over and over, that it was like lightening striking, and it could happen to anyone. It’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that Anyone was our family 10 months ago, and now again, my cousin’s family. I’m sure that everything will turn out fine with them, just like it has with us–that they’ll slowly get used to all that will come their way, and that it will become simply their life, and they will joy in it just like they have thus far. I certainly have. Tiny and her little package of experiences have changed and shaped my life in a way that I treasure. She has sent her sweet tendrils deep into my heart, and I’ve been blessed with so many precious experiences that I wouldn’t change for the world.
I have been thinking about a blog post I read somewhere about how having special needs children is a lot like planning a trip to Europe and instead, landing in Holland. I can’t find the post I read, but here’s the same idea (maybe the original?) This analogy couldn’t be more spot on, and more than anything tonight, I want to hug my cousin and his wife and say along that same vein: Holland is more amazing then you can dream of, and you’ll love it. Just be patient for a while during the learning phase, and allow yourself any emotion that turns up–you’ll find all the peace you need in the end.
After 10 months, 4 almost 5 surgeries, and 9 months (and counting) of a feeding tube, we’re still learning about Tiny’s condition ourselves. She obviously has had more problems than just the cleft, but in the end I consider myself one of the lucky ones. And I’ve come to be okay with whatever her future might be. I know now, that it will be a happy one. She will be happy, because she has a strong spirit and a family who loves her.
My heart is with Rob and Marseille and their family tonight. I know how much it can be to take everything in, and to try and make sense of it all. I feel certain that our girls must have been friends in heaven, and I hope that we can help her and her family by offering them whatever support and help we can–having so recently tread the same mile. I know that this special little girl couldn’t be born into a more wonderful family. I’m sure, like my Tiny, that she’ll knock their socks off with spirit and sparkle.