Our firstborn, Jonathan, came to us with developmental disabilities and before the end of his first year, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness and told it would worsen with any subsequent pregnancies.
In light of all the odds stacked against us, we decided one child should be enough. I lived with daily pain and exhaustion and it was difficult taking care of our son; one who needed so much extra care and attention. Adding more children seemed overwhelming and reckless.
That decision, though sensible, saddened me. But the alternative seemed too much of a risk and quite honestly whenever I thought about it; fear overpowered sadness. So I settled into an unplanned life of doctors, therapists, prescription drugs and special education.
It was an enormous shock when we discovered, ten years later, we had another child on the way. Jon was in school, developing slowly but doing fairly well, and I was still dealing with multiple health issues. I was older now, and because I’d already had a special needs child when I was young and healthy, my first response to the news was overwhelming fear and tears.
As time moved forward excitement and expectation emerged and then love for the child growing inside me. He may have been unplanned but he was never unwanted. And though the fear never left, I knew I would face, by God’s grace and strength, whatever the future offered us and this baby.
The night he was born, I fought my fear battle with each contraction, but when the mid-wife checked him over, looked me in the eyes and said, “It’s a boy and he’s perfect,” such relief and joy flooded through me I could barely contain it.
God knew what I needed, even when I didn’t. David’s arrival did something for me that I’ve never quite been able to express. He was the piece of my heart puzzle I wasn’t even aware had been missing, until I held him. His arrival in our lives filled a gaping hole; an empty place inside my mother heart that I didn’t know I had until he was here.
As predicted, my health problems became much worse after David’s birth but I didn’t care and I still don’t. I am thankful everyday for the gift of this son. His life has been worth every bit of pain and damage that has ravaged this fragile suit of flesh I reside in.
Today, on David’s twenty-fifth birthday, he is distant from us in miles, but never in heart. He is fiercely loved and celebrated. And not just by us, but also by his wife, her family and many friends; so many others he has already impacted and touched for what is good and right in the world.
David Micah Connis, is the best and happiest ‘accident’ we’ve ever had and we are unspeakably grateful to God who blessed us with such a wonderful surprise.
Happy Birthday Son!