Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thankful For My Children: Part 1

As I think about Thanksgiving and the many blessings the Lord has given Jason and I, the most cherished, of course, is our children.
When we first got married, we both knew we wanted to have kids. The number of children we were planning to have was not set, but we knew the Lord would be our guide. We wanted to wait a few years, give us time to get settled into married life and take a few adventures as a young couple in love while we still could. You can't easily travel to an amusement park and ride those roller coasters Jason and I love so much with a bunch of babes in tow! Well, I take that back, we have done that since children, but you have to take turns riding, while the other stays with the kids. Not as fun as riding together for sure!
In 2002, we decided through a lot of discussion and prayer that two years had been enough time and we made the leap of faith to try for a child. We had prepared ourselves for a time of waiting, thinking we wouldn't get pregnant right away. I remember at a young age, when I was still a little girl, God had really laid adoption on my heart. Two of my best friends growing up were adopted, so I always thought I would love to adopt a child some day, seeing the love those friends gained from a family who welcomed them into their home. Because of this openness to adoption, I had felt that maybe God was preparing me for a difficult time conceiving, or not being able to conceive at all. But that was far from true.
I became pregnant practically as soon as we thought about trying, and we were both surprised and ecstatic! But those nine months were soooo long. I was very sick from the start, literally, every day. I lost weight instead of gaining it in the first and second trimesters, was still sick throughout the third trimester, and gained a total of 9 pounds with my pregnancy.
And my stomach measured very small, so the doctors were estimating a 7 pound baby. Were they ever wrong! After 3 and a half hours of pushing, Gabe was finally born on March 29, 2003, a healthy 10 pounds! Yes, that's right, 10 pounds. The story is, when our pastor announed Gabe's birth and weight at church, the congregation gasped! No one could believe the size of this kid!
But what a beautiful baby, and with the funniest full head of hair, dark on the roots and blond on the tips. He looked like he came out of a beauty salon with highlights in his hair. And at 10 pounds and a full head of hair, he looked more like a six-month-old than a newborn. We called him our little man, because he truly looked like a little man!
I'm not going to lie...Gabe was NOT a great baby. He cried all the time, ate all the time, that is, when he wasn't crying. And slept very little in those first two months. Then, all of a sudden, he changed overnight and started sleeping straight through the night 10 hours at a time! He has never been one to do things half way, it's all or nothing.
I cannot believe that big baby I once held in my arms is now a 5-year-old! Older parents tell us all the time to cherish these baby and toddler years because they go by so fast, and they are not kidding!
Gabe has grown so much, and to have the privilege of watching him grow into a strong, respectful, kind young man is beyond words. He is so fun, his laugh so contagious, and the joy he brings his dad and I is so sweet.
Gabe is kind and outgoing, and because of this, makes friends with everyone. He is funny, loves to entertain, or to show-off, whichever you want to call it!
Gabe is all boy, 100 percent. He loves to rough house, and loves all sports and physical activities.
Gabe has so much energy, which thankfully now that he's getting older, is being used for good instead of evil, like when he was a toddler and was a little spinning tornado breaking everything in his path. {Maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but he was a rambunctious toddler!}
Gabe is already a leader like his dad, willing to stand alone and do the right thing. He has a passion for knowledge, curious about everything and yearning to know more. He loves God, and is understanding more and more what Jesus did for him on that cross. And Gabe has a passion for life, wanting to get out in the world and experience all there is to experience.
What a wonderful young little man he is,
and we couldn't imagine our lives without him.
Thank you God for Gabe!

{Since I've written a book about our first child, I'd better continue this post and write about Coop and Chloe on a separate entry!}

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