When people tell me, “Children are such a blessing”, I sometimes find it a bit trite. Like some kind of pollyanna brainwashing to get people to buck up and stop complaining about all the things about parenting that don’t make it into Mother’s Day cards. Like open heart surgery. Or methadone withdrawal.

I’m trying to figure out why I’m so cynical. Maybe it’s that during our adoption process and even more so during my pregnancy I felt entitled to healthy children. Normal children. And I’ve been feeling lately that “everyone else” has all that. This is ridiculous for so many reasons I won’t even bother to list them all, but here are the big two…

I have met so many families these past months that are facing a similarly unknown prognosis for their child. Families who have children much sicker than Ramona. Families who don’t have anywhere near the support and resources we have. That’s the obvious one: We’re not the only ones with a sick baby.

But here’s the kicker for me. Baby’s are a blessing, not an entitlement. I have met countless women who struggle with conception, pregnancy and adoption. Some of them have resolved their infertility, some of them have not. And I have two babies. Two beautiful, precious babies. And the joy they add to my life is indescribable. They are now a part of the fabric of my soul. Asking for anything else from God would be absurd. Asking for a different baby, a healthy baby, would be like asking God if he could trade one of my legs in for a third arm. It just wouldn’t make sense.

Ramona’s heart, her brokenness has led me many times to meditate with humility on my own. Whenever I find myself fantasizing about how Ramona “should” have been, I remember my own imperfections and the mercy of God. I am reminded of the grace of God. And His providence.

I am still struggling with how to balance grieving over Ramona’s illness and celebrating who she is. I want her to be healthy and happy of course, but do I wish all her chromosomes were complete? I’m not sure. Would she still be Ramona without the deletion? Is our brokenness a part of our essential nature?

I invite your thoughts. I am grateful for the wisdom and kindness in your responses.

Things here have been rough these past few days. Ramona continues to sleep poorly at night. Simon has a cold. We are weary. Thank you for your prayers, the meals and the offers of help. Here’s a comparison shot of Ramona in the bumbo seat before and after surgery, wish I could figure out how to post them side by side, she looks so much better to me now.

Love, Jane.