Hubby and I have been blessed with ten wonderful children, seven of whom are adopted. One of our children suffers from severe, undiagnosed, interstitial lung disease. She requires oxygen and a feeding tube, is steroid dependent, and may someday require a lung transplant. In spite of her medical issues, she is a loving child that has taught us immeasurably about God’s love and tender mercies.
As a parent, I tell my children every day I love them, but to hear my child say, unsolicited, “I love you, Mommy” is a reward that far surpasses almost anything else.
One night our precious little one became very sick and was life-flighted to a major medical center two hours away. All night, she fought for her life with doctors hovering over her, not daring to leave her side. Hooked up to tubes and devices that would help her breathe more easily, she lay in my arms, unable to respond to the words I whispered in her ear of how much I loved her. I couldn’t count the times I prayed that night, asking God to spare our precious daughter's life.
After 24 hours, our little one's breathing eased slightly, and her body relaxed enough to allow her to sleep. I momentarily closed my eyes, knowing we were over the worst of it, and thanked God for His healing mercies. I then felt a tender hand touch my cheek; I opened my eyes to see my daughter's big brown eyes looking up at me and heard her quietly whisper, “I love you, Mommy, so very much.”
Although I have chosen not to disclose my children's names, for some reason, I feel compelled to share Little #6's name with you on this special day. Little Rosa-mae is turning eight years old. She has filled our lives with so much joy, and it has been the greatest calling to be this little Angel's mother. Not a person can meet her without smiling. Her tender, gentle ways are a blessing to all, and her insight and peace regarding life and death is beyond the years of even the wisest of adults. In spite of her own struggles, she remains compassionate and caring and is always looking for some way to cheer another. Just the other night she followed me into the laundry room and said, "Mama, I feel so sorry for my baby sister (Little #9)." I asked her what made her feel that way, and she replied, "...because she has an allergy to peanuts and I don't have to worry about that. Poor little girl. It must be so hard not to be able to eat everything that the rest of us can." Little Rosie, who depends on a feeding tube in order to get enough calories to sustain her tiny little body was concerned that her baby sister couldn't enjoy all the foods that the rest of us could. I wish sometimes that I could see others through the eyes of Rosa-mae and feel the same compassion she has for those around her.
Each and every birthday is a miracle, and celebrating her first was such a milestone. It is hard to believe seven years have passed since that first year of life celebration. We continue to hope and pray that she is blessed with many, many more.
Happy Birthday, sweet Rosa-mae!