This one’s for Maura – a sweet 13 yr. old I met in the waiting room today – who inspired this post.
When I was pregnant with Hope, people would ask me what we planned to name her.
I always got nods of approval when I told them the name.
“Oh! What a nice name,” they’d say.
Then I’d follow up with, “Yeah, and her middle name is going to be SheSleepsThroughTheNight or She’sAGoodEater.” I’d get some weird looks.
Would you believe that I was so stupid that I was ANGRY at the world, myself, Brandon, and the ultrasound technician when we found out she was a girl? She was perfect and healthy, but I had the nerve to be upset because I wanted a boy.
I had no idea what God was doing.
Would you believe that I was so stupid that I actually had feelings of shame for being pregnant again? Rhema had a LOT of needs, and I wondered if her speech therapist thought I was being a tad irresponsible. I remember Rhema’s neurologist looking at my round belly and saying, “Aren’t you worried??”
I had no idea what God was doing.
She’s only 2.5 years old, but now I think I’m catching a glimpse of what God is doing…
She’s Rhema’s Hope.
She’s the one who demands hugs and high-fives …and gets them.
She’s the one who’s been sitting in therapy waiting rooms since she was weeks old. She’s the one who gleefully runs to Rhema and throws her arms around her after every appointment. Without fail.
She’s the one who reminds Rhema to use a spoon to eat her rice.
She’s the one who begs me to let her go with Rhema to her special needs school – because she’s in awe of her big sister.
She’s the one who cheers for her sister the loudest.
She’s the only friend Rhema’s ever had.
She’s the one who tells me sleepily as I tuck her into bed – as if she’s passing the torch to me – “Don’t forget to take care of Rhema.”
She’s the only one who tries to speak Rhema’s language instead of getting Rhema to speak hers.
She’s the one who understands sister on a deeper level than many adults.
She’s the only one who can pull Rhema out of the gooey geyser.
Rhema’s hand is the only hand she wants to hold. She pleads, “Rhema. Listen to Hope. I need you to hold my hand.” Rhema refuses. I try to explain to Hope that you have to have a firm grip to hold Rhema’s hand. Hope’s hand is simply too small. The words come out, but not exactly the way I mean them: “You’re not strong enough to hold her hand. You can’t walk with her yet.”
I stand corrected.
is strong enough
to hold her hand,
to walk with her,
to be her companion.
And, Hope, although I wish you didn’t have to be such a wise old soul so young, I see God’s great love and provision for us in you.
Grateful does not even begin to describe this mother’s heart.
I see and read about “Hope’s” everyday. There’s Mark, John and Ben. There’s Allie. There’s Katie. There’s Rose. There’s Amy. There’s Piper. There’s Zachary. There’s Devin’s Olivia and Daniel’s Olivia and Christian’s Olivia. There’s Jeremy. There’s Laurie. There’s Lila. There’s Sarah. There’s Aidan. There’s Reilly, Sophie and Finn. There’s Cuddlebug and Bearhug. And many, many more (please feel free to write names I’ve missed in the comments).
Our special kids bring out the extraordinary in their siblings.
Note: I love that Hope respects Rhema’s position as the oldest even though Hope is “developmentally older.” As evidenced in the photo, she lets Rhema lead.