In the early days, weeks and months following Jeremy's birth I recall spending numerous, midnight feedings in deep thought. I was two for two. Dylan has Down syndrome and Jeremy could not father biological children. I recall sitting and holding him and talking with God, well, it was probably more like arguing.
So many of my dreams were being fulfilled, yet so many were being shattered - dreams that I did not even realize I had. Yet God was opening my eyes and showing me that they were my dreams, not His. Before I knew it, Jeremy's baby dedication was upon us. As we stood before our church congregation, I realized Jeremy does not belong to me. Neither does Dylan. They are vessels of the Lord. He has entrusted each of them to me to love unconditionally and raise them in the ways of the Lord. But at the end of the day, they are His and He has great plans for each of them. In the medical world, Dylan and Jeremy are flawed, yet the Lord has designed both boys for a greater purpose and each of their "flaws" are a significant part of this plan.
I knew my children didn't belong to me - it was why Rob and I chose to have them dedicated. But standing in the church that day, surrounded by family and friends, I realized just how significant this action was. I make mistakes daily. I want to be the perfect mother, but I can't - it is impossible. In many ways, we were admitting this by way of the dedication itself. We were making a public proclamation that we want what God wants for them. We were asking for accountability that we would remain faithful to God in all of the choices we would make for our children.
As time has passed, I think of my own parents. I had been dedicated as a young baby. When I became a parent for the first time, I know it was difficult for them to see a child with Down syndrome placed in my arms. Their hearts ached again when Jeremy was born, knowing in the world's eyes he too was imperfect. They had raised me in the ways of the Lord. I had come to know the Lord on my own in my own time and was living my life for Him. Why would He choose to bring the daughter they loved so much such great heartache and so many challenges? The irony in it all - that is exactly why the Lord gave me the opportunity to be Dylan and Jeremy's mother.
They had given me back to Him and said "Lord, she's yours, do as you will" and He did. They sought Him when they raised me - in all things - both the good and the bad. My parents remained constant to Christ and through that I have learned to lean on Him alone in times of need. So while Dylan and Jeremy's diagnosis are heart breaking, I see that the Lord is in control, not me. With His guidance I can handle all that lies ahead. I cry for my children. My heart aches for what they can not do. But I also rejoice. I rejoice because each of my children belong to God and His purpose for them is great. None of my children are "mine" and knowing that, while it is terrifying a great deal of the time, comes with a peace that is indescribable.