Windfall —”an unexpected gain” — who wouldn’t want one?
Oh, have I got a story for you, a tale worth a roomful of candles and cake . . .
One week ago the local adoption agency phoned our eldest daughter, mother to our 16-month-old grandson. The agency’s request was urgent, the need, dire.
A struggling newborn in the Deaconess Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) needed someone to help her learn to eat. Hopefully, to thrive. Overworked nurses wanted someone calm and caring to hold one tiny girl, coax her into life. Would our daughter come?
She and her husband weighed the risks. There were many.
Still, she went. Stepped right into miraculous, heart-wrenching chaos for five days. We met our newest little one in NICU that first evening. Ashen and frail, with an awkward feeding port in her skull and cords snaking off to various monitors, she looked like a small electric doll. Over those five days she responded to love and began to eat. She relaxed a little. Unfurled in our daughter’s arms like a pale pink rose.
Meet Keira Jean, our instant granddaughter, ten days old today.
Prevailing wisdom urges us to hold God’s gifts lightly. Loosely. To cherish them, not try to hoard or control them. It’s sound advice.
Keira, however, needs quiet containment. Extra-tight swaddling. Steady, soft-spoken words.
Keira also needs an ocean of nightly patience. These are her bad times. She’s riding out the rogue waves of prescription drug withdrawal. Those breakers crash against innocence and wide-eyed delicacy. Sometimes she shrieks for hours.
I weather the midnight heartbreak with prayers and ongoing experimentation. What will soothe or a least distract her, now, in this moment? Last night, after two hours of failure, I simply enfolded her close to my body and tried to become stillness. A vessel for God’s peace.
I told myself we were two plucky characters in a movie, the tale of a touch-and-go life that would ultimately surmount every incoming wave to one day change this world.
She has already changed mine.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I’m a wonder junkie. A woman with an eye for the unexpected. One who keeps looking around . . . and up.
In our family, grandchildren seem to fall from the sky. No storks. No warnings. The phones ring. Our children say “yes.” Three times this has happened. We pray for that fourth call, yet to come, for our youngest daughter.
Each arrival — a marvelous windfall though radically inconvenient, unexpected, a little crazy — feels timed by Heaven. Yes, the process is grueling. And wondrous. Often wrenching.
There is great risk.
There is greater love.
“Every good gift bestowed, every perfect gift received comes to us from above,
courtesy of the Father of lights. He is consistent.
He won’t change His mind or play tricks in the shadows.”
Sooner or later, our children bring us to our knees. We can’t raise them alone; it takes a village.
Friends, will you pray with (and for) us?
For all who encouraged and strengthened our daughter last weekend — thank you.
For friends who provided clothing, furniture, and supplies — we are so grateful.
For our youngest daughter who lovingly babysat Keira’s big brother, and for social workers, doctors, and nurses — this wonder would not have happened without you. We thank you.
And to all, for your ongoing prayers, we wish for you the windfall your heart desires.