Last week I relayed some of the feelings and details of Emma's birth while we were in Canada. I left out some of the ways that God was evident in the details surrounding her birth, however. I would hate to leave those precious memories out of my account!
As I mentioned in an earlier post about finding just the right house, we knew God placed us in that house in that part of the city because He knew which church we would serve. That became evident fairly early in our time in Calgary. What was not as evident, however, was why He put us in our particular house on our particular street.
Turns out, God had the perfect neighbors across the street. They had eleven children and he was the president of the Catholic university in Calgary. They were quite a bit older than John and me and by the time we met them they were down to having only three children left at home. Their children were our babysitters from time to time, often doing a kind of tag-team among the three teens. Our kids loved all three of them and never seemed to mind the coming and going of their babysitters.
Shortly before we had Emma, John had been talking with these neighbors out on the street and they had graciously volunteered to stay with our kids when I gave birth. We didn't expect to take them up on their offer, however, as my parents were planning to fly up from DFW.
In fact, my parents had reservations to fly in on the Saturday of my due date. That Thursday, I spent the day at the grocery story and Wal-Mart getting things in order for Emma's imminent birth and my parent's imminent arrival! It was a labor-intensive day that put me into false labor so bad at times that I had to stop and breathe. I cooked dinner...still having those infernal Braxton-Hicks contractions. I got into bed...still having those contractions...
That was weird, because in my previous pregnancies the Braxton-Hicks would stop when I stopped moving around. I mentioned to John that maybe those weren't false labor contractions after all. I think he had already come to that conclusion on his own but was too polite to push his opinion on me (or was afraid of having his head ripped from his body...something like that).
Finally, around 11 p.m. we decided we'd better call our neighbors. They quickly ran over. The husband took one look at me and declared I wouldn't be sent home from the hospital in false labor! I guess after 11 births he knew what he was seeing!!
Isn't that just like God? He knew my parents weren't going to make it in time and He had already prepared our neighbors' hearts to volunteer their help. These were trustworthy, good-hearted, God-fearing people whose children were clearly well-adjusted young people. What a huge blessing to have them so near!!
Our 4 children were already asleep for the night so Mrs. Neighbor just crawled in our bed and went to sleep. John and I, of course, went to the hospital for an emergency c-section at 1 a.m. Around 5 a.m. John thought he'd best head home before the kids awakened to a stranger in their house!
As you would imagine, it was just a little awkward to walk into our room and wake up Mrs. Neighbor and tell her that we'd had a girl and, by the way, she has Down syndrome.
This is where it gets good.
One of her grown sons had a boy with Down syndrome as his best friend all through school years and beyond. Not just his friend, his best friend. The first person John had to deliver the news to had nothing but positive things to say. That is so rare! Mostly, new parents whose child has Down syndrome get reactions that are best described as stunned or confused.
Isn't that beautiful? Doesn't it just make you want to praise the Lord for orchestrating our lives right down to the neighbors He gives us in times of trouble? Could He have given us any clearer indication that He was looking out for us and He loved us beyond what we could ever even ask or imagine!
Next week...hmmm...maybe back to financial issues for a bit. It is always good to remember times when God has shown Himself in lean financial times.