I think we’ve all taken emotional roller coaster rides before. Not that any of us would stand in line for a ticket but somehow, we find ourselves buckled in when suddenly our neck jerks and off we go! I purposefully try to avoid these wild rides by keeping a prayerful check on my emotions. However, I can still find myself on the whirlwind experience that makes your stomach sick and leaves your head spinning. Unfortunately, this last week I took such a ride.
It all started when I took the hour plus drive to the hospital where our sweet Baby Blue Eyes was born. On the way there I spent my time praying and hardly noticed the length of the trip. I prayed for wisdom and had a list of questions such as, “What is your plan for us in all this?” “How do we live in such a way that brings YOU all the glory?” It was a strange feeling, thinking of the day my son’s birth mother made the journey… perhaps on these same roads. As I walked toward the entrance of the hospital I received a phone call from a precious Sister that rarely gets to call. She asked me some questions and then said, “Could I pray for you?” I don’t remember what she prayed, but I do remember thanking the Lord for His kindness that He would have her call and pray with me at just the perfect moment.
As I entered the hospital and made my way to medical records, I found some of the kindest people there to greet me. They congratulated us on our new addition, asked questions on how he was doing and questions about our family and then… I asked a question, “Do you think I could take a picture of the room number where my baby was born?” All the women said, “Of course!” and one offered to walk me to the room herself. When we went through the double doors, that were securely locked, all I could think of was the day my son was born. When the doors swung open there stood a young nurse, just a bit taller than five feet with a smile on her face and tears in her eyes. The woman that had escorted me to the unit introduced us when the nurse interrupted her and said, “I remember him. I can’t forget him. I was the nurse that cared for him while he was here.” She began sharing with me from her perspective about the days my sweet baby was in her care. I thanked her for caring tenderly for him and we hugged. She cried and said, “I’m just so happy to know he’s with a family that loves him!” We took some pictures and parted ways. I felt like I had just experienced something so incredibly special that the moments I had just shared would never leave me. My exit from the hospital was different than my entrance. I had knowledge that I didn’t have before, the medical records I had come for and details I could share with my son as he grew. I was in awe of how God had hand picked each person to care for my son and they did so with such genuine love. I left that day with my heart full of thanksgiving!
I started out of the parking lot, taking a few more photos for our scrapbooks and then heading down the road. The medical records sat in a large manila envelope on the seat next to me. I consciously thought to myself about opening it now or waiting till I got home. I finally made my decision, reached across the seat, pulled back the gold brad that kept the envelope sealed, and then… before I could even pull the page entirely from it’s hiding place the words, “NORMAL MALE” stood out to me as if it was a neon sign! I literally swerved off the road (just one of the ridiculous moments in this ride). I pulled over, read every detail, examined every dot, every mark of punctuation and then called my Joe, my mother and the doctor. I told them I had no idea how this could be but was overwhelmed with excitement. The doctor asked me to bring what I had into his office for copies and he would look into it for me. This ride had gotten off to a fast start before I even realized I was on it. The doctor also informed me that while it was Tuesday when I would be dropping the report off he would be out of the office till next Monday (Aug 29th). There I was in the “loop” of this ride, suspended in mid air catching my breath from the heart thrusting start and yet holding my breath as I awaited the next turn. Joe and I agreed that we wouldn’t tell anyone else so that we could spare them from an unnecessary “ride”.
The days seemed to take forever to pass. Joe and my parents read the report and said the same thing, “Well it seems to be saying he’s a normal male and then explains why he’s a normal male.” We all were excited and anticipated hearing the words from the doctor that would bring us good news, that would bring my baby good news. Each day I would eat and pray, walk and pray, talk and pray, think and pray… all the while telling myself, “Keep grounded. You don’t know anything for sure yet.” Somehow, despite all my trying, I found myself deeply and passionately excited that somehow and someway a mistake was made and my little Baby Blue Eyes was a “NORMAL MALE” I dreamed about him running, playing, and living like every other “NORMAL MALE”. My love for this baby has been in my heart since the beginning of time. It’s just that when God finally introduced him to us, and brought our family together, that love was unlocked without restraint. To say I love this child does not begin to describe the depth of that love. I loved him the moment God gave him to us and have delighted in every single moment with him. DMD doesn’t make him “less” or change my love… it’s just that I wouldn’t wish or want DMD on anyone!!
Finally, Monday arrived. I watched the clock waiting to call the doctors office. At 9:00 exactly I called and discovered they were already busy and would take my message and have the nurse call me back. The ‘ride’ had come to that part when it begins to creep up the steep hill of expectations.
I watched the clock tick… (ridiculous I know!) seconds turned into minutes, minutes turned into hours and then finally I got the call! The caller ID showed it was the doctors office. I answered the phone expecting to hear all is well but instead was told, “Jeanette, the chromosome test results you have were done in error. This test only shows that he is a normal male and not a normal female.” I was in shock, I asked, “What do you mean?! Who takes a $2800.00 test to find out the baby is a boy.. change his diaper for goodness sake!” The nurse cautiously answered my questions and then said, “I’ll ask the doctor to clarify and call you back.”
This time I wasn’t just going to sit and wait. I called the lab and explained my situation to the man. He couldn’t tell me much but kept giving me “hints” on where to read in the report. I was so upset that I couldn’t get a single thing he was trying to say. He pointed me to the ordering doctors phone number and suggested I call her. I made the call immediately! I was connected to a nurse who almost instantly put me on the line with the doctor (I’ve never had that happen before). I explained my situation to the doctor and was then told, “I remember your little boy. Yes, I did the test and yes, those results only show that he is a normal male.” She went on to explain that she had called and asked what code to put down for the right test but was somehow given the wrong test. When they realized what had happened ($2800.00 later) they canceled the test. So yes, my son had a very expensive test done to prove he’s a normal male and not a normal female! I asked my questions and held back my tears, but somehow the cracking of my voice couldn’t be disguised. She was kind but factual and went on to explain the severity of my sons health condition. The ride had come to a whiplash of a halt. I sat shocked, broken, and then… I just sobbed.
The nurse from our local doctor’s office called me back and graciously tried to start explaining what had already been discovered. I finished the call, apologized for making her waste so much of her time and then heard her try to “make it better” with her comments, and while I felt her kindness, it just didn’t fix it.
I was a mess! Why? I was Okay before! I had accepted it, we were going to be Okay, we had a plan of action… why was I so incredibly numb with this news? I called my parents and my Joe to give them the news and then it hurt even more. I had wanted to give them good news. I had plans on celebrating God’s goodness with rejoicing with great praise and instead I was sitting with tears that wouldn’t stop at the realization that someday my baby will want to hug me and won’t be able too… some day my baby will be in pain that I can’t take a way, by a disease that has no cure and no mercy for it’s victim… and I sobbed more. The night went on and somewhere between three and five am I finally fell asleep. I awoke the next day with tired eyes, and a headache that wouldn’t go away but I had more control over my emotions. I was strong for my children and could hold the tears back.
About mid day, I sat rocking the baby when my eyes just started to fill with tears again. Matthew came in and asked, “Momma are you crying or did you cut an onion again?” Oh… how I wanted to tell that sweet boy it was just the onion but I couldn’t. I told him I was trying not to cry. Without hesitation and with great excitement he began jumping up and down cheering and saying, “Momma don’t cry! Just think Daniel will jump with us one day in heaven! Think about that momma!!” Sammy joined him and right before me were two precious boys cheering for what they knew to be Truth.. this world is not our home! It was then that the Lord began restoring my JOY! I began to realize that while I had been praying, “Lord why do you stand afar off” I had it all wrong. He was there all along. I had simply taken my eyes off of Him and instead was overwhelmed with the waves of life! He was and is still worthy of all praise, His goodness is still worth celebrating. Nothing had changed in the eternal picture, nothing!! I told Him I would offer up the sacrifice of praise continually. Not based off my circumstances but always based off of His never changing, ever faithful character. I will worship Him because He is the Great “I AM” He is enough for every detail of life.
While I can’t believe I let myself take this emotional roller coaster ride I am confident that it was for a purpose! I can already see glimpses of that reason and I’m sure there are more that I will never know. Our family is more committed than ever to raise Daniel in the fear and admonition of the Lord. I pray that he’ll have a heart for God in such a way the world can’t deny there is a God in Heaven who enters the hearts of Sinners! I have an increased passion to raise Daniel to know that he was created for the Glory of God just like he is! As a family, we’ve talked about Job and made a commitment to pray that God would give us hearts like Job, that we would walk in our integrity, eschewing evil, and worshiping God even when life is painfully difficult. That our mouths would never curse Him or that we would never foolishly speak against Him. We have all realized that God has allowed us a front row seat in Daniels life for a purpose… for HIS GLORY! What an incredible honor!
I hope my sharing can encourage you that no matter what you’re going through or facing, our God is not afar off He’s right there. We simply need to put our attention back on Him and not the circumstances.
By His Strength,
Mrs. Joseph Wood