A little over three years ago, on Good Friday, my great-nephew Samuel made his entrance into the world.
He was born 13 weeks premature and weighed 2 lbs 4 oz. Two weeks passed before his mother, Danielle, could hold him for the first time
He was surrounded by love, shielded with prayers, and cared for by skilled and gifted medical staff. He spent nearly two months in the NICU before he was able to come home.
But come home he did.
I know that many of you who have been reading for a long time prayed for Samuel in those early days, and Danielle will be the first to tell you that your prayers mattered. So many of you have asked about Samuel over the last few years, and I am always so touched.
We celebrated his 3rd birthday a few weeks ago, and I think you can see just how well those prayers worked.
Sometimes it’s easy to look at Samuel and forget his struggles. You see a healthy, rambunctious, joyful boy and forget that he is nothing short of a miracle. There are some lasting effects from his prematurity. He is still a little behind when it comes to speech. His lungs need extra care, especially during cold and flu season. But he is here, and just you try and keep up with him!
No matter how our children come to us, they are each something of a miracle. Becoming a mother opens your heart in ways you can never imagine, but it also opens your eyes to the suffering of mothers everywhere. The ones that are desperate to be mothers but cannot. The ones who’ve lost children. The ones who love children that suffer. But I think every mother would go through an ocean of heartache for even a few precious moments with our babies.
My own little miracles are growing up fast. It’s a strange phenomenon. That which is good – that our children are healthy, growing up and away from us – can also make us a little sad. My sister, Samuel’s Nana, jokes that on his graduation day, Samuel will tower over us while wearing a t-shirt that reads “I Was a Preemie.” I’m sure we’ll laugh and cry, for that little boy that fought with everything he had to grace us with his giggles and smiles today.