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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Today I had one of the most difficult moments of my 12-year mommy career.
This afternoon Maddie told me she doesn't want to wear her hearing aid anymore...she wants real ears, 'just like you.'
Sigh.
Later, when I told Shad about our talk, he said it so simply, 'We knew this day would come sooner or later. I just didn't think it would be this soon.'
Yeah. Me either.
The simple fact is, I wasn't prepared. Oh, I've thought about what I would say to Maddie about her ears when the time came - about how God made her special...that he had something amazing planned for her life and how not everyone gets to be as special as she is.
But when I started to say those words, it just didn't seem like enough.

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The truth is Maddie is different...and there's nothing I can do to change that.
When Nick says he doesn't like his glasses...or Anya complains about her height...and Alek wishes he didn't need braces, I just explain that a ton of other kids have the same issues. And while it may seem like a big deal right now, there will be a day when it will either be fixed, or it won't be so important anymore.
I can't say the same thing for Maddie.
My precious baby girl's differences go so much deeper than glasses, height or braces. They're rooted in other people's choices - choices that left a permanent mark on my child's life. And while Maddie IS an incredible kid with an amazing future. And I KNOW God has something amazing planned for her life - you can't meet this child and not be absolutely convinced of that. For this one afternoon, I think what Maddie needed more than anything was to mourn...and she needed me to comfort.  
So she climbed up into my lap, laid her head on my chest and let her crocodile tears fall. And I rocked her...and cried right along with her.
When we were done, we wiped away our tears and talked about how God made her special. He gave her the ability to read people's lips from across the room...not everyone can do that. And she has that cool microphone at school that lets her hear her teacher no matter where she is - kinda like Superman. And she knows sign language which means she can talk without saying a word. Pretty impressive if you ask me. 
She smiled...then giggled...and gave me a big hug before jumping off my lap and running upstairs to play.
And I sat back and sighed.
She really IS an incredible kid.

14 salty messages:

Karen May 15, 2011 at 10:36 PM  

Tami - it sounds like you did have a beautiful day after all. I have said before, biology does not make a mother. I remember a conversation when you spoke of not having the opportunity to rock your babies. I think you just did. It truly doesn't matter how small or big your babies are. It is all in the act of compassion and comforting. Wasn't it a beautiful moment? You exemplify the sanctity of motherhood.

Anonymous,  May 16, 2011 at 1:05 AM  

It is such a blessing to hear the wisdom that God imparted to you to understand what she needed in that moment. Sometimes, often times, the most valuable thing we can do is listen. God bless her. I'm so thankful that you and Shad didn't look the other way but embraced this little wonder and are now reaping the blessings of that decision again and again. Phillipians 2 comes to mind. Love to you and to little Maddie! - Alicia

Tina in CT May 16, 2011 at 6:10 AM  

How special that you brought Maddie home so she could know how special she is and have your families' love.

Rachael May 16, 2011 at 6:50 AM  

That little girl has certainly come a long way! I'm glad you are back to blogging. =)

mrsbroccoliguy May 16, 2011 at 8:40 AM  

I think one of the hardest things as a mom is not being able to "fix" whatever problem our child is having - physically or emotionally. But I agree with you that God allows our kids to have differences and difficulties because it's part of growing their character and growing them into the Godly adult they will one day be. Maddie is blessed to have a mom who will both cry with her and help her to see the blessings in her difficulties. In the end, that's a better "fix" anyway. :)

Rebecca May 16, 2011 at 2:53 PM  

Well sounds like you turned a bad day into a great memory for Maddie, she has come so far I remember the day you left to go get her. It's so hard to explain to our kids the differences in people but sounds like you did a great job. And of course I am bawling.

jessy May 16, 2011 at 7:56 PM  

Not looking forward to this day for Cara. I think my greatest fear is that she will be bitter toward her birthmother--not that she doesn't have reason to be--but I don't want that for her. I don't want bitterness, to turn her ugly. And also wondering if she will be angry at God for not sparing her.

Tamara May 16, 2011 at 10:38 PM  

I'm with you Jessy. Bitterness only hurts the person holding it. I have a feeling we'll be working through this in stages with Maddie. Somehow it just doesn't feel like it 'stuck' with her last night. But then...I can't really expect a 7-year-old to understand the full picture, now can I? ;) I'll be praying for wisdom for you as you handle Cara. ((hugs))

Debra L. Butterfield May 17, 2011 at 10:50 AM  

Tami--you are an amazing mother. You give your children unconditional love and understanding. What's more, you are instilling faith in God and that is better than fixing all the problems. This is a moment in life that you and Maddie will always remember.

Bethany May 18, 2011 at 4:39 PM  

Oh, my. That's so tough. I think you did a great job of trying to show her what's great, instead of the flaws. We're all like that: seriously flawed, but with some really great characteristics, too. Some of us just have more obvious flaws, or more obvious gifts.

Just keep hugging her. She's so stinkin cute!

The Raudenbush Family June 25, 2011 at 8:22 PM  

What a touching post - thank you for sharing this. I'd love to repost it on www.wearegraftedin.com if you'd allow me to. Come check out the site and let me know what you think.
Kelly

Pam DeFrees July 12, 2011 at 7:46 PM  

I'm behind on reading your blog and I started here. I'm so glad I read this...what a blessing. I also loved reading the posts that people wrote to you about it; especially the one that said that you may not have been able to have rocked them as a baby, but you just did now. What a perfect time to hold and rock your "baby" and cry with her and feel her hurt with her. It's just what she needed. What a great mom! What an amazing God Who loves us just the same!

Leah S. May 19, 2012 at 6:51 PM  

I saw your blog post over on Christine's (Smiles and trials) about Maddie not being able to wear sun glasses. Contact this mom. Her daughter also has no ears but has sun glasses! http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/bobbijoguerrette

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