Pre-loved and still loved

It’s the week of my twins 5th birthday.

For many years I only dreamt about ocassions like this. I would see parents standing at the cake aisle in the supermarkets struggling to choose which cake to buy, or wandering around toy stores aimlessly wondering what their children would like this year. And I envied them. My heart longed to hold a child, love a child and raise a child. I prayed for my children before they were born. They were very much pre-loved. They were a dream, a hope, an answer to prayer. I even knitted for them before I even conceived.

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And now 8 years after these booties were knitted I am celebrating the miracle of my children turning 5.

And this week has been a week of realising how pre-loved and still loved my children really are. These booties are significant in that they represented my faith that one day my dream would come true. I had just been told that it was impossible for me to have children. But nothing is impossible in life. And I need reminded of that sometimes. Because both my children have autism. Isaac is reaching 5 years old and still isn’t speaking. Neither of them can jump or stand on one leg, or ride a trike, Isaac still can’t do shape sorters for toddlers, or hold a pencil, neither of them can dress themselves and both of them are still in nappies. But looking at these tiny booties reminds me how blessed I am and that there is so much amazing things in store for these two miracles. They were pre-loved and they are still loved and together we have come so far in the last 5 years.

This last week Naomi had her first overnight stay at her gran’s house. It brought back amazing memories for me of the times I spent with my grandparents as a child and how this impacted my life.

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And it reminded me that it really is people who matter more than things. My children will never know either of their grandfathers as both passed away prior to them being born. And thier other gran is in a nursing home over 400 miles away. Family is precious. And I know gran benefitted from time with a soon to be 5 year old as much as Naomi and mum and dad benefitted. Gran taught Naomi the simple pleasures of cooking together, walking a dog, and reading stories together and Naomi taught gran the names of every train in Chuggington and the importance of putting the right coloured lid on the right pen! And because these things are important to them both the love was strengthenend between them.

It’s things like this that make you realise life is bigger than you think. One generation pouring love into the next. One person making a mark on someone else. Things that money can’t buy. And if I needed reminded of this, yesterday was Godly timing. The children’s other gran moved into a nursing home last year and her old apartment has now been sold. As my sister in law died last year and I never got to meet my brother in law or other sister in law who both died previous to me meeting my husband, the remaining family treasures were delived to us this week. A treasury of so many pre-loved things. Now getting loved again by a new family:

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Money can’t buy history like this. And although Isaac understands so little of any of this it was lovely to talk to Naomi about relatives she will never meet and how her life is bigger than she realises. To help her understand that people long ago prayed for her and loved her even before they ever knew her. I was able to read to her a speech her grandfather made at my wedding and hear how he blessed us and our children and how that is her and her brother. And the delight of seeing and playing with these old dolls was something so special. She can not understand the value of these things but they do make her feel very special. And Isaac adored the detail of this old ship:

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Pre-loved and now still loved.

For once this week life hasn’t been about milestones not reached, or hospital appointments, or therapies or sleepless nights, jumpers getting eaten or trying tomato ketchup for the first time. And I am no longer worried what I can buy for two very different children at opposite ends of the autistic spectrum for thier birthday.

Because they have something money can’t buy. And so do you.

Did you know you were loved even before you were born? And you are still loved! Your life is worthy and part of something bigger than you. It makes no difference that my children have disabilities this week. We are celebrating together the wonderful fact they are here and they are special. Pre-loved and very much still loved. And always will be loved.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…” Jer 1:5

I wonder if the modern toys will last as long as these old dolls have?

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