Thursday, June 12, 2014

"What's so wrong with that"

These are the words I heard after confiding to someone a couple years ago that I was too scared to have another baby.  I said there was always a chance that the next baby would be like Dominic and I just couldn't take that risk.  The response came quickly and simply; innocent and with pure intention.  "What's so wrong with that."  Those words cut my soul.  They made me pause, flush with red glow, turn interior and admittedly get a little embarrassed and mad.  What did I just say?  Is my whole understanding of life and the value of each and every human person a sham?  Do I really wish that no one else like Dominic be born into our family? Did I actually love Dominic and his handicaps like I said I did?

I remember pausing and looking at this person with the knowledge that all is pure to the pure, and this comment was just that: pure.  Dominic was not a burden in this person's eyes, but an amazing blessing from an all-powerful and generous God.  Most other people would have tilted their heads and nodded with that sort of pitying agreement that one doesn't mind at times like this.  But not this person.  This person spoke truth.  And truth isn't comfortable and fluffy.  Truth about ones self, when it comes from looking into the deepest recesses of one's own heart is miserable, bare, vulnerable, uncomfortable and sometimes even awful.  It was these words which cut into my soul, leaving in their wake the bare naked reality of my closed heart.

It isn't often that something strikes you so deeply, wounds with that beautiful blade of raw truth, that you remember exactly where you were, what the room looked like, the expressions in the faces around you, and your gut feeling when this event took place.  I have a hand-full of these memories, most occurring as a child, and this statement added to my collection.  Why in these few little words was I so convicted?  It is because of this: these words were spoken in love, all comforts and niceties aside, with no regard to making me feel happy in an earthly way, but in an eternal one.  The memory is vivid in my mind and since that day years ago I have pondered this question with uncomfortable sincerity.

It is true another child would make things more difficult.  It is true I will always have a huge infant to care for in Dominic (God willing as long as we have him).  It is true that my resources may be at times completely spent emotionally, physically, and monetarily.  But it isn't all about me.  Any parent knows this job isn't about them.  It is about these tiny little eternal souls that we have had the privilege to co-create.  About their good, and theirs alone.  And when we tend to their good, we in consequence enhance our own good.  It's a great design, don't you think?

And so it happened that through these almost three years the fear of "what if" has lifted in my heart and I have become aware of my smallness in this world.  I have learned that in this smallness God has chosen me to mother this baby saint Dominic.  And it is precisely in the smallness of his forever infant-hood that he has touched countless souls, shown the face of God to those who can not see it elsewhere.  Who am I to close myself off to another gift if that is what God desires?  And so it is in this that I found my real fear and surprisingly it is not of having another child with special needs, it lies in my selfish desire to be free.  It all boiled down to me: how will I do it, how will I transport a baby and a wheelchair, how will I care for two infants at the same time, one just much bigger than the other, how can I ever be independent with another child.  And the answer came, as it always does, in the sweet stillness of my heart.  My life is not mine, in fact it's not about me at all, but rather about all those I am called to serve while on this earth.  About loving the Lord the best I can in the situations He places me by serving those he puts in my path.  About the little jobs done lovingly which come with being a housewife and mother, however unglamorous they may be.  This is what I am asked to do, what we are all asked to do.  Serve where we are. 
Dominic joyfully finding his newest friend, baby Polly.  He wouldn't keep his hands away from her the whole time she was by him.
In this light saying yes to the possibility of another child is a no-brainer.  Another baby would do nothing to Dominic but make his days filled with joyful squeals.  He laughs hysterically when a baby cries and seeks them when they are laid down next to him.  The other children have been praying for another sibling for years.  They see another baby not as a burden that will take up their resources but as a priceless addition to their personal wealth. Another sibling is the best gift we could give them.

And so it is that we are over-joyed to announce the newest Short baby due Christmas 2014. We are humbled that the Lord has chosen us again to foster another eternal soul who will, God willing, spend his eternity praising God with the Angelic Choirs.  My prayer is that this baby is healthy, but in all things, God's perfect will be done, not mine.
This is a profile with the baby lying on his/her back, looking up.


  1. I am so touched by this entry, I can hardly find words to express it! XOXOX. Praise God!

  2. Your posts move me beyond words.

  3. Brilliant! God Bless all of you.

  4. Great and beautiful news.