When I Signed Up to Become a Parent...

When I signed up to become a parent, I expected certain things. 

I knew I'd experience sleepless nights. I knew I'd kiss boo boos, plan birthday parties, and volunteer with the PTA.  When I became a parent, I had a vision of what my life was going to be. 

Never in my plans were appointments with surgeons, therapists and psychiatrists. The words "esophageal abnormality," "thoracotomy," "Aspergers," or "autism" never appeared in my plans. But we aren't given the hand we plan for, are we?  

We're dealt whatever hand God chooses for us and its up to us how we play our cards.  

So many of my friends have faced a different hand of cards than the one they expected.  I've had friends lose their child to cancer before her third birthday.  Friends that have watched their children fight genetic diseases; friends that have lost their child's other parent; and, friends that have been told that their child may never talk or be independent.  My friends did not ask for or expect the hand they were dealt, yet they all have one thing in common:  They've done an amazing job playing that hand.  

They are wonderful parents and love their children in some crazy, unbelievable way that they never could have imagined before becoming a parent.

It may be tempting to look at the hand dealt to the parent next to you and wish you had their cards, but don't.  We don't pick our cards and we can't trade them in.  For some reason, God specifically chose us for the cards we have.  It is our job to play them the best way we know how.

Yesterday, Gabriel was given a preliminary diagnosis of Asperger's (or "mild autism" by the new diagnostic standards) and tomorrow Cadence will have a CT scan to determine the next step in the "quarter saga."  I definitely didn't expect my story of parenthood to include these twists and turns, but that's the journey I'm on... and I wouldn't trade it for the world. 


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