It’s easy to go through the day feeling like nothing special or out of the ordinary can happen. As a Lipreading Mom with progressive hearing loss for almost 11 years, I often have my moments of feeling unsure about the future. But when I’m tempted to wallow in self-pity, I think about the surprise that came into my life at Christmastime four years ago.
This is the story of how my youngest son, affectionately nicknamed JoJo, became part of Lipreading Mom’s life.
In early 2007, I was grieving the unexpected loss of my sister. I kept thinking how I wished I had hugged her more and told her how much she meant to me. I pleaded for God’s help.
My husband and I were shocked to learn a month later that I was expecting a child. We were excited at something so miraculous taking place after the cruel blow of an unexpected death. My husband and I, though, felt we were on the older side as parents. Our two children (God love them) took an enormous amount of love and energy to parent. How could we spread ourselves even further as a mommy and daddy?
Even more surprising about the pregnancy was the baby’s due date: December 25.
As the months continued, we learned more things about our baby-to-be. Baby would be a boy. Later ultrasounds measured his length and weight measurements as bigger than his brother’s and sister’s had been, so he’d probably be a good-sized baby. When my husband and I chose first and middle names for our boy, I later discovered these names had significant meaning. The first name meant “peacemaker,” and the middle name meant “honoring God.”
So our surprise baby boy would possibly be born on Christmas day, weigh a half-ton, measure off-the-charts in length, and have powerfully symbolic names.
In the last month of pregnancy, I attended a weekend writing conference. My blouses barely covered my bulging stomach, and convention-goers did their best not to stare at it in horror.
On the conference’s last day, one of the registration ladies, who I knew, asked if she could pray for my unborn child. I nodded, expecting her to go home and add me and my baby to her prayer list. Instead, she placed her hands on my stomach and prayed the most beautiful prayer for my boy. That God would allow this child to bring peace into his family.
A few days later, this sweet lady e-mailed a follow-up to her prayer. She sensed after praying that my baby had a signficant reason for being born and would serve God in an amazing way as an adult.
Christmas day came and went with presents for our older two kids, a well-deserved day off from work for my busy husband… and no baby.
Two days later (a ten months and 18 days after the loss of my sister), the surprise baby finally arrived. Here is the letter I sent to friends and family:
Joy to the World! Our Baby Has Come
The Lord has blessed us this Christmas season with a beautiful baby boy! JoJo was born at 2:06p.m. on December 27, weighing 8 pounds, 4 ounces, and measuring 20-1/2 inches long. Big brother and sister think he is the best!
A special thank you to all of you who prayed for JoJo and our family. He was born with few complications, just a small knot in his umbilical cord that happened sometime during the labor/delivery. A special thanks to our doctor and our good Lord for JoJo not being harmed in any way by this.
Also, for those of you praying for how my hearing loss would be affected by the labor/delivery: I am pleased to report that I’ve expected few if little changes in my hearing. What a wonderful God we have!
Most of you know how challenging the year 2007 has been for our extended family. The Christmas arrival of JoJo has brought immense peace and joy for all of us. His first name means ‘peacemaker’ in Hebrew. When we think of him, we’ll always be reminded of the peace and inspiration he has and will bring our family.
Praise be to God and friends like you for your love and prayers.
Lipreading Mom and Family
‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ – Jeremiah 29:11