Truly he has answered and changed our lives dramatically as well as answered in all the ways that my wife explained. We have this precious gift of a beautiful daughter who adores us and wants us close. We found that out the first night when I tried putting her back down after calming her down. She calmed down in my arms, but as soon as she realized she was not in my arms, she began crying again. She wanted to be in the arms of one of her parents, nothing less would suffice as she wasn’t hungry and didn’t have a dirty diaper.
We have a new member of our family that melts our heart. My first thoughts beyond the panic of having our baby breech and messing up the plans for a natural birth that Christina had were surreal. I had a hard time grasping the reality of a new little girl entering our life. Yeah, I knew I was going to be a daddy, but I don’t know how better to prepare for something like that. I wondered when it would hit me, the fact that God answered our prayers for a child…
I knew she was coming and all, but when would it seem real since a year ago we felt so far away from every having a child. About a year ago, we finally watched the movie Facing the Giants and I related most directly with Grant’s struggle to have a child. I wished I could just imitate his response and give everything to the Lord the way he did and bingo God answers the prayer. Grant, the head football coach for the little school in Georgia that led his team to an improbable state championship needed God to answer one personal request to have a child as his wife and him tried for years to get pregnant. In a moving moment of the film, he poured his heart out to God saying no matter what happens, he will give God everything. I wished, I could just ask God in the same way to get the answer I wanted even if I knew that isn’t the point of surrendering everything to God.
At that time, we were preparing for our furlough and processing the difficulty of getting pregnant. We decided to take a break from trying, since we were going to travel and stay in undetermined places for the three months of summer. We did not want to add to the burden of fundraising and visiting family and friends the stress of picking the precise times to be intimate in order to have a baby.
One year ago, I thought a daughter or son was a long way off for us. We had exhausted the medical options before IVF and couldn’t contemplate the idea of extra measures yet. Without a miracle, the idea of a child was so distant and unattainable. But when I held her in my arms about 10 minutes after she was born, the reality sunk in that I am the proud father of a special little girl named Eliana Ann Opie. She melted my heart.
Wow, in the matter of a few minutes, I can now say, what a difference a year makes. I feel like the Shunamite woman in II Kings 4:16 when Elisha told her next year at this time, you will have a son. I would have been as shocked as her if I thought that would be me in one year. Don’t fool around with me and offer something that means so much to me without fulfilling your word.
Today, I have a whole new perspective on life. I have a daughter in my arms who depends on her parents for everything now. I am learning to hold her correctly with a little tweak to how I put my arm around her to keep her head supported. I am figuring out how to put her clothes on without disturbing her too much. Tina helps me not roll over on our daughter when she lies between us. And despite my objections, I am learning how to change her dirty diapers. I guess there isn’t anything that says I love you more than wiping poop away from a little baby’s bottom when they are helpless to clean their own bodies.
All I know is this little miracle has forever changed my life and begun to mature me more than I can consciously comprehend.