Nine years ago today, a little piece of sunshine came into my life. Her name is Alexandra Elise, and today is her birthday. Lexi came to us in a little different manner than our other two children. While we experienced infertility the first two times around, Lexi was our surprise blessing from God…a gift to celebrate our tenth anniversary. When my husband announced to me, on our anniversary trip to Hawaii, that he was positive I was pregnant, I just laughed. His proof was that I (an eater with a typically small appetite) was eating everything in sight. At dinner at “Cheeseburger in Paradise” (one of our favorite Maui places), I devoured not only my own ½ pound cheeseburger, but polished off his as well. My excuse was that I was simply enjoying a meal of my own, without sharing with my two small children at home. For those of you who don’t know me, I am a petite person, not accustomed to eating such portions. Alan kept insisting I was pregnant, and I kept laughing.
A couple of weeks later, after returning from Hawaii, I took a pregnancy test and was astounded to confirm that Alan was correct…our third child was due in November of that year. It was such a joy to know that God had blessed us with this child so soon after our decision to just trust him for a third child instead of pursue the medical options again. We quickly settled on the name Lexi (Alexandra for her “full” name) and chose “Elise” for her middle name as a testimony to what God had done (it means “My God is bountiful”). She was born in the middle of the night with her grandma and grandpa and great-grandma in attendance. Lexi was a tiny little thing (6 lb. 15 oz) and was easygoing from the moment she was born. She rarely cried, loved people and smiled all day long.
On our second day in the hospital, the pediatrician came to me and sat down beside my bed. He took my remote and turned off the TV (I remember I was watching “The Waltons” while I ate my dinner) and very reluctantly told me that he had discovered that Lexi had a hole in her heart. He was so apologetic, saying that he didn’t know how he could have missed it on her ultrasound. I remember replying that I was glad he had missed it…they couldn’t have done anything about it, and it would have ruined a very joyful pregnancy with worry. He told me that it was a very large hole, and in a bad place. It was possible, he said, for it to heal on its own, but very unlikely. This meant that our precious, tiny baby would likely require open heart surgery sometime before her 2nd birthday. I looked at her, sleeping peacefully in her bassinette and thought, “How can anything be wrong with her? She’s perfect!” The doctor left with these words, “I know you’re a Christian…you need to get all your friends praying.” So we did.
Two months later, we were scheduled to see the pediatric cardiologist from Denver. Our doctor had been monitoring Lexi’s progress weekly, checking her weight to see if she was thriving. Indeed, she was…she gained weight rapidly, ate well and seemed healthy. The cardiologist listened to her heart, abruptly pulled off his stethoscope and said somewhat gruffly, “What are you people doing here?” I patiently explained her condition and the location and size of the hole. He looked at me like I was stupid and replied, “There’s nothing wrong with this baby…she’s just fine.” I looked to our doctor for confirmation, who donned the stethoscope and confirmed the specialist’s diagnosis. He smiled and nodded and said that the hole in Lexi’s heart was healed. The specialist said that there was no explanation, that sometimes this just happened. We looked at our doctor, who had told us to pray, and smiled. We all knew exactly what the explanation was for Lexi’s healing.
Now that our little bundle of sunshine is nine, you can see that there is nothing wrong with her perfect little heart. She’s a joy, an energetic pixie full of life. She loves to dance (jazz is her favorite), read books, use her vivid imagination in many ways and most of all, to talk. Her quick mind and even quicker wit keep us entertained daily. Her love for God and for other people is something that brings us joy as we watch her mature in her faith. Her sense of humor is exactly what our family needed, as the rest of us tend to take life too seriously. She is a delight and a wonder, a colorful butterfly that flits from room to room, bringing joy into this mom’s life. Thank you, Lord, for your bountiful gift…my daughter, Lexi. Happy birthday, sweetheart…your mommy loves you very much.
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