When I was having babies I never "wanted" a boy or a girl. I wanted a baby and I knew that God could/would make a better choice for our lives than we could.There was honestly not one moment when I felt disappointed that my girls were born as Gretchen, Gwenn and Melody and not David. Melody was almost Meredeth but we flipped a coin and God even made the coin flip right.
Sometimes God likes to give us some 'extras' in life. For me the 'extras' were children. Children who while very loved by their parents were still part of my family because of various life issues. I always thought it interesting that when I started an in home day care most of the children in my home were children of divorce. Having been raised in a one parent home I felt like God choose me for these young children and for the parents as well. I felt I could understand their lives and their hearts just a little better than those who lived the perfect 2.3 children, 2 car, dentist twice a year American Dream.
The children loved me and I loved them. They fit easily into my life and I felt like a natural at this job.
Erik had just turned two. He was very quiet and very stubborn. He would not look at me and he covered his face with his hands when I spoke to him as if that would shut me out and he would not have to respond. Erik's family was going thought a very rocky spell. His mom had moved out and his dad was trying to muddle thorough this single parent of three children life. Having started his own business Erik's day was gone often more than 12 hours a day. And as the days passed into months Erik still would not look at me. I found myself growing detached from him and not trying to connect anymore. One night realizing that this kid needed more than what I could give him I prayed "God, I can't love this kid. Will you love him for me?" The next day it changed. He didn't change. I did. I found a new compassion and understanding for this (still stubborn) little guy. As I changed he changed. I was never unkind to Erik before this. I just could not reach him. Until I did.
Months past. Then more months. We got thought potty training with a amble supply of skittle rewards. We floated Cheerios for target practice. Erik was with me still when my I was pregnant with Melody and we would take our afternoon naps on my big king size bed. He worked in my garden and I took him to swimming lessons.I had to bribe him to get in the water with the big cookies we bought at the deli on the way to Round Valley. And months turned to years and Erik was still there. He broke his nose when he slid into home plate and then slid into the wood pile. They didn't ask me at the hospital is I was his mom so I didn't offer that I was not. I got mad at the doctor who was so harsh with him and felt like it wasn't right for me to leave and wasn't right for me to stay when his Dad showed up.
The day came when Erik became too old to justify hiring a babysitter. I was out of a job. I went to work at the Post Office and when I would come home for lunch there sat Erik. He would ride his bike to my house and just hang out. Time past as the visits were not as often but Erik remained close. I think it was in 96 when he came to Creation with us (again). (The first time he came he was about 4 and I remember that sweet little boy popping his hand up and agreeing that he wanted to ask Jesus in his heart.) But it 96 it was different. One night, at about 2 AM I heard someone outside my tent. "Denise..Denise...wake up!" I jumped up fearing the worst and flew open the zipper of my tent. "I wanted you to be the first to know!! I got saved tonight!!!" . With joy that only a mother can know I rejoiced with Erik then went back to sleep. The memory of not being able to love this boy was long gone.
We moved from NJ to NC and within a few years Erik followed.He went through some rough spots. But no matter where he was in his life he always came back. I worried about him a lot. But then something changed.
For the first time since I met the frightened two year old boy Erik seems whole. All the places his parents and my family could not fill are now filled. No longer a little boy standing in the naughty corner in my houseand hiding his face from the world. Now he will stand at the alter with his bride. His parents will be there, his sisters will be there. My son in law will stand with him. My family will be there to cheer him on. I will miss the way he will look directly into his bride's eyes. I will not be there. But this I do know. Erik will be back. Because no matter the circumstances that keep us apart over the years this does not change. God choose to give me a boy and I am proud to see the man he has become.