ready for middle school

Today my oldest son graduated from elementary school and in a few days he will turn 11.  My mind can't help but go back to the beginning and recount the faithfulness of our God.    

He wasn't supposed to happen.  We had tried for two years for him to happen.  The doctor suggested more intense infertility treatments.  We prayed and found our answer was supposed to be no.  Then our world started to unravel.  My husband ran into his friend at the grocery store and they decided to race home.  Our friend never made it home.  That day changed my husband.  It changes you to watch a friend go through a horrific accident, to see the events play out in front of you and feel completely helpless to stop any of them.  And in the midst of his grief, the county decided to charge him with his friend's death.  Kevin's car never touch his friend, but the agreement to race was all the county needed.  This is where Kody's story begins:  failed infertility medication, a charge of involuntary manslaughter and all of our money saved for an adoption going to pay for an attorney.  
Every morning our alarm clock would play a song by Jeremy Camp, "Walk by Faith".  I would lay in bed, hands raised, tears streaming to these words:

Would I believe you when you would say 
Your hand will guide my every way 
Will I receive the words You say 
Every moment of every day 
well I will walk by faith 
Even when I cannot see 
Well because this broken road 
Prepares Your will for me 
Help me to win my endless fears 
You've been so faithful for all my years 
With one breath You make me new 
Your grace covers all I do 

It was in the midst of this dark hole that God answered the deepest longing of my heart.  We could not believe that I was pregnant.  Kevin and I just sat and laughed, overflowing with the joy of this new life.  Our lawyer believed Kevin would as he put it "not wear orange" but he was pretty confident there would be some sort of jail time.  The blessing of this growing child filled us with hope in a time of great uncertainty.  God spoke life to my soul through many Scriptures but this one held me over that next year.  
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.  ~ psalm 46

When the county decided to drop the charges down to racing and take away Kevin's license for two years, we gladly accepted the offer.  So we would start our parenting journey with a Daddy who could not drive.  We could do that.  We started to prepare and gain excitement to finally see our baby at our ultrasound.  

I was so young when I became pregnant with Kody.  I really didn't expect them to tell me anything was wrong at the ultrasound.  I think things change some the more life you live.  The technician told me to wait, she needed to go get the doctor to review the ultrasound with me.  Our baby had some significant deformities and it was a great possibility he had Down Syndrome.  We opted for only monthly ultrasounds and began to pray for the healing of our baby.  I guess we will never know what was just a poor ultrasound and what God truly healed.  But months later our tiny little baby boy was born.  His two vessel cord gave him enough to survive and there were no other lasting malformations in his body.  

When I look at Kody I am reminded daily of God's faithfulness.  I am reminded that I can trust God in all things.  I am reminded of God's great grace and mercy.  Kody was born with an old soul and a deep faith in His Heavenly Father.  He was given to our family first as gift from God.  He leads as a servant, he leads in compassion and love,  he leads as a child of God.  It truly is an honor to be his mother.  I don't know if it is because of his early birth, his difficult development in utero or just his own personality but he has always taken his time.  He waits until he is ready to move on to the next developmental milestone.  He waits at the top of the slide for the other children to take their turn.  He waits for others to have a ride, a piece of candy, a chance to answer..... and on it goes.   There were many years when this all caused me great anxiety, as I struggled as a new mom to not compare.  But we have seen over the years this character quality grow into a great strength.  He is growing into a caring and compassionate young man.  

Yesterday his school recognized this by awarding him the Principal's Award, given to students demonstrating great character, responsibility and love for others.  We teach our children that it does not matter if you are the smartest or the fastest or the most popular in school, what counts is your love for God and your love for people.  What a gift for him to see that other people believe those things are important too.  I cherish his childhood memories and would love to do it all over again, but it is time for him to move on to middle school.  We have learned from the beginning that the road will not be easy, but I believe he is ready for the journey ahead.  And after taking a few deep breaths, I think that I am too.  

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