Monday, May 20, 2013

Special Honor

I got a special honor last week. My son and daughter-in-law, Brian and Lindsey, brought The Amazing Cooper over for us to watch while they went to a movie, did some shopping, and ran some errands. Of course, we were more than ready to provide this service for them. In reality, I’ve been looking forward to it for several days, as have my wife and daughter. They arrived around 10:00 and dropped off Cooper, who was sound asleep, but beautiful nonetheless.

Did I mention that we also have a foster baby with us right now? She’s just 9 days younger than Cooper is, although she’s much smaller because she was about a month premature. She’s healthy and beautiful, but tiny compared to Cooper. We call her Harper, mainly because that’s what the nurses in NICU called her.

So we had a baby filled day, and all three of us got lots of time with the little ones. Cooper slept the entire day, but that didn’t stop us from holding him and talking to him, changing him and feeding him. Yes, he eats in his sleep, apparently. I feel we may owe Brian and Lindsey an apology, because we were unable to keep Cooper awake, which will likely result in a sleepless night for them. Brian has already written about this here.

However, my special honor came in the afternoon. Shan had to go work with one of her home-bound students, and Rachel had to go to her job, leaving me with two beautiful, newborn babies. The fact that so many obviously bright people trust me with two infants at one time is astounding to me, and fills me with great joy. The fact that one of those infants is my first grandchild fills me with great pride. He’s such a perfect little guy, and I have such great dreams for him.

I’d like to say it was a bit of a trial and I came through with flying colors in spite of the difficulty, but that would be lying. They both slept through most of the time, and I never had both of them awake at the same time. Harper did manage to projectile vomit on me, but that’s nothing for an old baby wrangler like me. No, most of the time I just spent looking at them, talking to them, singing to them.

But God had something for me, as he often does when I take the time to listen. I was sitting there looking at Harper, and I marveled at how much love I felt for her. Now I’m absolutely overwhelmed with love for Cooper. I mean, he’s my first grandchild. He’s perfect in every way. I haven’t been able to wipe this silly grin off my face since he was born three weeks ago. But when I looked at Harper, I realized I love her just as much.

There’s no doubt that Cooper occupies a special place in my heart, and that place will continue to grow. He’s blood of my blood. But even after fostering 17 children, I still love every one of them, and that love is no less than my love for Cooper.
I have known for a long time that I could love all of my children with an equal love. And I know I have always loved all of our foster babies. But to realize that it was the same love that I had for Cooper floored me. It says something about love to me that I’ve heard, but hadn’t really felt, if you know what I mean. Love is not diminished by love for others. It is not something that corresponds to an equation, or a physical law. Love is infinite. It gave me just a bit more insight into God’s love for us. He loves each of us just as he loves his firstborn. In fact, he has adopted us as sons and daughters,  brothers and sisters of Jesus. He doesn’t love us as some conglomeration of people, as a race, as humanity. He loves us as individuals with the same love, just as I love Harper and Cooper, but on a much grander, glorious, unselfish scale.

He loves each of us with a special honor.

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