My husband put together the crib the other day. I mostly stood around watching, taking photos to document the process. We couldn't believe we were suddenly that couple, setting up a bed for a baby. Our baby. Why did the presence of a crib make this life-changing event so real? I mean, my stretching belly, jabs and pokes and ripples from inside, sounds of another heartbeat every time I visit the doctor- these should make it real enough. Maybe it's the visual sign that Bump won't always be in my middle.
Parenthood. What a challenge and a gift! How did we get here? How will we know what to give this child? How can we be worthy of this gift?
For starters, we have awesome, loving parents. Are they perfect? No. But we wouldn't give them up for anything. Will we raise our child the way they raised us? Probably in more ways than we will admit right now! But mostly what stands out from their parenting is unconditional love. They don't give up on us even when we make mistakes. God doesn't give up on us either. I kinda think they believe in us and that we will seek and find the right path; when others believe in us, well, that's powerful.
More than our parents and extended family members, Luke and I have been blessed with special people entering our lives right when we needed them the most. Mentors, friends, and teachers have encouraged our interests and helped us create our passions. We're better people because of them.
For Luke, he found just the right support in Blaine Kenney, Paul Akahoshi, Fred Gray, Larry Lambeth (my dad!), and Gary Laabs to guide him in electronics, computers, and ham radio. He survived high school with no small thanks to Bob Leake, teacher and friend, with whom he worked side-by-side creating and building while also talking about life's bigger picture. Off into the world he went, getting a pretty good job when he was still just a youngster. There he met Terry and Wanda Horn, two special people who became like family and stayed with him through some difficult life moments. (Now they've "adopted" me too.) In college, Luke really found his niche in the computer science world- a world made just for him I'm sure. Amit Jain advised, challenged, and befriended him as Luke eventually climbed all the way to the top, attaining his master's degree in Computer Science.
I, a shy and stubborn child who didn't easily reach out to others, was also blessed by Blaine and his lovely wife, Faith, during a lonely time in my life. Horses and people, God's angels I think, rescued me from sadness. In high school, Ms. Pearson (Diana as I now call her) not only taught me a lot about libraries (what could be greater than working around books?) but gave me an after-school job. (Years later we would work together again, where I found the joy of giving back to others tutoring adults in the English language). In school I loved biology but found my voice in English classes. Mrs. Dielman, Mrs. Gornick, and Mrs. Winegar exposed me to thought-provoking books and challenged me with writing assignments. I soared into college loving the taste of words on the tip of my pencil. College blessed me with more excellent writing coaches, especially Dan Lamberton and Gary Wiss, and an art angel, Martha Mason. Lost in words and drawings, I would find peace and joy. But beyond academics, I found God. A teary drive to Walt Meske's house led to my baptism just before graduation. And an afternoon in Gary's office led to my exodus from my safe college campus out into the world of hurting students where I tried to be a mentor to them.
And of course, Luke found me and I found him. We continue to receive blessings from people around us, and we focus on building each other up. Maybe we don't feel ready in any way to take care of this little one coming into this crazy world, but God's given us a lot of help along our paths in life and I don't think He's going to quit.