_______________________

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


for zac

Today, the child who made me a mother turns sixteen. He's 6'1", wears size 12 shoes, and is capable of dunking a basketball and growing whiskers ... and I have no idea how all that happened or where the time went. Here's a memory from the moment I first saw him. Happy birthday, Zachary David.

The most amazing moment for me, as a parent, was that first moment. Unlike most other mothers, I didn’t get my first glimpse of my son when he was all slippery and irritated. Because we were adoptive parents, we had to wait for a phone call inviting us to the hospital. Zac was an hour old by the time Dave and I got there, and by then he was all cleaned up and calmed down. When the nurse placed him in my arms and I said “hello” to that little face, he opened his eyes and looked directly into mine. It was as if I could read his thoughts, as if I could actually hear him thinking, “Oh … there you are.” I just stood there and cried.

I didn’t know it was possible to love another person as much as I loved him in that first moment. When I felt those eight pounds, one ounce lying helpless in my arms, my heart was full to bursting with feelings of protection and delight and pure satisfaction. There wasn’t a single second when I thought, “Well, little guy, I guess I’ll accept you the way you are right now, because I have no other choice … but I’m really going to start loving you when you can walk.” Or, “I’ll love you best when you’ve figured me out--when you know that my favorite colors are blue and green and the ice cream I like best is peanut butter chocolate. When you know that I light candles at the first sign of rain. When you’ve memorized all those little details, then I’ll really start loving you.”

I didn’t think any of that nonsense. I don’t believe Zac had any such strange thoughts, either. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t even a second there, at the hospital, when he worried that he might not be a good son or that he might not work hard enough or manage to create anything worthy in his lifetime. I don’t think it ever crossed his little mind that he might not measure up to my expectations. Nor did he worry about where we had the car parked, or whether or not we had enough gas, or if Dave really knew how to maneuver us from the hospital back to the freeway and all the way home. He just looked up at the two of us and waited to see what was next. And you know what was next? A lot of staring and grinning. A lot of dreaming about the life we would have with him. And a whole lot of loving.

God is no different. He feels exactly the same way--He loves us just the way we love our children, only He does it much better. I hope you really grab hold of the truth behind these words: Your Father is not waiting to love you more, because He already loves you as much as He possibly can. He loves you perfectly, flawlessly. It’s not because of anything you can do for Him. It’s not because you try really hard to walk a straight line. It’s not because you’re diligent to read your Bible exactly thirty minutes each morning, followed by a precise fifteen minutes of prayer. He just … loves you. And the child who understands this is the child who is free--free to explore life and enjoy her Father and face tomorrow without fear of any kind.

Open your eyes and look up, and you’ll see an amazing sight: God is looking right back at you. He can’t help it. Your Father loves you so much, He can’t take His eyes off of you.

Excerpted from A Whisper in Winter: Stories of Hearing God's Voice in Every Season of Life © 2004 Shannon Woodward. All rights reserved.

Labels: , ,

20 Comment:

At 5/10/2005 7:22 AM, Blogger ddddddddddddddddddddd had this to say ...

Happy Birthday to you, Zachary. Congratulations on this special day.

My daughter would find it very interesting that your height is the reverse numbers of you age. She looks for coincidences like that. Hope you have a fantastic day. Live, dream, hope and pray.

 
At 5/10/2005 9:49 AM, Blogger Nancy had this to say ...

Happy Birthday Zac!!!

I remember when your Mom and Dad brought you home from the hospital. I think I still have a picture of you on a wooden rocking horse. Boy, how the time flies.

Have a wonderful day! :)

 
At 5/10/2005 9:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous had this to say ...

oh shannon, I love hearing how you love him. I can only pray for the same. I rarely cry anymore over Britton but today I cant hold it back anymore. He will be 13 in 5 days and it feels like yesterday that Jaylene had her first glimpse of her son and I had my last. I am so blessed by how you love your children. Happy Birthday Zachary! love you both Diana

 
At 5/10/2005 12:08 PM, Blogger Christine had this to say ...

What a beautiful post! Happy Birthday to your "baby" boy!!!

 
At 5/10/2005 12:39 PM, Blogger Bill and Glory had this to say ...

I just read this part of your book, not long ago. It was nice to see it here too. A big Birthday greeting to your big "baby"! :-)

 
At 5/10/2005 1:15 PM, Anonymous Susan had this to say ...

All the best to the sweet sixteen. Lovely writing, as usual you touched me.
You are certainly blessed to have been given such a wonderful gift 16 years ago.
Do you remember that song by Michelle Wright "He would be Sixteen" ? Ill pray today for the woman who brought Zach into this world for you to love. Im sure she is thinking of him today.

 
At 5/10/2005 8:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous had this to say ...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ZAC!!
Can't believe it! 16!
Thank you for the wonderful reminder that God loves us, ugly parts and all, just because of who we are. And thank you for the reminder that as God loves us, we, too, ought to love our children in the same manner.
God bless your family as you celebrate such a special day!!
Cora

 
At 5/10/2005 9:00 PM, Blogger Monica had this to say ...

Happy Birthday to your wonderful son. Although it's HIS birthday, we all know YOU got the gift that day.

 
At 5/10/2005 11:26 PM, Blogger Kim had this to say ...

Happy Birthday Zac! :D

Shannon, this is one of my absolute favorite stories of yours.

 
At 5/11/2005 12:32 AM, Blogger Rebecca had this to say ...

As an adopted person myself I find your post really specail

 
At 5/11/2005 2:24 AM, Anonymous Paul had this to say ...

Happy birthday Zac and may God bless your mother !

 
At 5/11/2005 3:29 AM, Blogger Janet had this to say ...

Happy Birthday Zac! That was beautiful Mom!

 
At 5/11/2005 7:25 AM, Anonymous Ish had this to say ...

The Lord's love really is so unconditional. I think that you captured reality and truth in a unique, beautiful, and acurate way. Thanks so much.

 
At 5/11/2005 7:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous had this to say ...

happy 16th birthday zac! :)

from sarah ,heather and katie!

 
At 5/11/2005 11:16 AM, Blogger Jennifer had this to say ...

What an amazing thought!

 
At 5/11/2005 7:55 PM, Blogger Darlene had this to say ...

I am always dazzled by your words and your insight. Your kids are lucky to have a mom like you. And it sounds like you are lucky to have such special kids too.

 
At 5/11/2005 8:09 PM, Blogger Jimmy had this to say ...

Happy Birthday, Zac! You're part of a great family.
Jimmy

 
At 5/12/2005 1:31 AM, Blogger thequeen had this to say ...

As an adoptee who has met her birth mother I can tell you that adoption is a wonderous thing.I just know that your zach feels the same way. I wish him a fabulous birthday. Your words about God loving us perfectly really hit home with me right now. I am finding it difficult to keep faith. I am trying not to let things get me down and all that. Sometimes I just wish that he would send us letters with instructions.. great blog. I hope you don't mind me linking you.

 
At 5/12/2005 8:07 AM, Blogger Ronald McDojo had this to say ...

Great story! I feel the same about my son. I don't agree with the god focus, but hey, It's your blog! Weird how much you can love a little person. I'd die for my kids with no questions asked.

 
At 5/17/2005 7:08 AM, Blogger shannon had this to say ...

Thanks, everyone. You really surprised Zac with all those birthday wishes. :)

 

Post a Comment


Thank you for your kind, loving comment. Um ... you were kind and loving, weren't you?

Back to the home page...