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What Is

September 30, 2013

This began as a simple-language picture post for family afar. But somewhere in the middle, it morphed into something that doesn’t translate easily.


Joy is now in school all day. In the morning, she goes to Kindergarten with children her own age and participates with them in morning gathering time, going to the library, playing in gym, and going on field trips. When the class is working on tasks that are cognitively above her level, Joy works at her own speed with her special education teachers. In the afternoon, when her kindergarten classmates go home, Joy spends the afternoon in special education.


Last week, Joy and her class went on a field trip to an apple orchard. She rides the same bus as her friends, seated in her wheelchair, which is buckled to the floor.


I wanted to show you a picture of her cute smile with her newly-missing front tooth, but now that it is out, she plays with the hole :).


At the apple orchard, Joy rode in a wagon, or I carried her on my hip, because her wheelchair does not roll easily off pavement. I will enjoy her riding on my hip as often as I can manage it, because in another year or so, she will be too big for me to carry long distances.


The typical development of Joy’s age-peers is a marvel. Joy is, developmentally, maybe two at age six.  But Joy is my last baby. Slowly, she is growing up. I feel like I need to soak up these sweet moments while I can –and skip the translation.


I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t think about what seems to be missing in this picture. Like her birth country (where, yes, they have apple orchards and field trips), and her twin sister (who was blessed with a family of her own in Korea). But it is unmistakably clear that Joy belongs here because she is here: in our home, on my hip, at this orchard, in this kindergarten class.

God could have arranged it some other way, but He did not.

That gives me pause. He also arranged other circumstances that humanly speaking, in a heartbeat I would arrange some other way.


But because He did not, I am selfishly grateful that He gave me THIS. Even if the blessings are invisible to many.

The “what ifs” come and go, a gusty intellectual wind. The warm weight of “what is,” nestles down deep in my heart, sweet beyond measure.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Nora permalink
    September 30, 2013 9:57 pm

    Joy’s smile without that front tooth is too cute! Miss you all, hope everything is well!

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