WARNING: This is probably gonna be a long one.
Firstly, doesn't Hope look soooooo cute in her lil baby Dior outfit? It was a gift from her SANDS Auntie Kelly, Uncle Paul, G, Angel Bradley and Aaron. I think she looks absolutely adorable!
Yesterday, Hope recieved a beautiful wooden toy in the post from another of her SANDS aunties; Rachel. She has an angel Joshua and also a son called James who has special needs. Rachel has been honest and truthful with me about the experience of bringing up a special needs child, and that I appreciate. It's also great to know that I could say things to her that might shock other people, but she'd understand. Sadly Rachel and her husband and son couldn't make the christening because young James was poorly and had been in contact with the dreaded swine flu!
In the parcel was an inspirational newspaper clipping (she likes sending me these, and I like recieving them) about a special needs child. And also a beautiful card, but inside were some beautiful quotes.
Here are a few of my favourites:
"If it were not HOPE, the heart would break" Thomas Fuller
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" Victor Hugo
"HOPE is the thing with feathers,
that perches in the soul,
And sings without words,
And never stops at all" Emily Dickenson
And my favourite......
"Once you choose HOPE, anything is possible" Christopher Reeve
Now what a beautiful person that is, that takes the time to find those and write them!
And then, just now, another one of Hope's SANDS aunties; Hayley, messaged me to say she'd made a header for Hope's blog. I'm so chuft, she did this new background an' all. It's perfect and just so thoughtful and kind. Hayley and I have never met, but we have a special connection; she has an angel called Nathan, and now she's expecting again...Her lil baby is nicknamed sunshine, coincidently, my angel Sam, is nicknamed sunshine. A very sad coincidence though, it that Hayley's Sunshine, has the same condition my Sunshine did- CDH. I hope with all my heart she gets to keep this special lil man! Hayley my love, I am here for you, squeezing your hand very tightly,every step of the way!
What do all the above people all have in common? Well, they all had angel babies, but goegraphically, we are spread all across the UK, yet I count them all as very special friends. I met them all through the internet- on SANDS forum. Isn't the internet a wonderful thing. Of course, I wish none of us ever needed to be members on SANDS which is of course, undoubtably the saddest forum on the internet, but I am pleased to count these people as my friends!
And now for the stranger.....
We took Jordan and Max swimming this morning. I sat with Hope in the spectator area. A lady sat next to us. Like most people do when there's a cute baby about, she was drawn and started looking at Hope and talking to me..the usual...'how cute'...'how old?' then 'Can she see?'.
'No' I replied.
Then Chris came along and told me I was sat in the wrong area, so I said goodbye to the stranger.
Walking away, I felt winded. Gutted. Upset that it was that obvious that my baby wasn't normal.
You seee, I know Hope is special, and I'm not at all embarassed about that, but to me, she is a baby first and foremost, the disability comes second. And I don't tend to highlight it to people who don't know her. I just prefer to enjoy the compliments anout how cute and pretty she is. There's no need for them to feel sorry for us, so I don't bother telling them of her difficulties. There's no need. No point. So I was sad, that it was so obvious that Hope wasn't 'normal' already (I say already, cause I knew the day would come).
Anyway, after swimming, we were waiting for Jordan and Max to come out of the changing rooms, and this stranger appeared. She'd come to find us. She said something like 'I hope you don't find this strange, but I believe that Jesus wants to heal this baby. Can I pray for her?'
Now, obviously this isn't something that happens everyday, but I sensed this lady was kind, and thought we had nothing to lose. So she placed her hand on Hope and prayed for healing.
I, of course Hope it works!
I said to the lady that I wish I had such a strong faith, then explained how the faith that I used to have has taken a real rocking these past few years.
She understood. Only time will tell I guess. But even so, she was a lovely lady. I gave her the blog address so she can keep check on Hope. She was a lovely person. So if you are reading...Thank you Ruth!
So today I feel happy. Happy that the world is full of such beautiful people!