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SherryTex
09-19-2008, 06:26 AM
Paul was born this Wednesday, September 17th at 7:28 pm.

The following is an article written about him which ran September 11th in the Catholic Standard. Thanks for all the support that AW has given me these past nine months. --Sherry

If someone can teach me how to insert the picture, I will do so. PM me.

Baby Paul's Heart and Ours
“Will you accept the blessing of children lovingly from God?”

In every Catholic wedding, the priest asks the question and the couple responds.

There isn’t a caveat or a footnote or an asterisk to that particular answer or question, designed to explain away exceptions or alternatives. It is a promise a couple makes to God in the process of obediently submitting to the sacrament of marriage. The choice to have children was made on that altar amidst family and friends, prayers and flowers. “Yes.”

As the mother of eight, soon to be nine children, even total strangers have remarked to me, “You must have wanted a large family.” No. I have to confess, that wasn’t my plan at all. I planned to get a PhD and run a school, and maybe one day teach English at my Alma Mater. That was my plan. I loved my husband to be and we had dutifully gone through the pre-marital inventory, had the interviews with our bishop, and spent the weekend at the Pre Cana retreat in preparation for the sacrament. But we hadn’t asked the specific question of each other, “How many kids do you want to have?” To be honest, the question had never occurred to either of us, in our youth and inexperience.

When I started on my Doctorate, my advisor asked the question, “How do you hope to prevent yourself from becoming seduced by academia?” I said “My husband and children (at that point I had only one), would be able to keep me humble and out of trouble.” We laughed but God saw the opening I had given Him and took it.

Prudence might indicate that, once kids became a part of our lives, we would have discussed numbers. But again, the question never came up. We couldn’t argue with the consequences of the blessings of our marriage. We loved each new addition to our family fiercely and found the idea of not having known such unique amazing individuals as our sons and daughters, a horrid prospect.

Graduate school was postponed. These people had always been part of our family, though we had never laid eyes on them before they were born. It was as if pieces of our lives and our hearts, our personalities and our gifts, were being revealed to us for the first time in each of these new people. Whenever I would begin to yearn for what had been let go, God would immediately ground me in the present with the people around me. Maybe our family would be smaller if I hadn’t been such a stubborn person, but I wouldn’t wish it. It has been an amazing and unexpected journey these past eighteen years.

God’s plan included this ninth person Paul, who has Down’s syndrome and a heart defect that will require surgery. His heart will have to be remade. Like most parents who discover they will have a child with disabilities the world can see, our hearts had to be remade too. My son’s heart has no walls on the inside. Our hearts had walls that had to be torn down. We didn’t know they were even there.

Paul’s heart will be examined by 35 pediatric cardiologists via the wonders of technology, so that the best possible care can be given to make the four chambers necessary for him to thrive. God has spent the last 42 years peering into our hearts to try and get us to submit to the surgeries of life necessary to make our souls flourish. Neither of us have been terribly cooperative patients, sometimes ignoring the prescriptions that would make us spiritually stronger. There have been moments when we have wanted to say, “No.” Or at the very least, “Why can’t it be my plan?” or “Why this plan?”

I wouldn’t argue with the 35 cardiologists about how to do this pending surgery; I have to trust they will do what is best for my son. Likewise, arguing with God about His plan seems a waste of energy. He’s the expert. God’s plan was for a different sort of Doctorate, born of thus far, fifteen years of study. Once one recognizes God’s plan, acting within it becomes a condition of will, a choice based on trust that the Divine Physician knows more about what’s best than the patient.

God’s plan was much more interesting than mine. I still hope to one day get that Ph.D. if it is right for me to have it, but I must concede, in all honesty, not getting what I wanted thus far has been the greatest gift of my life. God tells us He will make for us whole new hearts, and that is what this journey of life is for, to give Him time to operate on our souls via the trials, triumphs and tragedies we experience. He came to heal us of the illnesses we do not even know that we have.

A dear person in my life asked the question, “How do you know God’s plan?” At the time, I didn’t have an answer but I do now, “If it stretches you beyond your own perceived capacity to love, it is God’s plan. If it makes you devote your whole self to others, it is God’s plan. If the fruits of your actions include joy, laughter, lightness, mercy, healing, hope, forgiveness, patience and peace for yourself and/or others, it is God’s plan.”

*************
I remain overwhelmed by the support and volume of prayers offered on Paul's behalf and am pleased to report he is beautiful, he is as healthy as one could hope, and that we already love him more than we could have thought possible.

Yeshanu
09-19-2008, 06:34 AM
You had a baby less than 36 hours ago, and you're already on AW?

Addict... :D

Sherry, congrats to you and yours. I will continue to pray for you and Paul and all of your family.

JLCwrites
09-19-2008, 06:39 AM
My thoughts and prayers are there for you and Paul. I hope he sails through his surgery with flying colors. ((Hugs))

BTW - You'll need an online photo storage program like Photobucket. Or you can shrink Paul's image and add it as your avatar! :)

MsK
09-19-2008, 06:41 AM
Baby Paul sounds like a teriffic little blessing. Continued positive thoughts and prayers being sent for you and your family.

smoothseas
09-19-2008, 06:46 AM
Baby Paul sounds like a teriffic little blessing. Continued positive thoughts and prayers being sent for you and your family.

I second Krystal's post. Sending cyber hugs to all your family.

JoNightshade
09-19-2008, 07:43 AM
Congratulations - and welcome, Paul, to the great big world!!! As I said in my rep, I'll be keeping him and you in my prayers.

BUT I DEMAND A PHOTO.

That is all.

Mandy-Jane
09-19-2008, 09:18 AM
Congratulations on a beautiful addition to the family. :Hug2:

sheadakota
09-19-2008, 02:35 PM
I wanted to add my congratulations and all the best on Paul's up-coming surgery.

astonwest
09-19-2008, 02:52 PM
Very touching post...

Congratulations on your ninth, and wishing you well on the road ahead!

Ken
09-19-2008, 03:08 PM
congrats :-)
Nothing more rewarding & fulfilling in life than this.

Haggis
09-19-2008, 03:15 PM
Congratulations, Sherry. :hooray:

For what it's worth, I think your heart has always been in the right place.

rhymegirl
09-19-2008, 04:22 PM
Congratulations, Sherry! Would love to see a pic.

Pagey's_Girl
09-19-2008, 04:22 PM
((Hugs)) and congratulations! I'm sure he'll do just fine.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
09-19-2008, 04:29 PM
Candles will be lighted for all of you, Sherry. Congratulations on the new family member! :D

Susie
09-19-2008, 04:31 PM
Sherry what a beautiful and touching story. God knew who to give that sweet baby too. Congrats. (((((((HUGS)))))))

Calla Lily
09-19-2008, 04:34 PM
Congratulations, Sherry!

My oldest is also named Paul--he turns 17 tomorrow. :eek:

Enjoy the little one!

CaroGirl
09-19-2008, 04:40 PM
I hope the surgeons can create a new heart for little Paul that will help him have a long and healthy life. All the best to you and your family, Sherry!

Sarita
09-19-2008, 04:54 PM
Congrats Sherry and family! Give Paul a gentle little hug from me and mine :)

:) Can't wait to see a picture.

regdog
09-19-2008, 05:30 PM
Congratulations and best wishes

quickWit
09-19-2008, 05:34 PM
Congratulations Sherry!

Williebee
09-19-2008, 05:39 PM
Congratulations, Miss Sherry, and welcome, Paul!

tjwriter
09-19-2008, 05:41 PM
Congratulations on the new arrival, and we'll be thinking of your family on the pending surgery.

Here's a link to the FAQ on posting pictures:
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=83938

There's also a link in there to another thread where I posted step-by-step pictures, and I also have old PMs with the info in them as well.

Cranky
09-19-2008, 05:43 PM
Congratulations, Sherry! And welcome to the world, little Paul. :)

III
09-19-2008, 05:45 PM
Congratulations on the latest miracle, Sherry. I hope we get the opportunity to meet when I visit. Our family will be praying for Paul's surgery. Thanks for sharing your heart and insights with us.

ChaosTitan
09-19-2008, 05:47 PM
Congrats, Sherry! And all sorts of warm and healing thoughts for little Paul.

Ageless Stranger
09-19-2008, 05:57 PM
It's damn nice to hear about something good for a change, and this is brilliant news. Best wishes Sherry, may all be well with you and little Paul.

cray
09-19-2008, 06:35 PM
congrats, sherry!

best wishes,


cray

Perks
09-19-2008, 06:45 PM
Congratulations! Hope you're feeling fine and that baby Paul is sweet and adorable. Will be sending good thoughts to all of you and Paul's doctors.

Shadow_Ferret
09-19-2008, 07:01 PM
Congrats.

NINE children? When the heck do you have time to write? I struggle with just two!

I remember I was in a company meeting once and they introduced a new guy and he was telling us about himself and he said he has 7 kids.

After the meeting one of my co-workers came over and laughed. "Man, I thought I was going to lose it in the meeting. You had this look of horror on your face when he said how many kids he had!"

melaniehoo
09-19-2008, 07:02 PM
Congratulations!

Kitty Pryde
09-19-2008, 07:11 PM
Congrats on the new little guy! I'm sending many wishes for health and happiness!

awatkins
09-19-2008, 07:20 PM
Sending love, hugs and prayers for you all. Congratulations! :) :)

dolores haze
09-19-2008, 07:58 PM
Congratulations, Sherry, to you and your family on the birth of Baby Paul. I hope with all my heart that the surgery goes smoothly.

sassandgroove
09-19-2008, 08:03 PM
Yay for babies! Welcome little Paul. I pray the surgery is successful.

Grrarrgh
09-19-2008, 08:49 PM
Congratulations, Sherry, and welcome baby Paul! I'm eagerly looking forward to pics!

Soccer Mom
09-19-2008, 08:54 PM
I can't wait to see pictures of Paul. Welcome to your new little one. I'll be praying for a successful surgery.

Kitrianna
09-19-2008, 11:02 PM
Congratualations on the arrival of your newest little man. I'm sure he is absolutely perfect in every way that counts :)

Bayou Bill
09-20-2008, 07:15 AM
Congratulations on the arrival of Baby Paul. Now that you can field a baseball team, will a football squad be next? :D

Bayou Bill :cool: