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Monday, August 26, 2013

Josiah Neal {4 years old}

Dear Josiah,

Has four years really gone by since you made me a mommy? I read an article the other day about how becoming a mother is one of the bravest things that a woman can do.  I probably would have raised my eyebrow at this before you tore into this world on that hot, August night...a Wednesday.  Yes, even at 12:58 am, it was hot in Houston.  But your daddy and I were anything but warm.  Our hearts were turning cold as we watched our firstborn be swept away, unsure if he was even going to take a first breath.  And in that moment, when most parents feel those first feelings of complete joy as they glimpse their own flesh and blood, we were faced with our first feelings of despair and utter hopelessness.  But in that same moment, we found our strength and bravery in Christ as we called out to the only One who could save our precious Josiah.  And He did just that! And we will never stop reminding you, Josiah, that God has a special plan for your life. He saved you that day for a reason.  You had life to live.  And I can't wait to see how His plan unfolds in your life.

At four years of age, you look just like any other four year old should.  There is nothing about your appearance that would suggest that you are any different from other kids your age.  But there is a big difference.  At four years, most kids are talking and communicating in sentences and paragraphs and spouting out those "cute sayings" that parent's send in to magazines and newspapers to be displayed under the "Your Kid Said What?!?" columns.  But this is where you differ.  Getting three words out of you at a time is considered an achievement and something that rarely happens.  This is something that has stumped us for awhile now.  Your hearing appointments came back normal and we will have you retested in a few months just to see if there is anything that was missed. We have suspected high functioning autism/aspergers to be the reason for your lack of communication but the hospital here refuses to test kids under the age of four because of so many children being tested too young and being mis-diagnosed. But now that you are four, your pediatrician sent your referral in for testing and we should here back with a testing date soon.

What they will find, I do not know.  Will they be stumped too? I guess we will see.  This is where that bravery thing plays in. I'm trying to be brave and completely trust that no matter what we find out, God is in control and He is not stumped by this.  He is on His thrown and His will will be done.  If you never speak another word, I'll trust that God will still use you in some way to bring Himself glory and fulfill the plan for your life.  And at the same time, I trust completely that God can make you speak.  And I know that He will if that is what He has for you.

But enough of that! This is your birthday post! You are four! Our big four year did it happen so fast? It seems like just yesterday when I was nursing you every two hours and wondering how I could possibly cope with someone needing me so much and for everything to supply their every need...four years seemed like an eternity away.  Now it's here and you don't need your mama near as much as you did then.  Our doors leading outside now have three locks on them because you don't need mama to take you outside.  And the day that your daddy installed the third lock (the one you can't reach), I found you with a chair pulled up to the door trying to reach it.  You have broken at least four child safety locks on the fridge because you don't need mama to get you something to drink.  And don't even get me started on the snack cabinet, or the bathtub, or the DVD player, or your lamp, or the top of the may not be talking much but you sure do know how to get things done without your mama's help! If only you would apply that to potty training...but I'm not even gonna go there right now...

Josiah, life would be pretty boring without you around.  I think that even Eli would agree with that since he wakes up every morning asking about you.  "Where's Siah?" he asks.  And then I tell him that "Siah" actually likes to sleep late.  And when you finally come strolling in the living room from your deep slumber, Eli has to run up to you and say, "There he is!" and gives you a hug or a kiss.  He really does love you! And you're a pretty good big brother (most of the time). Don't get me wrong.  You have your moments...many moments actually.  But that's what brothers do, right?

Now, as far as Addy Jo goes, she will be here very soon and I am anxious to see how you react to her.  You were only 19 months when we brought Eli home from the hospital and it pretty much shocked you and I think you were mad at us for awhile! But something tells me that you are going to be a little more understanding this time around and a lot more gentle.  I love the look on your face when you see a little baby or when you pat my tummy and say "baby!". No, it's not really you that I'm worried's Eli...oh, but I'm getting off topic again...

At four, you are going through a mommy-clinging stage. You do not like leaving the house unless I am with you.  If we are getting ready to go somewhere and daddy is already putting Eli in the car, you usually stand by the door and motion for me to "come on" before you step foot out.  It's like you and Eli have switched places all of a sudden because he is going through his daddy-clinging stage right now.  He loves going to the office with daddy when he can and you love staying home with mommy and curling up on the couch to read books together.  I don't mind this.  Nope, not one bit.  This is one of my favorite things to do with you. : )

Josiah, I could fill a book with all the ways that you have brought joy to our lives in your four short years.  And it is my prayer that you grow up knowing just how much you are loved, wanted and adored.  Not only by us, but by God.  You were made to fill a purpose in His plan and I know that He will equip you for whatever that purpose might be.  I love you Josiah.  Happy 4th Birthday!

Love, Mommy

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