Springing Forward – a (baby?) Isaiah update

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Happy Spring!!!!! Doggonit, I’m sorry it’s been so long since we’ve posted! It’s been a hectic two months for us, with the PGA TOUR back in full swing and Paul gathering up those frequent flyer miles, traipsing as far west as Honolulu and as far east as Miami! I’ve been spending all of my time away from work with sweet Isaiah and Paul when he’s home. We’ve even managed, thanks to grandparents and our dear friend Ann, to sneak away for mom and dad alone time once or twice this year! There’s so much to catch you up on, but first I wanted to touch on the subject God’s been really convicting me about the past few months… PRAYER.

In January of this year, Isaiah and I had the honor of meeting some new friends, Abi & Matt Tuiasosopo and their sweet, angelic little boy, Josiah (“Siah” to us!). One of my clients was hosting an incredible charity event in Atlanta and he had invited the Tuiasosopos along with dozens of other celebrities and VIPs to attend. You may know Matt’s name from his years in Major League Baseball, currently working his tail off in Spring Training with the Baltimore Orioles after stints with the Seattle Mariners and the Detroit Tigers. What an incredible evening of giving and faith, and it was topped off by this divine introduction to Abi, Matt and Siah. I happened to be traveling with Isaiah for this particular work trip, because Isaiah has a specialist he sees in Atlanta. I will be eternally grateful for God’s plan that evening, as out of that brief introduction I’ve found a dear friend, a prayer warrior and a mentor in Abi. She and I exchange scripture and we pray for each other’s families and children. The wisdom and soft heart that God has given Abi is immeasureable. She is an incredible gift, and through her, I’ve been led to deepen my faith through prayer. Specific prayer.

The Touiasosopo family:
Matt, Adi and sweet Josaih, with one more on the way!
One of the books Abi is reading that she recommended to me is a book called “Praying Circles Around the Lives of Your Children” by Mark Batterson. It’s a practical book that shares strategies based on biblical principles, such as learning to specifically and intentionally pray for your children. I ordered the book immediately, and I have to tell you, for many days I was stuck on the first page. I kept reading it over and over again. I screen captured it and sent it to Abi and told her I might stop reading right there! Ha! I sent it to all the ladies in my bible study. I studied that page like it was a college exam. Here’s what Matt writes to open his book:

That is the deepest desire of my heart and the greatest challenge of my life. Parenting our three children is far more difficult – and far more important – than pastoring thousands of people. Compared to parenting, every other challenge is child’s play. Being a mom or dad is our single greatest privilege. And while I’ve never met a mom or dad who disagrees with me on that point, it’s easy to end up with inverted priorities. But at the end of the day, I want those who know me best to respect me most. That’s my family. And that’s my definition of success. Of course, it’s much easier said than done.

Wow. Was that as powerful for you to read as it was for me? I called Paul and I read it to him. Then I read it to him again in Miami. As a wife, as a mom, I could relate to this on such a deep level. And I’m absolutely obsessed with the first line. I want to be famous in my home. Don’t you? Don’t you want to be famous in your home? With your husband? Your wife? Your children? Even your pets?! I do. So I’m continuing now in the journey of reading this book, and it’s challenging me to pray for Isaiah in a more intentional way. After all, praying for our children is the greatest legacy we can leave. Our prayers will live on in our children long after we are gone.

How are you doing in your prayers for your children? Your spouse? Your family? I challenge you to challenge me. Challenge Paul. If you see us, if you follow us on twitter or facebook, hold us accountable! Ask us how we’re doing in our prayer life for Isaiah and for Paul’s daughter, Alexis. I can’t wait to share with you as I continue to explore what God is revealing to me and about me in this book! If you’ve read it, I’d love your feedback as well!

Heavenly Father, we are so thankful that you provided prayer as a way to connect directly to you and for us to leave a legacy for our children! Thank you for your divine plan to bring Abi and Matt and Josiah into our lives at the perfect time! Thank you for this very special friendship that has encouraged me in so many ways! We pray for their family, for your wisdom, for your love to continue to be shown through them. We pray for all our friends that they will find strength in praying for their children. Thank you for your love, your grace and your mercy. Amen.

Onto the little guy. It was so strange typing the title of this post… he’s not a baby anymore! Let’s see… what’s new with Isaiah?

  • He got his first haircut. It broke my heart to cut off those adorable, crazy, messy curls but the poor kid was feeding his chin-length bangs at every meal! Yes, I’m one of THOSE creepy moms who saved the curls. I miss them every day. We’re pretty sure Isaiah does too – several times a day he looks up like he can’t figure out what’s missing. It’s a hoot!
  • He’s crawling EVERYWHERE. And he’s fast!This little machine can make his way around a house. Don’t turn your head for a second, or he’s in every outlet, finding every electrical cord, eating all the dog food, opening every drawer and cabinet and cleaning the kitchen tile with his tummy!
  • He’s slightly obsessed with his Daddy. I can’t tell you how happy this makes me. He loves to facetime Paul when he’s on the road, and he’s begun to think that Daddy is somehow hiding behind the phone. So when we facetime, he promptly grabs the phone from my hand and flips it over, screaming “da da da da da da da da”. It’s about the cutest thing ever. The love the Paul has for Isaiah overflows my heart. There are no words to describe how fulfilling it is to see them with such an incredible bond. The unusual work schedule Paul keeps can be challenging, but the time he gets to spend with us when he is home is so rewarding. They’re two peas in a pod. Add Hitch and it’s almost too much cuteness to take.
  • He tested negative for leukemia, again!If you’re new to this blog, you may not know that kids with Down syndrome have a significantly increased chance of developing leukemia. As a result, Isaiah is tested every 6 months for a battery of things, including leukemia, unusual thyroid function, etc. At his yearly check up with our geneticist, Dr. Perszyk, Isaiah once again passed all tests with flying colors. He’s measuring about 50th percentile on the weight chart and about 90th percentile on the height chart (this is vs. other children his age with Down syndrome). Height. Yeah. Go figure. Certainly didn’t get that from his mama. Our friend Ashley was able to attend this appointment with us. It’s always a blessing to have a second set of eyes and ears with me, especially when Paul is on the road. So thankful she was there to ask questions and take notes. Bottom line? Isaiah is developing EXACTLY like a typical child his age should develop. We are incredibly fortunate that so far, he does not have any of the medical concerns that a lot children with Down syndrome battle.  Doctors still suspect Isaiah has Mosaic Down syndrome, but we’re not concerned with that diagnosis. We’ll plan to continue along the path of the race we were called to run (Hebrews 12:1), and take it one day at a time, one appointment at a time, one therapy session at a time. He’s so much more than his diagnosis.

Speaking of “diagnosis”, you may know yesterday was World Down Syndrome Day! March 21st, or 3.21, is the day the world celebrates people with Down syndrome. It’s been fascinating to me how far the world has come in awareness and acceptance since I was growing up. One of the most famous buildings in the world, the Empire State Building was lit up in blue and yellow last night in honor of this special annual celebration. I love watching the world embrace people with all different abilities. It’s truly one of my greatest joys as Isaiah’s mom, to see those around him expanding their horizons and celebrating the differences in each of us. We are more alike than different.

I want to leave you with this. I’ve been listening to the same worship song over and over and over again the past several days, courtesy of Matt Maher. If you’ve been unfortunate enough to pass me in my travels at any of the airports or cities I’ve been to today alone (Jacksonville, FL  > Atlanta, GA > Auburn, AL > Atlanta > Los Angeles, CA) you’ve probably been annoyed by my less than subdued reaction to the opening of this song, which I’ve got running on repeat. I leave you with this thought (and some pictures of Isaiah!):

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