It should be fun.
However, we were not sure how Fayth and Stephen were going to act.
Fayth, our oldest daughter with Down syndrome, was not very welcoming to her first brother, Stephen, 18 months ago. When Stephen was born, she ignored his existence for nearly 3 weeks.
We just weren’t sure how this initial meeting was going to transpire.
A Season Of New Beginnings
Two weeks prior to Noah’s arrival, Fayth started kindergarten. To be honest, her first day was horrible. You can read about it in my post Why Walking On Water Is A Good Option at A-Traditional Family.
Now, we have another new beginning, new baby.
Fayth is quite the passionate little girl. In her excitement, she can sometimes not control herself. So we wondered if we would get the “excited Fayth” or “reserved Fayth” when she met Noah.
New Siblings Meet
Stephen and Fayth walked into our hospital room. Both were excited to see Mom, but didn’t really realize the additional “baby doll” in their mom’s arms.
I walked over to Steph and grabbed Noah. I called the two siblings over to meet Noah. As I squatted down, Fayth came walking over without any hesitation. “Reserved Fayth” seemed to be not an option. Stephen on the other hand stood away, unsure about the encounter.
Fayth walked up to Noah, something that did not happen when Stephen was born, and leaned over with a beaming smile.
She was in love.
Why wouldn’t she be in love? She was getting a real life baby doll.
Without any indicator, Fayth initiated Noah into her world.
An open-hand-smack in the face said 4 simple words, “Welcome to the family!”
Immediately Noah started crying, obviously, and we responded with our famous Fayth phrase, “We don’t hit, be NIIICCEEE.”
Poor Noah never saw it coming.
We weren’t too worried about Stephen, he would eventually adjust, but what about Fayth? We wondered if we were going to have to watch her like a hawk with Noah. This is not what we were hoping for. We do not want to keep Fayth away from Noah for his own safety, so we needed to do something.
We kept Fayth at a distance the rest of the day. Then the following day when Fayth and Stephen came back to the hospital, it was time for round 2.
But this time, Fayth was different. She was still very excited about Noah, but there was restraint in her excitement.
Fayth and self-restraint? No way…
And she uttered the sweetest word, “NIICCCCEEEE!!”
When did the turnaround happen? Has she finally gotten to a point of self-restraint in her exuding excitement?
Yes, I believe she has.
Outside of letting Fayth hold Noah on the second day (that involved a bear hug), she was the sweetest little girl. But it was also clear she was holding back her excitement. She would continually touch Noah on the top of the head and then throw both hands up to cover her grin of complete, utter joy.
Stephen finally gave some signs of welcoming on day 2 as well.
The 3 amigos have started their bond.
We felt it was important to allow Fayth to be excited, but also harness the excitement.
Jesus instructs in Matthew 18:2-4, that we must change to become like children in order for us to enter the kingdom of heaven. Pastors, including myself, have preached about having faith like a child. However, what if there is more to the statement.
What if Jesus was talking about having joy/excitement like a child?
Think about it…
A child’s joy many times has no restriction. Children can get excited about a new toy, a train, or having a cookie. Their joy and excitement is amazing.
So, what if Jesus was actually telling His disciples they must not only have faith like a child, but joy like a child?
What would our worship be like?
What would our obedience be like?
What would our servanthood be like?
What would our relationships be like?
What would our life look like?
Imagine if we were like Fayth when we encounter Jesus at church, the grocery store, the park, or at home. We get so excited about His presence we could hardly contain ourselves.
I wonder if our WHOLE LIFE would change?
I believe it would. We wouldn’t worry about who is watching. We wouldn’t worry about what others thought. We wouldn’t be restricted in our joy, but be overflowing with the goodness, graciousness, and love of Jesus Christ.
Jesus gave us the greatest gift of all time, a NEW LIFE. When new life is experienced, there should be no possible way for us to resist the exuding joy.
Why not let our excitement in Jesus go free.
“Have joy like a child…”