“After that we packed up and headed over the river and through the woods to Nana and Papa’s house for some pork and sauerkraut! They say it’s good luck to eat sauerkraut on New Year’s Day. I hope milkies counts!!”
“We love being at Nana and Papa’s!”
When I look back through the years I marvel at how certain times and events of life are so purposeful for growth. Often times they are interconnected, mysteriously preparing for the future. There are so many little things in my own life, but the big things that come to mind are my experience with adoption, the almost 10 years I spent with a house sparrow, and now Nora.
Starting with adoption — The experience of making an adoption plan for my birth daughter almost 20 years ago gave me the perspective that children are not property. At that time I never bothered to look at it from a faith perspective, but I still hold strong to that belief. Children are not property because they are a gift. They are on loan to us from God. Parting with my birth daughter enabled me to loosen my grip on many things in my life that I would otherwise regard as “MINE”. With my hands open to release, they are also open to receive. I could never have collected this vast array of blessings with “tightly clenched fists”.
One of those many blessings was a tiny naked little bird that ended up in my life. She was rescued from certain death on a hot summer sidewalk by two young boys who brought her to the vet’s office where my sister worked. I lovingly took over the care of this feeble little creature, mixing up a recipe of baby bird food and feeding it to her through a syringe every 20 minutes for 16 hours a day. As a sort of over abundant thank-you, she enormously enriched my life and everyone who knew her over the next 9 years and 7 months.
Given the choice, most people interested in acquiring a pet bird would opt for something colorful or something that sang a beautiful song. Ava was a common house sparrow, regarded by many as a pest, certainly not anything fancy. Despite her dismal reputation, Ava proved herself over and over again that she was anything BUT common. I have cassette recordings around here somewhere of her amazing trills and arias that she would do when she thought no one was listening. I have yet to ever hear a house sparrow in the wild immitate those sounds! Through this experience with Ava I gained an even greater appreciation for all life, especially “the least of these”.
It was 5 years ago today that that sweet, beautiful, treasured little bird traded her drab little house sparrow wings for a set of magnificent angel wings. Minutes before she left for the heavenly realms she chirped to me THREE times. I vowed never to forget those precious “last words” to me. She went so quickly after that, I was amazed that she had been able to muster the energy.
I still miss that little bird terribly, but wouldn’t trade that experience for all the riches in the world!
In this world where a child/person with special needs might be regarded as “less than” or “insignificant”. I have learned that each and every creature, each and every person has a place in the purpose of our Creator. Let go of those assumptions and stereotypes and you just might end up with a beautiful surprise!!
Sometimes when Nora is in the baffs, she gets a hankering for some milkies. She will then use Mommy’s phone to call downstairs to place a delivery order from the Milkies Cafe. A few minutes later a waitress or delivery man will bring her what she ordered. They’re usually very accommodating!
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. (Matthew 10:29 NIV)