You are exactly the kid I wanted

by Jen Lee Reeves on October 1, 2012 · 38 comments

in 2012, jordan, Questions

Last night, we took the kids to a dinner party. It was much more of a grown up event than a kid event but our kids are kind of used to being put into grown up environments. It may be all those years of attending college classes while their parents teach or hours of hanging out in a newsroom. Whatever it was, they were holding their own thanks to very tolerant and kind hosts. Heck, they had a TRAMPOLINE in the backyard. I’m pretty sure I’ve never let my kids hang out on a trampoline before. Not a super huge one. Especially not a super huge one without a net.

Somewhere after dinner and dessert and a glass of wine, the dinner party started talking about birthdays. The kids weren’t hanging at the table anymore when I mentioned how Cameron’s birthday is April Fool’s Day. I have mentioned to friends many times before, I said the day before I didn’t want him to be born on April first. But in the end, “it’s the perfect date. It fits our family really well.”

Almost immediately, Jordan runs into the room hugs me and asked incredibly innocently: “Did you want a baby with one hand?”

There’s no moment to stop and think about what to say when your child asks you that question. Seriously.

I looked down at her (immediately with water building in my eyes) and said: “You were born exactly the way I wanted you to be born: Healthy.”

She smiled and ran away. But came back and noted that my face had turned beet red. The combination of emotion and red wine will do that do you.

The small dinner party was feeling a bit emotional from that question too. I mean, I guess I should have seen the question coming. No, I didn’t plan for a child with one hand. Yes, I wanted Jordan, one hand and all. A hand isn’t what matters in the end. But I know to Jordan, it matters.

When I put her to bed last night, I felt the need to clarify my quick statement. I curled up next to her and let her know she is exactly the kid I wanted. Every bit of her… one hand and all. A few tears ran out of my eyes and Jordan was shocked I would cry.

“Is that a happy cry Mom?”
“It is. You know you even came home from the hospital wearing a shirt that said, ‘Perfect.'”

Hugs all around. Did I want a child with one hand when she was born? No. Do I want to change the kid I got? Hell no. She’s everything I wanted and more.

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Patti October 1, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Ah! Well, now *i’m* tearing up. I have said before that I wouldn’t ASK for a kid with one-hand (I mean, I really didn’t even consider it as an option! LOL), but being Tate’s mom has been rewarding in so many ways I never could have imagined. Our kids rock. :)

Jen Lee Reeves October 1, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Exactly!! I had never known a one handed world was an option (or one foot… no hands, no feet… whatever). But our kids really do rock.

Laura@Catharsis October 1, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Beautiful! What a tough question. I only hope I can be as stoic and honest as you were when my son asks me if I wanted a child who had a stroke and has cerebral palsy. Children are miraculous, aren’t they?

Adrienne May October 1, 2012 at 4:43 pm

You made me tear up too. There are so much about our kids that we never could have expected… In every situation… no we didn’t ask for it to be that way, but we also wouldn’t change it for anything! Thanks for always making me realize little things like that.

PS. Noah learned a lot from Jordan the other night at the Nemo event. He never knew that someone could have just one arm either. He said “thats ok, she looks happy”

SheriQ October 1, 2012 at 4:56 pm

Tears here, too.
Fabulous answer!

Our answer is a bit more complicated. Our guy (through adoption) wasn’t “perfect” in the eyes of his birth country. We’re SOO glad we can tell him he’s perfect in ours!

Jen Lee Reeves October 1, 2012 at 5:14 pm

They really are miraculous, Laura. This parenting thing is such a wild (and exhausting) ride.

Jen Lee Reeves October 1, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Awww. Adrienne, that’s so sweet. She is very happy.

Cindy Jobe October 1, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Jen, you did better than okay. What you said was perfect. Not only your kids rock, but you as parents rock, too! Jordan is growing up with all the support, love and encouragement imaginable. And she is developing into a strong young lady with confidence, spunk, and grace. Always knowing how wanted and loved she is will carry her through rough the spots now and then. You are a wonderful family!

Pennie Litterell October 1, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Soo very well said!! I agree whole heartedly!! I wouldn’t change a thing and my daughter is absolutely perfect to me and “born just right”!!!!!

Jenna October 1, 2012 at 5:30 pm

You did great! I’m not ready for those questions, but hearing what everyone else does helps me feel more confident that I will answer as best I can.

Jen Lee Reeves October 1, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Oh! Thank you Cindy.

Rachel October 1, 2012 at 6:14 pm

My eyes filled right away from your answer. While sitting at the dinner table, my then 3 yr old asked why she her one hand didn’t look like mine . I had been dreading this question from the beginning. I held back the tears and said “because that is the way god made you” she then got kind of sad and asked if that was on purpose. I said that he makes everyone special and that I love her more than she will ever know. That seems to be the ok answer for now. She is now 5 and hasn’t asked again. You gave just the right answer to such a difficult question.

Jen Lee Reeves October 1, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Thanks, Rachel.

Becky Hoover October 1, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Jen-
Jordan has you as a mom for a reason! You are such a busy person, yet you spend more quality time with your kids than anyone else I know. There is no doubt that you have the perfect words to comfort these types of questions. Beyond your daughter, you do a great job of making others feel special with their strengths as well. I know you make me feel like I can conquer the world just by standing next to your positive energy. :) Jordan and Cameron are going to go very far in this world because they have great parents!

Carolyn Thompson October 1, 2012 at 7:11 pm

I think your answer was great. We can never predict when those questions will pop out. I am comforted by the words from Psalm 139: 13-16 “For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes beheld my unformed substance, In your book were written all the days that were formed form me, when none of them as yet existed.”

and Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you: I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Jen Lee Reeves October 1, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Thanks so much, Becky!

April Benson October 1, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Jen, I think you handled that spontaneous exchange amazingly… and I am not surprised because you are a truly awesome mom in every way. I do sincerely believe that Jordan’s soul picked you and Randy (in some mysterious cosmic way) and that you are becoming the person you were meant to be in part because of her. And she because of you. You are such an inspiration and I am so glad I know you. I miss you my friend.

Jennifer Haselhorst October 1, 2012 at 8:15 pm

I’m bawling! You handled that well, Jen . She is PERFECT! God doesn’t make mistakes!

Jen Lee Reeves October 1, 2012 at 8:30 pm

I miss you so, April. Thanks for your constant love and support.

Jen Lee Reeves October 1, 2012 at 8:31 pm

I totally agree, Jennifer. No mistakes here at all.

Diane Young October 2, 2012 at 6:43 am

Jen…you did a great job handling the question. Jordan is perfect in every way!! It is so great to see the relationship you have with both your kids. You are a great mom. My daughter Kelley has had to answer many difficult questions from her daughter as well (she’s now 14) but Delaney was born with gastroschisis.

Danette Williams October 2, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Jen, I pray that my daughter will handle the question of her son James’ one hand with as much honesty and comfort as you did with Jordan. You are an inspiration to those of us who are now part of the limb different world! Thank you!

Jessica Howard PEters October 2, 2012 at 1:44 pm

How precious. It’s crazy how when you’re pregnant you want a gender or a hair color or a size. Then when they are born you realize that none of that matters. You just want THEM.

Jen Lee Reeves October 2, 2012 at 1:55 pm

EXACTLY Jessica!!
@Danette – Thank you. I’m so glad we have each other to lean on.

Nicole Baird October 2, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Love it ! Enjoy the stories ! She’s such a doll.

Heather Bowie October 2, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Yes, this is so beautiful. Funny how the things that come out of our mouth are actually spot on sometimes. Thanks for sharing this.

Tom Spalding October 4, 2012 at 7:55 am

Too sweet.

Jen Lee Reeves October 4, 2012 at 9:57 am

Thanks Tom.

tracey October 5, 2012 at 7:09 am

I can imagine that it’s a question that will be asked more than once. We all wonder about our differences.

And April 1 is a great bday. My middle son was born on April 1 and his first “joke” on the family was to make it snow on his birth day. :)

Jen Lee Reeves October 5, 2012 at 7:14 am

That’s so funny Tracey. It snowed on Cam’s birthday as well!

Lisa October 5, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Damn onion cutting ninjas. What a great and touching story.

Brandie October 5, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Tearing here too. Lovely. And perfect.

Caitlin October 8, 2012 at 12:39 am

Not going to lie – I sort of teared up reading this too. And I love how you answered her :)

Jen Lee Reeves October 8, 2012 at 12:59 am

Thanks Caitlin! It was an unexpected moment… But I’m so glad it happened.

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